Using SDOH Data in Indiana Data Matters, Stories Convince

Jennifer Sullivan, MD MPH, Secretary, Indiana Family and Social Services Administration

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Summary of Presentation: 

On Wednesday, August 12, 2020Jennifer Sullivan gave a presentation describing the State of Indiana’s approach to integrating key data sources, including its Health Information Exchange, into its efforts to fight COVID-19. With health outcomes ranking at 41 out of 50 states, Indiana developed its Office of Healthy Opportunities with the goal of better understanding how their members lived, worked, and played. Indiana’s Family and Social Services Administration added a Social Risk Assessment which asked 10 key questions to understand unmet social needs to the end of SNAP, TANF, and Medicaid applications. Indiana has also developed a Health and Wellbeing Atlas with demographics, geographies, and overall ranking of high priority needs. This revealed that food was one of the largest unmet needs, leading to better coordination of services and food delivery around the state. The state also rolled out a 211 tool that helped include qualitative information that could be layered over the quantitative information. It provided Indiana with the who, what, and where of social needs during the COVID-19 pandemic, and helped the office shift to a data-driven culture that informs strategy and tactics.

About The Presenter

Jennifer Sullivan, M.D., M.P.H. was appointed as Secretary of the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration by Governor Eric J. Holcomb effective January 9, 2017.  Prior to this appointment, she served as the Deputy State Health Commissioner and Director for Health Outcomes at the Indiana State Department of Health.  Dr. Sullivan is currently a Professor of Clinical Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine. She served as the Division Chief for Pediatric Emergency Medicine and was the Program Director for the Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics Residency from 2007-2015.  Dr. Sullivan continues to work clinically in the Riley Hospital for Children Emergency Department. 

She earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Houston Honors College and her Masters in Public Health at the Richard Fairbanks School of Public Health at Indiana University. She earned her Medical Doctorate at Indiana University School of Medicine and is board certified in Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics. 

Dr. Sullivan is dedicated to building effective and efficient delivery of health care and social services to Hoosiers.  She takes a public health approach to policy decisions and is committed to strategic alignment across government and the private sector to improve health outcomes and fill unmet social needs.  She was recognized in 2019 as the recipient of the APHSA Friedman Health and Human Services Impact Award and is a 2017 Indianapolis Business Journal Women of Influence. 

FSSA is a health care and social service delivery and integration agency. The mission of FSSA is to compassionately serve our diverse community of Hoosiers by dismantling long-standing, persistent inequity through deliberate human services system improvement.