HealthShare Exchange “CIC-STARTS” its Efforts to Share Data to Improve Health

Data Across Sectors for Health (DASH), a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, had selected HealthShare Exchange (HSX) to participate in a new initiative called CIC-START (Community Impact Contracts – Strategic, Timely, Actionable, Replicable, Targeted).  DASH CIC-START aims to accelerate progress towards developing precise, data-driven public health initiatives that are more effective at reducing health disparities by giving local collaborations the momentum they need to take their data-sharing efforts to the next level.

“Everyone deserves the opportunity to lead a healthy life.  But to achieve this vision we need to shift our approach by moving beyond the healthcare sector and analyzing data on social, economic, and environmental factors that influence health,” says DASH co-director Clare Tanner at the Michigan Public Health Institute.  “We hope that DASH CIC-START helps local collaborations take significant steps toward aligning multi-sector partners around data-driven approaches that promote health equity.”

HealthShare Exchange is part of a cohort of sixteen other CIC-START awardees that will each receive $25,000 to execute a project over a period of six months that builds their capacity to share and use multi-sector data to improve community health.  Using inpatient and emergency visit encounter data from Mercy Health System, HSX will identify and connect uninsured and underinsured older adults in southeastern Pennsylvania with the appropriate community assistance programs, through its collaboration with the Pennsylvania Department of Aging’s Pharmaceutical Assistance Contract for the Elderly (PACE) Program and through Benefits Data Trust (BD Trust). The encounter data will provide demographic information for patients that had a recent visit to one of Mercy Health System’s hospitals, and BD Trust will use this information to help determine eligibility and referral for PACE and other social service programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

“HSX is proud to be a DASH CIC-START awardee, as the funds will enable us to establish a community referral service program that could serve as a model for the region.  We believe that the collaborative we develop with this project will assist in enrolling vulnerable older adults into valuable financial assistance programs,” says Pamela E. Clarke, Senior Director of Member Services and Chief Policy Officer at HealthShare Exchange.

In addition to funding for technical assistance, the awardees will also receive support to participate in All In: Data for Community Health, a learning collaborative of 100+ communities across the country working to merge data from multiple sectors to better understand and address health challenges.  Anyone can participate in the All In learning network by signing up at, and being an All In member is a prerequisite to be eligible for future CIC-START calls for applications.

“The only way to grow the field of multi-sector data integration is for communities to share what they are learning.  That’s where All In comes in.  We are providing a way for these early pioneers to spread the impact of their innovations beyond their communities by sharing their lessons and promising practices. We are thrilled to be able to make meaningful connections among the DASH CIC-START awardees and the wider All In network to accelerate learning,” says DASH co-director Peter Eckart at the Illinois Public Health Institute.

About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation 
For more than 40 years, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve health and health care.  We are working with others to build a national Culture of Health enabling everyone in America to live longer, healthier lives.  For more information, visit  Follow the Foundation on Twitter at or on Facebook at

About Data Across Sectors for Health
DASH, led by the Illinois Public Health Institute in partnership with the Michigan Public Health Institute and with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, identifies barriers, opportunities, promising practices and indicators of progress for multi-sector collaborations to share data for community health improvement.  DASH aims to align health care, public health, and other sectors to systematically compile, share, and use data to understand factors that influence health and develop more effective interventions and policies. To learn more, visit or follow us at @DASH_connect.