Robert Nocon, PhD, Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine Assistant Professor of Health Systems Science, has been named a faculty scholar in the Stakeholder-Partnered Implementation Research and Innovation Translation (SPIRIT) K12 program. Over the next two years, Nocon will conduct a study to examine the business case for Kaiser Permanente to invest in social health. He will be mentored by Michael Gould, MD, MS, Professor of Health Systems Science, and Anand Shah, Kaiser Permanente Vice President of Social Health.
The K12 program, which is supported by funding from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, aims to train and create a community of researchers embedded in the everyday operations of healthcare systems. The SPIRIT K12 Center is a partnership among UCLA, Kaiser Permanente Southern California, Veterans Administration Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, and Los Angeles County Department of Health Services.
“Social health and the social determinants of health are a big area of discussion among health systems,” said Nocon. “One of the things that is unclear is whether there is a strong fundamental business case for healthcare organizations to make these investments. If there isn’t a fundamental business case, you risk these really important activities for patients falling by the wayside if leadership attention to the issue fades or there is a new organizational priority. What is going to make it stick is if it makes fundamental business sense to do.”