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Department of Health Services

For Immediate Release

ACCESS Sonoma County Wins IBM Watson Health 2019 Advantage Award

The Award Recognizes Innovations in Healthcare Performance Improvement

Santa Rosa,CA | May 08, 2019

The Accessing Coordinated Care and Empowering Self-Sufficiency (ACCESS) Sonoma County initiative received a 2019 Advantage Award from IBM Watson Health™ in the Consumer/Patient Outreach and Communications category.

The award was presented on May 7, 2019, during the annual IBM Watson Health Advantage Awards ceremony, in Orlando, Florida.

The IBM Watson Health Advantage Awards recognize hospitals, health plans, government agencies and employers that are breaking new ground in the use of data and analytics to improve the quality, effectiveness and affordability of healthcare and social programs.

IBM Watson Health offers a wide range of healthcare data, analytics and IT solutions – which include clinical, operational and financial performance, robust data warehousing, population health management,  payment integrity analytics across the spectrum of care – to health plans, healthcare providers, health IT suppliers, large employers, state and federal government customers and life sciences companies.

“The 2019 Advantage Award winners have embraced a spirit of innovation that is helping them improve the quality, effectiveness and affordability of health and healthcare,” said David Liederbach, General Manager Watson Health Market, IBM Watson. “We’re proud to celebrate Sonoma County’s accomplishments, and support them as they continue to use the most advanced healthcare technology to improve client outcomes throughout the entire continuum of care.”

ACCESS Sonoma County is collaboration between the County’s safety net departments—Health Services, Human Services, Community Development Commission, Probation, Child Support Services and criminal justice partners. Together, the safety net departments work holistically supporting clients with complex needs that ultimately improve their health and economic stability.

The goal of ACCESS is to identify the most vulnerable residents in the community—those experiencing chronic unemployment, homelessness and housing insecurity and who have behavioral health and substance use issues who may also receive services that intersect with agencies in the criminal justice system—and helps them receive the support they need.

“For the Human Services Department, the cooperative work we do with ACCESS helps us better understand and serve the comprehensive needs of our clients,” says Director Karen Fies. “Winning the IBM Advantage award exemplifies the collaborative efforts in Sonoma County to better serve our community.”

This award comes days after ACCESS Sonoma County was notified of winning the National Association of Counties (NACo) award in the Health Award category.

“These recent awards highlight the work of our safety net departments in breaking down their silos and prioritizing collective efforts that support individuals in our community with complex needs more robustly,” said Department of Health Services Director Barbie Robinson. “These successes prove the value of the ACCESS initiative and allow the safety net departments to continue to advocate and support vulnerable populations.”