AHI (Adirondack Health Institute) brings medical and community/social service providers together to care for patients more holistically (breaking down silos). Think of patients who are going to the emergency department every couple of weeks in the winter because they haven’t had the means to fill their controlling inhaler medication, or don’t have heat in their apartment – these are the situations AHI seeks to alleviate.


The AHI team came to me with a problem: the medical community understood their patients’ health suffered when unmet social needs persisted, but addressing those needs through partnerships with community/social service providers was unfamiliar and challenging. Both want the same for the people they serve, but beginning brand new cross-sector partnerships is hard.

We needed to answer the questions: What does collaboration actually look like and what does collaboration involve?


Demonstrate local examples of social service organizations making medical teams’ jobs of caring for their patients with the greatest social needs both more effective and simpler for medical providers.


The following assets were developed following a dedicated audience insights and strategy development phase that included more than 20 direct interviews with AHI staff and partners:

Inspirational video: Physician-to-physician messaging; painting a picture of what collaboration looks like and its impact on a primary care office.

Case Study: Connecting behavioral health patient with a peer support specialist at a partner organization reduced his need for emergency medical services.

Storysharing: Collaboration removes burden from medical staff and results in reduction of the overall cost of care.

Informational one-pager: Examples of ways medical teams could receive help from community/social service organizations.


“Melissa asked insightful questions and kept diving deeper to identify the root of the problem we faced. The strategic campaign she developed is helping us accelerate collaboration between clinical and non-clinical service providers to address unmet social needs within AHI’s nine-county region.”

– Jessica Chanese, Community Engagement Manager, Adirondack Health Institute.