SONNET is a national network of applied researchers who help design, evaluate, and implement effective social health interventions to improve member health across Kaiser Permanente. SONNET's work is made possible with funding from KP's National Community Health Program.

Latest issue: winter 2023

Get to know Maile Tauali‘i: Mother, farmer, community leader, and social health researcher

Maile-Taualii_187x187.jpgMaile Tauali'i, PhD, MPH, is a mom of 6 and a hula practitioner who runs a food forest farm in Oahu. She is also a KP clinical investigator and a valued member of SONNET’s Evaluation and Research Committee. Learn more about Maile's work, her connection to her community, and her advice to researchers interested in social health.


Previous issue: Summer 2022

Social Health for Everyone: Sharing SONNET survey results at national SDOH symposium

SONNET_Shah_Brown_Newsletter.pngOn August 11, Anand Shah and Meagan Brown will give the closing keynote at Modern Healthcare's 2022 Social Determinants of Health Symposium


Interventions Addressing Social Isolation and Loneliness: A Rapid Evidence Review

nancy.weinfield__187x187.jpgNew SONNET report from ERC member Nancy Weinfield offers insights into effective interventions for 3 key populations: older adults, teens/young adults, and people who are pregnant or postpartum


Past issues

Spring 2022

Social risks: Do patients want health systems to help?

New SONNET study looks at patients' unmet social risks and their desire for assistance.

December 2021

Understanding the impacts of loneliness on Health

KP researchers conduct the largest known study on loneliness – assessing data from 24,000 KP members – to better understand the impact of loneliness on health, factors that contribute to loneliness, and what can help stop loneliness.

July 2021

How SONNET can serve as KP's nerve center for social health research and evaluation

SONNET's new directors Katie Coleman and Cara Lewis share their vision for bridging research and operations to advance social health at KP and beyond.

March 2, 2020 Volume 4, Issue 2

Special: A note from SONNET's director, Dr. John F. Steiner

By: John F. Steiner, MD, MPH, SONNET Director and Senior Researcher at Institute for Health Research

March 2, 2020 Volume 4, Issue 1

Why Look at Social Needs?

By: Sumita Bhatia, MPH, MS, Care Management Institute (CMI)

Feb. 10, 2019 Volume 3, Issue 2

Better Opportunities for Physical Activity at Work and Home Have Positive Effects on Body Mass Index

By:  Douglas W. Roblin, PhD, Mid-Atlantic Permanente Research Institute and Kristina H. Lewis , MD MPH SM, Wake Forest School of Medicine

Jan. 10, 2019 Volume 3, Issue 1

Walk a Mile in Their Shoes

By: Adam L. Sharp, MD, MSc, Southern California Permanente Medical Group,, Alyssa Tjajadi-Millan, MPH, Kaiser Permanente Southern California, and Tadashi T. Funahashi , MD, Kaiser Permanente Southern California

Dec. 10, 2018 Volume 2, Issue 5

Pathways to Identify Basic Resource Needs

By: John F. Steiner, MD, MPH, Senior Investigator, Kaiser Permanente Colorado and Claudia L. Nau, PhD, Research Scientist I, Southern California Permanente Medical Group

Nov. 12, 2018 Volume 2, Issue 4

Perceptions and Experience of Patients, Staff, and Clinicians with Social Needs Assessment

By: Courtnee Hamity, PhD, Principal Consultant, Center for Evaluation & Analytics and Ana Jackson, PhD, Director of Evaluation

Sept. 10, 2018 Volume 2, Issue 3

CESR: Social Needs Patient Reported Outcomes Surveys Added to the VDW 

By: Reesa Laws - Coordinating Center Manager / Technical Research Program Manager

June 19, 2018 Volume 2, Issue 2

SNAP Enrollment Program Launches in California

By: Jayme Magallanes, MPH - Senior Project Manager of National Medicaid and Charitable Health Care

May 9, 2018 Volume 2, Issue 1

Why SONNET? Why now? Why Kaiser Permanente?

By: Loel S. Solomon, PhD, Vice President of Kaiser Permanente Community Health

Dec. 13, 2017 Volume 1, Issue 4 (Story 2 of 2)

Kaiser Permanente’s Social Services Resource Locator (SSRL) Update

By: Sarita Mohanty, MD, MPH, MBA and Sarah Threlfall, MPH

Dec. 13, 2017 Volume 1, Issue 4 (Story 1 of 2)

Toward Achieving Total Health: Developing a Health System to Address Social Determinants of Health Needs

By: Matthew Banegas, PhD, MPH and Nicole L. Friedman, MS

Nov. 13, 2017 Volume 1, Issue 3

Concurrent Social Needs in Elderly KP Members with Food Insecurity 

By: John F. Steiner, MD, MPH, Senior Investigator, Kaiser Permanente Colorado 


Our latest reports

Social risks & health care utilization

This project examined data from KP's 2020 National Social Health Survey and found that emergency room visits were 33% more likely among members with any social risk and 51% more likely among members with any severe social risk. This relationship did not change during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Social risks & racial differences in chronic illness outcomes

This project also took a deeper dive into data from KP's 2020 National Social Health Survey, finding that Black members had a higher prevalence of type 2 diabetes and hypertension compared to white members — and that 11% of the difference in these outcomes can be attributed to the most common social needs we observed: financial strain, food insecurity, and housing instability.

Contact SONNET

Email us at to learn more about our work or request a consultation.