On Tuesday, Pennsylvania launched PA Navigate, a new website that connects residents to community organizations, government agencies and health care providers for access to resources for basic needs, such as food, housing and childcare.
PA Navigate is designed to address health and social care needs of residents by bridging the gap between health care systems and social services organizations. It allows residents to search and connect to supports for financial assistance, food pantries, medical care and other free or reduced-cost help in times of need. Individuals can refer themselves for services through PA Navigate, or connect with health care providers and organizations, a news release said.
PA Navigate is built on top of Findhelp, a website that helps people find services.
PA Navigate allows health care providers and social services organizations to track client referrals and better understand clients’ needs. Providers might use the website while assessing clients’ needs during physician’s office or emergency room visits, when they’re receiving case management services or seeking assistance from community organizations.
Pennsylvania Department of Human Services Sec. Val Arkoosh said the new website will improve collaboration across across the many health care and support agencies that provide the public critical services.
The website was created through work by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, several health information organizations, state agencies, counties, local nonprofits, community organizations, health care entities and social services providers, according to the release.
Along with connecting residents to services, the tool will also gather data about users that will “help the Commonwealth and its partners better understand health and social services needs of Pennsylvanians and identify service gaps or opportunities for better support across the state,” the release said. The state said it’s interested in data that informs health status, including employment, child care, transportation, food security, access to health care and housing stability.
PA Navigate is the latest effort by Gov. Josh Shapiro’s administration to revamp the state’s digital services. Earlier this month, the Commonwealth Office of Digital Experience launched a new website for residents to appeal denied health plan services. In November, the agency, also called CODE PA, also announced PAyback.pa.gov, a website that allows residents, businesses, charities and schools to check their eligibility for fee refunds.