Regional One Health is the co-host for Putting Care at the Center, the annual conference of the National Center for Complex Health and Social Needs.

the Nov. 13-15 event will focus on finding new ways to deliver services to vulnerable patients in order to improve their outcomes and reduce costs.

Regional One Health’s ONE Health complex care initiative has had impressive success on those issues, and leaders hope the conference will be a chance to grow partnerships and influence policy.

Regional One Health is bringing national leaders in the field of complex care to Memphis this month to discuss a transformative goal: helping patients with complex needs live healthier lives.

On Nov. 13-15, Regional One Health co-hosts the Putting Care at the Center conference with the National Center for Complex Health and Social Needs, an initiative created by the Camden Coalition to innovate and test delivery models that improve patient outcomes and reduce costs.

The theme for the conference is “It takes an ecosystem: Complex care across the community.”

That theme is at the heart of Regional One Health’s own complex care initiative, ONE Health, where partnerships and inclusivity are improving the lives of Memphis’ most vulnerable. Susan Cooper, senior vice president and chief integration officer, said the opportunity to help present Putting Care at the Center grew out of ONE Health’s work with the National Center.

“We have worked with the Camden Coalition and National Center since the development and implementation of ONE Health, so we’ve built an authentic relationship,” Cooper said. “That relationship led to this opportunity to help bring together academics, researchers and people with lived experience to move the field of complex care forward.”

The ONE Health team works with patients to prioritize and fulfill needs including medical care, housing, job placement and more.

Regional One Health’s role as co-host is also a credit to the success of ONE Health, which has positioned the health care system as a leader in complex care.

ONE Health was created for patients with frequent emergency department visits and inpatient stays due to fragmented care and lack of access. Where many systems send uninsured patients elsewhere, Regional One Health looks for new ways to serve them to improve their lives.

That requires services found both inside and outside a health system.

ONE Health started by blending the skills of nurses and social workers to help patients identify, prioritize and fulfill needs like health care, hunger, housing, job placement and more. “This program is built on the principle of first addressing the needs identified by the patient,” Cooper said. “If you do right by the patient, improved health and cost savings will follow.”

By working with local stakeholders to meet patients’ needs, ONE Health has exceeded goals. Enrollments and graduations are higher than expected, and it has had a positive impact on Regional One Health’s bottom line by reducing emergency department visits and inpatient stays and securing insurance for patients who qualify.

The program has also resulted in personal triumphs. One patient, Alaenor Faye London, was even selected by the National Center as a Consumer Scholar to participate in field development activities and offer the perspective of someone with lived experience in complex care.

Partnerships with social service and other organizations in the community mean ONE Health can meet non-medical needs like providing food for hungry patients.

Now, Putting Care at the Center is a chance to highlight and expand on ONE Health and its partnerships. Cooper noted the planning committee for the event includes local social service, academic, philanthropic and business leaders, all of whom are crucial to continued success: “We really wanted to engage the community to highlight the good work being done in Memphis.”

To that end, the conference includes several events that highlight local initiatives.

There is a pre-conference tour of Crosstown Concourse and Church Health Center hosted by Churchill Center that will show how a former symbol of blight – a closed Sears distribution center – became a mixed-use urban center anchored by Church Health, a nonprofit that provides affordable services to patients with limited access.

During the conference, attendees will network and collaborate during workshops led by national experts, some of which highlight ONE Health and its partners.

Putting Care at the Center also features renowned physician and author Abraham Verghese as keynote speaker. Verghese is one of the nation’s most prominent voices on adding a humanistic element to the future of health care and building meaningful patient-provider relationships.

Complex care is all about building meaningful, authentic relationships. The keynote speech at Putting Care at the Center will focus on this humanistic element in the future of health care.

Cooper hopes the gathering will have a positive impact in Memphis and beyond.

Last year’s Putting Care at the Center conference resulted in a blueprint for the field of complex care, and she said this year is a chance to show how work has progressed and to set a shared agenda for the future.

That can benefit not only ONE Health and its community partners as they serve patients, but help influence policy decisions to improve care for everyone, everywhere.

“We firmly believe every Memphian deserves great health, and that to improve the health of this community, we have to take care of our most vulnerable,” Cooper said.

“The issues complex patients face can’t all be solved by a health system, so we are building real, meaningful partnerships and embracing new partnerships for the future development of this program and the improved health of our patients.”

For more information about Putting Care at the Center, visit To support ONE Health, visit