April 11, 2023 News, Press Release

Civitas Networks for Health in Partnership with Gravity Project® Announces Four New Pilot Sites to Further Implementation of SDOH Data Standards

Early stage highly collaborative pilots work to further SDOH data exchange for advancement of public health priorities and health equity.

Washington, DC – April 11, 2023 – Civitas Networks for Health, in partnership with Gravity Project, and with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, announced the selection of four new early-stage pilot projects addressing public health and/or health equity use cases. This is a critical milestone in expanding SDOH data standards use in communities, which is a necessary step in building health equity infrastructure.

The purpose of this initiative is to improve accessibility, knowledge, and capabilities for exchange of Gravity terminology standards with a focus on public health and health equity use cases; strengthen capacity for viable, cross-sector data sharing partnerships; and increase communication and collaboration for coordinating health and social care services among integral parties such as health care payers, providers, patients, community members, vendors, public health, health information exchanges, and community-based health and social services.

“There is tremendous need to support communities with the adoption and use of data standards so that we can more seamlessly address both patients’ and communities’ unmet social needs toward the goal of health equity. Our next phase of pilots will find us working in and with communities and their diverse stakeholders in order to support collection and exchange of community-led and community-governed standardized social care data.” Notes Dr. Sarah DeSilvey, Terminology Director for the Gravity Project.

The following four cross-sector teams will begin piloting Gravity Project SDOH standards this April:

Pima County/Southwest Tribe: Pima County and a Southwest Tribe aim to initiate data exchange between the county and tribe within the State communicable disease surveillance system in order to support the tribe in obtaining data to inform procedures and policies that promote the health of the tribal community.

MyHealth Access Network: MyHealth aims to offer standardized screening and referral for social needs at every site of care in Oklahoma using Gravity-vetted terminology. By evaluating and planning for additional needs based on standardized data, MyHealth and its multisectoral partners can dramatically improve the health equity and utilization of the screening across sectors.

University of Colorado Hospital: University of Colorado Hospital and its partners aim to improve the capture of social risk data, develop an equitable approach to resource referral delivery to address patients’ unmet needs, and optimize the capacity of limited care management staff while expanding access to resources for patients. This data will also be used to inform the UCH community needs assessment to identify patient catchment areas with high social needs.

Bronx RHIO: The six NYS certified Health Information Exchanges (also known as Qualified Entities) and the New York eHealth Collaborative (NYeC) are working together to implement statewide standards for the ingestion and handling of social risk data. During this process, the group, also known as the Statewide Health Information Network for NY (SHIN-NY) is planning to use Gravity Project terminology and coding standards to ensure consistent handling of social risk data across the state.

The four new pilot teams will receive one-to-one technical assistance and also participate in a learning community that allows for shared learning across the sites. The Gravity Project team and their extensive community of practice will be accessible to pilot teams as subject matter experts in Gravity deliverables, social care data standards and social care interoperability. Civitas has expertise in building and supporting multi-site learning communities, increasing capacity for technical assistance, furthering implementation efforts, and bi-directional exchange of communication between regional and national partners.

Learn more about The Gravity Project Pilots Affinity Group on confluence


About Civitas Networks for Health

Civitas Networks for Health is a national collaborative comprised of member organizations working to use health information exchange, health data, and multi-stakeholder, cross-sector approaches to improve health. Civitas was previously known as the Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement and the Strategic Health Information Exchange Collaborative, and today represents more than 160 member organizations and business partners moving and using data to improve health outcomes across the U.S. Civitas educates, promotes, and influences both the private sector and federal and state policymakers on matters of interoperability, quality, coordination, health equity, and cost-effectiveness of health care. Working with healthcare and public health innovators at the state and local levels, Civitas facilitates the exchange of valuable resources, tools, and ideas—and offers a national perspective on upcoming standards and regulations, emerging technologies, and best practices.

For more information, visit https://www.civitasforhealth.org.

About Gravity Project

The Gravity Project is a multi-stakeholder public collaborative from across the health and human services ecosystem focused on developing, testing, and validating standardized data to address the social determinants of health for use in patient care, care coordination between health and human services sectors, population health management, public health, value-based payment, and clinical research. The Gravity Project has grown into a leading multidisciplinary community of 2,500+ participants that has successfully introduced a nationally recognized set of open data standards-based terminologies to support care across 17 social risk domains and a complete closed loop referral HL7 FHIR-based Implementation Guide. Gravity continues to advance its mission by leveraging its core standards to address national healthcare interoperability priorities related to social care delivery and quality reporting.

Learn more about The Gravity Project on confluence and on thegravityproject.net.