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.
SONNET serves as a centralized resource that leaders, administrators, and clinicians from across Kaiser Permanente can use to advance their social health initiatives. As a learning community of evaluators and researchers that spans KP regions, SONNET supports the design, implementation, and evaluation of specific high-priority social health interventions that KP is leading both regionally and nationally. Our functions are to convene social health evaluators and researchers and connect them with KP leaders, consult on best practices for KP social health interventions, communicate what we learn across KP and beyond, and contribute to the field to advance our scientific understanding of social health.
By thoughtfully convening social health evaluators and researchers and connecting them with national and regional KP leaders, SONNET brings content and methods expertise to the most important questions facing our organization and the field, such as universal screening for social needs. Our experts are working together to identify the most relevant and important empirical questions to pursue, to build capacity for social health research at KP and elsewhere, and to evaluate and refine interventions for clinical and operational spread.
We provide consultation to KP's National Social Health Program and to individual KP regions on best practices, implementation, measurement, and evaluation. Members of our Evaluation and Research Committee are available to help with regional efforts to pilot test and implement social health interventions. Our ERC members can share key insights on underlying assumptions, help shape the evaluation questions, and synthesize existing evidence to inform decision making and design.
We communicate what we learn across the KP enterprise and beyond, acting as a learning and action network to advance social health research and practice. By sharing knowledge and insights from SONNET projects, we help cultivate a collective understanding of KP's research priorities, advance KP's capabilities around key metrics and methods, and accelerate the adoption of best practices across KP regions.
Our scientific understanding of how to measure and address social health continues to evolve. So, whenever possible, SONNET makes our reports on KP social health projects available to the public so others can benefit from what we’ve learned. We also publish our study findings in peer-reviewed journals, share results at national conferences, and mentor young scientists who are working to advance the science of social health.
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.
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. Project leads: Jennifer Gander, PhD, and Suma Vupputuri, PhD, MPH.
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