Posted: July 24, 2020

Social Outreach Initiative: Addressing the Social Care Needs of COVID+ Patients


The Social Outreach Initiative was inspired by a desire to understand and alleviate patients’ social care needs during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Our team of students works alongside Loyola Medicine’s Office of Community Health and Wellbeing, which was inundated with requests to conduct social needs screenings for COVID-positive patients at the outset of the pandemic. Our team of students make calls to patients who have recently tested positive for COVID-19 and screen for social care needs, including food insecurity, financial strain, dependent care burden, access to medical care, housing instability and safety in the home. When a patient identifies a need, students work to connect the patient to local community programs or primary care physicians. Our goal is to keep households healthy by addressing socioeconomic determinants of health. During the month of June, our volunteers committed over 500 hours to social outreach, enabling the staff of Loyola's Office of Community Health and Wellbeing to keep pace with the high demand for community support. This student volunteer group has called over 1,500 patients, ten percent of whom have identified an active social need and been referred to a local resource. Our future steps include analysis of patient needs and expanding our screening calls to include Housing Forward clients, who are currently experiencing homelessness.


Social Outreach Volunteer Team, Stritch School of Medicine,

Project Category

Charitable/Social Services

Mode of Participation


Credit Status


Project Type

Overflow staffing/support
Community education resource development
Food banks


Screening, Social Determinants of Health, Patient Outreach, Community Resources, Food Assistance, IPV Screening, Financial Assistance, Follow Up, Housing