Episode 37 of the podcast More than Health Care: Nonprofits and Health Care Working Together is now available on the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities’ website and on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Spotify. Once a month, a new episode uncovers keys to collaboration and holistic health in pursuit of improved health outcomes and lower costs for all.

For the past 14 years, Better Futures Minnesota has supported primarily African American men who are exiting from corrections and transitioning into the community. The More than Health Care podcast team interviewed Thomas Adams and Isreal Moses to discuss the transformative power of the program. At the time of the recording, Adams was president and CEO and Moses was vice president of support services and operations.

Initially, Better Futures focused on the idea that providing housing and employment to men in their program would support a more successful transition. However, it didn’t prove to be enough. “Everybody talks about how you need a job and a place to stay, and we did that for our first two years and found that our outcomes were actually worse than the status quo,” explained Adams. “And the reason why it was worse is because we had not fully understood and embraced this idea of health and wellness.”

After reviewing the results, Better Futures expanded programming to also offer health and wellness management and life skill coaching. “We certainly understand that health is the third leg of a tripod in terms of housing and employment that keeps individuals in the community and keeps them stable,” added Adams.

Once the additional supports were in place, Better Futures witnessed a sharp decline in the amount of program participants who returned to incarceration. Their recidivism rate is between 4-6%, far lower than to their county’s overall rate of 68%.

Better Futures’ program has found success in its holistic approach to health and well-being. They offer access to support 24/7, helping the men navigate the health care system, legal system, community engagements, family relations, and more.

Listen to Thomas Adams and Isreal Moses as they explain the details of their transformational program in Episode 37 of the More than Health Care Podcast available through the Alliance website or subscribe on the Apple Podcast, Google Play, or Spotify apps.

About the Podcast

While many are realizing that collaboration and holistic approaches are the solution, the health care and human services sectors are struggling to find the right formula to realize the full potential. The More than Health Care podcast is designed to help organizations overcome barriers to partnerships resulting from cultural differences, financial pressures, and rules and regulations.

In addition to showcasing inspiring examples of integration from across the country, featured experts will expose the myths, misconceptions, and shortcomings of efforts to address the social determinants of health through collaboration across sectors.

This podcast is presented by the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities, and Beech Acres Parenting Center, and KVC Health Systems. Host Jill Huynh, vice president of new business development at Beech Acres, and producer Erin Keltner, vice president of clinical services for KVC West Virginia, work at the intersection of health and human services, bringing the expertise and practical experience to uncover key takeaways for improving health care and human services integration.

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Learn more about the Alliance's efforts to improve population health and well-being