Communities Uniting Communities: Fostering Collaboration through Community-Led Convenings

Communities Uniting Communities: Fostering Collaboration through Community-Led Convenings

Community Voices panel at the NCCARE360 Regional Impact Summit in Buncombe County. Panelists pictured from left to right: Vaughn Crawford- Unite Us, Charlene Rumfelt – WNCCHS, Amanda Irvin – BCHHS Public Health, and Ayana Simon – FHLI/NCCARE360

Community-led convenings are beacons for collaboration, bringing together organizations with shared goals to form and strengthen meaningful partnerships that drive positive change.

Last week, more than 30 organizations in western North Carolina gathered in Asheville, NC, for the NCCARE360 Regional Impact Summit hosted by Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministries (ABCCM), Vaya Health Systems, and Buncombe County government. Organizations came together to review community needs data, receive platform training, and engage in peer discussion about common challenges, potential solutions, and significant benefits to collaboration around utilization of the NCCARE360 platform.

“Connection is important, especially now” -Stacie Turpin Saunders- Deputy Director/Section Chief, Local and Community Support, Division of Public Health, NC Department of Health and Human Services

Victoria Reichard, Buncombe County Behavioral Health Manager, helped kick off the event by reviewing a brief history of NCCARE360, acknowledging that some organizations in attendance had to pause in their onboarding or utilization of the NCCARE360 network largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but she encouraged them to consider today be the day they jump back in. Throughout the event, she and other hosts emphasized the importance of working together to ensure the continued success of the program, and that every connection is efficient and meaningful. “If you’ve signed on recently, you may think the network isn’t as robust as you thought it would be, but that’s why we’re here. Let’s make music together,” Victoria said.

Victoria Reichard, Buncombe County Behavioral Health Manager

The overall message of the summit was the importance of having community buy-in for the NCCARE360 network. Panelists who ranged from new users to experienced users to administrators of the program discussed the benefits of  whole-community cooperation, emphasizing that more participation allows more organizations to leverage the information they receive when everyone collectively uses the system to send referrals. This not only helps network users connect clients to services, but it also helps the collective community identify and then communicate crucial gaps to funders, as well as to think strategically about where to apply existing resources until additional ones become available.

“[When] everyone has access to the data, they can collaborate to write grants and receive more funding.” -Brandon Wilson, Chief Operating Officer, Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry

While fostering partnerships among community organizations is crucial for effective referral management, relying solely on personal connections may inadvertently limit client access to services based on the referrer’s acquaintances. The host emphasized that NCCARE360 provides a more equitable approach to linking clients to the resources they need because utilizing a shared technology like NCCARE360 ensures that every client has an equal opportunity for their needs to be addressed by partner agencies, regardless of the referrer’s level of influence or connections.

Panelists also shared that despite a heavier lift in the beginning when their organizations were onboarding, the platform improved their workflows by freeing up their time and providing instant notification of referral status instead of having to spend countless hours making and waiting for phone calls.

“In the beginning there is a heavier lift to get everything set up and going, then after you’re up and running and have workflows configured, it is much easier” – Charlene Rumfelt, Western North Carolina Community Health Services

Community-led events like this one instill a sense of ownership and empowerment among participants, fostering long-term commitment to shared goals. Our aim is for participants to become more invested in the NCCARE360 network and their community outcomes through increased active engagement. We hope this intrinsic motivation fosters ongoing collaboration and enduring partnerships, driving continuous improvement beyond specific events.

This event brought together organizations to address complex challenges and identify benefits of NCCARE360. By fostering dialogue, partnership, and collective action, communities are paving the way for transformative change. As we navigate an increasingly interconnected world, we will continue to recognize the pivotal role of these community-led initiatives in building resilient, inclusive communities where collaboration thrives.

Key takeaways we learned from community leaders about the importance of active community collaboration and participation in NCCARE360:

  • Collaboration creates a more robust network that ensure organizations can connect their clients to resources
  • Collaboration allows organizations to identify gaps that can be communicated to funders
  • Collaboration helps organizations make more strategic decisions about where to apply existing resources
  • Collaboration ensures that resource allocation is more equitable
  • Despite a “heavier lift” in the beginning when organizations are onboarding to NCCARE360, workflows tend to improve because the platform frees up staff time

About NCCARE360

NCCARE360 is the result of a strong public-private partnership between the NC Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the Foundation for Health Leadership & Innovation (FHLI). NCCARE360 is integral to DHHS’s mission is to improve the health, safety, and well-being of all North Carolinians. The NCCARE360 implementation team includes United Way of North Carolina, NC 211, Unite Us, and Expound Decision Systems.

North Carolina Medicaid Expansion Beginning December 1, 2023

North Carolina Medicaid Expansion Beginning December 1, 2023

Beginning December 1, 2023, more North Carolinians will be able to get health coverage through NC Medicaid. This will be a game changer for the more than 600,000 people who will be able to access health care and is the most significant investment in the health of our state in decades. Thank you to the many partners that have helped make this a reality.

Now we need your help to be sure that North Carolinians know who is eligible and how to apply. We have a new website, bilingual toolkit and a sign-up form to stay updated on the most current information about how more North Carolinians will be able to get health coverage through NC Medicaid. Please use these tools with your networks and communities.

The bilingual toolkit includes:

  • Day 1 Flyer: An overview of who is eligible and how to enroll.
  • Newsletter Template: Content to include in your newsletters and emails.
  • Social Media: Graphics and posts to share on your channels.
  • Family Planning Flyer: Information for the approximately 300,000 people who receive limited benefits through Family Planning Medicaid who will be automatically enrolled in full Medicaid.
  • Medicaid Essentials Deck: A presentation to share with your community on who is eligible and how to enroll.
  • FAQs: Answers to common questions.
  • ePass Video: An overview of how to apply online through ePass.

