Wrapping Kane County in Care Through IRIS
Kane County Connects Staff 1/24/2023 8:00AM
The Kane County Health Department (KCHD) launched the Integrated Referral & Intake System (IRIS) online program in 2021 with 66 community service partners. To date, the program has effectively connected more than 4400 individuals/families with resources through the support of 150 participating outreach organizations.
IRIS is a FREE web-based communication tool to help organizations connect the individuals & families they serve to the right resources in the community.
IRIS is fully HIPAA compliant to ensure the privacy and security of users and community members.
Under the IRIS program, a person needing assistance with one or a variety of issues can request and receive a coordinated referral for service to the appropriate agency. The system also promotes transparency by enabling service providers to update their provided services, capacity, wait times and eligibility requirements so a referral to a different agency can be made if indicated. This approach removes several barriers for community members, resulting in faster service enrollment than if they had sought help on their own.
There is also a follow-up function to show whether or not the referral was accepted or additional support is required. The Kane County IRIS community has representation from local organizations in multiple sectors including: mental health and psychiatry, primary care, dental, early childhood services, K-12 education, park district programs, adult / juvenile probation, parenting resources, substance abuse services, employment resources, immigration and legal services, veterans assistance, emergency shelter, and basic needs (food & clothing).
It was noted by Kane County Board member and Vice Chair Vern Tepe during a recent presentation about Kane County’s IRIS program at a meeting of the County Public Health Committe, that referrals for assistance don’t always just involve one agency making this program invaluable.
“This particular system has enabled agencies to comfortably refer people to other agencies,” said Tepe. “IRIS has not only done a better job of delivering services to the people who need them, it’s also spurred a cooperation between the organizations that provide the help.”
IRIS is more than just technology to connect families to the right services at the right time. It is also an approach that brings committed partners, and policy makers together to build healthy communities.
“It’s collaboration at its best” said Public Health Committee Chair Cheryl Fritz Strathmann.
For more information, contact one of the Kane County IRIS Community Managers:
Kim Peterson, Kane County AOK Network Coordinator: email@example.com
Kate McCormack, Children’s Mental Health Program Manager: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sophia Ottomanelli, Substance Use Prevention Specialist: email@example.com
Maria Leon, Community Health Initiatives Coordinator (bilingual) firstname.lastname@example.org
Lorena Nunez, AOK Family Engagement Specialist (bilingual) email@example.com