In the six months since the Community Service Council (CSC) launched Oklahoma’s first fully-coordinated referral network for veterans, coordination of services for veterans and providers has grown exponentially.
Oklahoma Veteran Connections, commissioned and coordinated by CSC, is a person-centered service delivery system for veterans that empowers service providers to easily create and receive referrals among each other and track data and outcomes in real time to ensure veterans seeking assistance get it.
This type of collaboration between providers is known as a 360-degree referral process because it follows the person seeking help from start to finish, making sure no veteran goes unserved.
“Our main goal behind the creation of Oklahoma Veteran Connections was to unite veteran service providers across the region to improve outcomes for Oklahoma’s veterans and their families,” said Kevin Burr, CEO, Community Service Council. “Too often, veterans were not able to access the scope of services they needed—and qualified for—in our community. We knew this had to change.”
Our partners agreed. From the network’s inception, organizations stepped out to publicly endorse Oklahoma Veteran Connections, including City of Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum, the Oklahoma Department of Disabled American Veterans, Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs and Goodwill Industries of Tulsa. The network now includes nearly 30 service providers covering the vast array of veteran needs, including Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, Inc., Family & Children’s Services, Tulsa Day Center for the Homeless, Tulsa Community College, Parkside Psychiatric Hospital and Clinic, and many more.
“We’ve seen tremendous growth since we launched Oklahoma Veteran Connections,” said Rachel Runfola, CSC veterans division director. “We expect to have 30 agencies operating in the network by May 1. It’s clear that Oklahoma’s service providers were ready for the collaboration and interface this network makes possible.”
In six months, Oklahoma Veteran Connections has served more than 300 veterans with over 400 referrals for service.
CSC leveraged cutting-edge software from New York-based technology firm Unite Us to help build the infrastructure that would allow the sharing of data and referrals so providers could work as a united front to ensure veterans get the help they’re seeking. Tulsa is one of 15 cities in the U.S. so far that have used the Unite Us technology to build stronger provider networks in their communities.
“It was a big commitment for CSC and our partners to implement the Unite Us technology and launch Oklahoma Veteran Connections,” said Pete Luitwieler, CSC program manager for Oklahoma Veteran Connections. “We’re seeing first-hand the power of the collaboration and coordination it provides, and this is only the beginning.”
Community Service Council will continue to expand Oklahoma Veteran Connections and add more providers so more veterans can benefit from the expedited service the network provides, and more providers can benefit from knowing veterans’ and their families’ needs have been met.