PA Initiative Receives Funding to Address Social Determinants of Health

September 8, 2021   |   Press Release


  • New initiative to help social service agencies partner with health care organizations to address social determinants of health for older adults and people with disabilities, who have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.
  • Federal effort encourages health and managed care organizations to partner with community-based organizations
  • Community-based organizations seek to deliver consistent, high quality, person-centered care across Pennsylvania

Harrisburg, PA, September 8, 2021 – Pennsylvania Association of Area Agencies on Aging (P4A) in partnership with Comprehensive Care Connections, Inc (C3) announce receipt of a financial award from the U.S. Administration for Community Living (ACL) to improve alignment between health care and social services. Click here for the full ACL Announcement. Pennsylvania’s Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) and participating Centers for Independent Living (CILs) will use this innovation grant to prepare and coordinate AAAs and CILs for contracting opportunities with health care organizations that address social determinants of health and COVID’s unique challenges for Pennsylvania’s older adults and individuals with disabilities.

Multiple studies demonstrate socioeconomic factors have a major impact on an individual’s health and wellbeing, yet our health care and social service systems have long been siloed and uncoordinated. “This funding will help P4A and C3 prepare the state’s leading community-based, social service organizations to work with health and managed care entities and significantly improve coordination of health care and social services for Pennsylvania’s older adults and individuals with disabilities”, remarked Rebecca May-Cole, P4A Executive Director.

Historically, local AAAs and CILs have been the boots-on-the-ground experts who know the unique social service needs, disparities, and equity gaps in the neighborhoods they serve. While this local knowledge is essential, it isn’t enough to support true, person-centered care. This funding will help AAAs and CILs improve the lives of Pennsylvania’s older adults and individuals with disabilities by developing best practices standards and improving coordination between their health care and social service providers. “Our strength is our deep community knowledge and trusted client engagement and this initiative will help us prepare and partner with health care entities to deliver a person-centered approach that addresses each individual’s health and social care needs no matter where they live across the Commonwealth”, noted Mike Grier, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Council on Independent Living.

For that to happen, collaborations need to exist where individuals can access a coordinated and complementary array of person-centered social and health care services; this funding allows us to build scalable solutions across Pennsylvania’s diverse geographical areas and populations. “We realize having consistent, high-quality processes and standards across community-based organizations is critical to partnering with health care organizations. Our goal is to ensure that an older adult or a person with a disability residing in any of the Commonwealth’s 67 counties, from large urban areas to remote rural communities, will receive the same level and consistency of services. This initiative will help us to achieve that goal”, said Leslie Grenfell, C3 President and Southwestern Pennsylvania Area Agency on Aging Executive Director.

This initiative launches September 1, 2021 and the funding is expected to be available to support the collaboration over the next two years.

P4A is a 501(c)(3) non-profit association formed in 1977 to support the local delivery of person-centered services to older Pennsylvanians. P4A is governed by its Board of Directors.

Comprehensive Care Connections (C3) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, formed in 2017 to provide administrative and integrated care contracting solutions for 38 participating AAAs covering 52 Pennsylvania counties.

This project is supported by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $291,557 with 45 percent funded by ACL/HHS. $350,641 and 55 percent funded by non-government source(s). The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by ACL/HHS, or the U.S. Government.

Click here to view the full press release.