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 2024

Check out SONNET's latest results and resources

Winter2024_Image.pngOur winter 2024 newsletter includes findings from 2 recent SONNET projects, along with a new tool for social health researchers

Highlights from this issue:
- Results from a concept mapping approach used to rank important research and operational questions that could advance social health practice at Kaiser Permanente
- Results on the design and evaluation of  ‘Addressing Social Health in Medicine,’ a web-based CME course launched at Kaiser Permanente
- SONNET's new journal information tool: A handy compilation of social health publication opportunities for social health researchers

View complete newsletter as PDF.

Previous issue: FALL 2023

Results are in from Kaiser Permanente's 2022 National Social Health Survey!

KP-National-Social-Health-Survey_2022_Quant-Results_Final-Report_COVER.pngOur second national survey of members' social needs reaffirms that our work to improve social health is as important as ever.
Access survey findings and more SONNET news in our fall 2023 newsletter.

Past issues

Summer 2023

New SONNET report sheds light on social needs and health care utilization among older adults

The latest report from SONNET’s Evaluation and Research Committee (ERC) focuses on social needs among Kaiser Permanente Northwest members age 65 and older — and on how these needs are linked to health care utilization. Access this report and read more SONNET news in our summer 2023 newsletter.

Spring 2023

SONNET welcomes Meagan Brown to leadership team and bids a fond farewell to Cara Lewis

SONNET recently welcomed Meagan Brown, PhD, as our new associate director while saying a grateful goodbye to former co-director Cara Lewis, PhD. Meagan is leading several SONNET projects, including Kaiser Permanente's 2022 National Social Health Survey, results of which will be released later this summer. Learn more about the national survey and other recent SONNET projects in our spring 2023 newsletter

Winter 2023

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

Maile 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. Our winter 2023 newsletter features a snapshot of Maile's work and her advice to researchers interested in social health — along with new SONNET reports on the link between social needs and health outcomes. 

Summer 2022

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

Anand Shah and Meagan Brown presented the closing keynote at Modern Healthcare's 2022 Social Determinants of Health Symposium, sharing results of recent SONNET-led research that sheds light on the prevalence of social needs among KP members.

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 


SONNET's newsletter for our KP audience

If you're a KP employee, you might be interested in the internal version of our newsletter, which includes news customized for our KP community. Please email us at to subscribe or to request a past issue.

Recent SONNET reports

Kaiser Permanente 2022 National Social Health Survey

In this follow up to our 2020 survey, we heard from more than 6,300 members nationwide about their social needs
and desire for assistance from Kaiser Permanente. Project lead: Meagan Brown, PhD, MPH.

Social risks and health care utilization among older adults

Looking at data from KP’s Medicare Total Health Assessment survey, this SONNET project found that having more social needs was linked to higher emergency department (ED) utilization and hospital admissions among older adult members of KP Northwest. Project lead: David Mosen, PhD, MPH.

Social risks & racial differences in chronic illness outcomes

This SONNET project took a deep 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.