To stay updated with the latest information, be notified when the application process goes live, and receive the newest resources, complete this sign-up form.

Thank you for helping more people in your communities get health coverage through NC Medicaid. Together we will ensure more than 600,000 people gain access to health care across North Carolina.


A partir del 1 de diciembre de 2023, más habitantes de Carolina del Norte podrán obtener cobertura médica a través de NC Medicaid. Este es un momento muy importante para las más de 600,000 personas que podrán acceder a la atención médica y es la inversión más significativa en la salud de nuestro estado en décadas. Gracias a los muchos colaboradores que han ayudado a que esto se vuelva realidad.

Ahora necesitamos tu ayuda para asegurarnos de que los habitantes de Carolina del Norte tengan la información que necesitan para saber quién es elegible y cómo completar una solicitud. Tenemos un nuevo sitio web, un kit de herramientas de comunicación bilingüe y un formulario donde puedes registrarte para recibir la información más actualizada sobre cómo más habitantes de Carolina del Norte podrán obtener cobertura médica a través de NC Medicaid. Por favor usa estas herramientas con tus redes y comunidades.

El kit de herramientas bilingüe incluye:

  • Folleto del día 1: descripción general de quién es elegible y cómo pueden inscribirse.
  • Boletines: información para incluir en boletines y correos electrónicos.
  • Redes sociales: gráficos y publicaciones para compartir en tus redes sociales.
  • Folleto de Planificación Familiar: información para las aproximadamente 300,000 personas que reciben beneficios limitados a través del programa de Planificación Familiar de Medicaid y que quedarán inscritas para automáticamente recibir beneficios completos de Medicaid.
  • Información importante sobre la expansión de Medicaid: una presentación para compartir información con tu comunidad sobre quién es elegible y cómo pueden completar una solicitud.
  • Preguntas frecuentes: respuestas a preguntas comunes.

Para mantenerte actualizado con la información más reciente, recibir una notificación cuando el proceso de solicitud entre en funcionamiento y recibir los recursos más recientes, regístrate aquí.

Gracias por ayudar a más personas en tu comunidad a obtener cobertura médica a través de NC Medicaid. Juntos garantizaremos que más de 600,000 personas tengan acceso a la atención médica que necesitan en todo Carolina del Norte.

NCCARE360 Kicks September off with a K-12 School District Pilot Project

NCCARE360 Kicks September off with a K-12 School District Pilot Project

It’s September and we’re bidding farewell to these hot and humid North Carolina summer days. Autumn is just around the corner and the school year is back in full swing with fresh starts, new goals, and the pursuit of knowledge.

NCCARE360 K-12 School System/District COVID-19 Resources and Referral Coordination and Recovery Plan

During the summer months, our teams worked with the Department of Child and Family Well-Being (DCFW) at NC DHHS to put together a pilot project to onboard public schools across the state onto the NCCARE360 platform so they can link students and their families to community resources that address unmet social needs. The NCCARE360 K-12 School System/District COVID-19 Resources and Referral Coordination and Recovery Plan supplemented the school-based testing for COVID-19 provided by DCFW as an important layer of protection to keep children safe in the classroom. To further support students and families from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, NCCARE360 helps to identify additional drivers of health and connect students to services and resources that will impact students’ physical, behavioral, and social wellness. This project will allow K-12 school systems and their staff to use NCCARE360 to link students and their families to community resources that address critical services like food, housing, utilities assistance, transportation, educational support services, and more.

Connecting Students to Vital Resources

Durham Public Schools (DPS) has always been committed to the well-being and success of its students. Now, they’re taking this commitment a step further by leveraging technology to strengthen the connection between K-12 students and the social resources they need. DPS is partnering with NCCARE360 to make this vision a reality, with plans to onboard up to 56 schools in the DPS school system.

NCCARE360 is a platform designed to bridge the gap between healthcare and social services. DPS will use NCCARE360 to connect students nd their families with essential social resources, ensuring that they have access to the support they need to thrive academically and personally. The success of this initiative will come from the dedicated professionals who work tirelessly to support students’ well-being. Social workers and members of the DPS student support department will be the primary users of the NCCARE360 platform, as their roles are pivotal in identifying students’ needs and connecting them with the appropriate resources.

Why NCCARE360 Matters

Holistic Support: NCCARE360 offers a holistic approach to addressing students’ needs. It goes beyond academics and recognizes the importance of social and emotional well-being in a student’s overall success.

Streamlined Access: The platform streamlines the process of accessing social resources. Instead of navigating a complex web of services, students and their families can access the help they need more efficiently.

Data-Driven Decision-Making: NCCARE360 provides valuable data and insights that can inform decision-making. This data-driven approach ensures that resources are allocated effectively, benefiting those who need them the most.

Enhanced Collaboration: NCCARE360 improves communication and collaboration among schools, social workers, and external service providers. This fosters a supportive ecosystem where everyone works together to help students succeed.

Equity and Inclusion: The platform promotes equity and inclusion by ensuring that every student, regardless of their background, has access to the resources they need to excel.

A Brighter Future for Durham Students

Durham Public Schools’ decision to embrace NCCARE360 is a testament to their commitment to the success and well-being of every student. By fostering stronger connections between students and essential social resources, DPS is paving the way for a brighter and more promising future for the entire community. This innovative approach to education and support demonstrates DPS’s dedication to nurturing not only academic excellence but also the holistic development of its students. The NCCARE360 team will be using DPS as an example for engaging with additional school districts to reach even more students in need. With NCCARE360, the path to success becomes clearer and the journey becomes a shared one, filled with opportunities for growth and achievement.