For the media

Sharp partners with 2-1-1 San Diego to help those in need

By The Health News Team | September 13, 2023
Erica Salcuni and Zack Lenert of Sharp HealthCare

Erica Salcuni, Sharp’s manager of Community Benefit and Health Improvement with Zack Lenert, Sharp vice president of Integrated Care Management.

Sharp HealthCare’s partnership with 2-1-1 San Diego is more than a contract on paper. It’s more than a simple connection between two organizations aiming to provide first-class resources to people in San Diego County. Simply stated, it’s a mission to support the most vulnerable people in our community.

“The 2-1-1 and Sharp partnership is in exact alignment with our mission to improve the health of the community with a commitment to excellence in all that we do,” says Bill Littlejohn, senior vice president and CEO of the Foundations of Sharp HealthCare. “Philanthropy is making greater access to health care services across San Diego possible.”

Recently, Sharp renewed its Community Information Exchange (CIE) partnership with 2-1-1 San Diego, a nonprofit that provides social service access to the San Diego region, through June 2024. This launches another year of collaboration between the largest medical provider in San Diego with one of the region's leaders in community, health and disaster services.

Improving care — for social, physical and emotional needs

The Sharp-CIE partnership allows many of the most vulnerable community members the ability to connect with an all-encompassing resource to support care coordination. With over 130 partners in the community, the CIE provides patients who have consented into the program access to the resources to help maintain their care.

In turn, the CIE can maintain contact with health care providers and keep them informed on the patient’s development. This gives community members one shared record of social and health care services.

“The patients and any community member, whether they’ve been in a Sharp facility or not, rely on us as health care and social service providers to work together to care for them, not the other way around,” says Erica Salcuni, Sharp’s manager of Community Benefit and Health Improvement.

The resources provided focus on some of the most at-risk people in the community, including people that are unhoused, unemployed and in single-parent households. For example, a Sharp patient who also struggles with food insecurity could be referred to, and enrolled in, a food benefit program that would deliver food to their house.

“Whether it’s a medical condition or something we can’t treat in a patient provider system, this is a continuation of The Sharp Experience,” says Zack Lenert, Sharp vice president of Integrated Care Management. “For us to expand the opportunities and develop a user-friendly operation — that will be a game-changer. It ensures we have the tools and resources to reach every patient that walks through our doors.”

A history of excellence in coordinated care

The relationship between Sharp and 2-1-1, funded through the Sharp HealthCare Foundation, began in 2019 and continues to grow. From building more partnerships in the community to further integrating the care coordination information into the workflow of Sharp HealthCare team members, taking people out of crisis situations and putting them in more stable places remains a priority.

“Everything comes back down to your health status, and whether you’re in good health mentally, physically and emotionally,” Salcuni says. “For me, philanthropy is about taking institutional power and giving it to the population so others can thrive.”

Click here to learn more about Sharp’s involvement in the region with the Community Benefit Plan and Report; get the latest health and wellness news, trends and patient stories from Sharp Health News; and subscribe to our weekly newsletter by clicking the "Sign up" link below.

Erica Salcuni of Sharp HealthCare

Erica Salcuni


Erica Salcuni is the manager of Community Benefit and Health Improvement at Sharp HealthCare.

Zack Lenert of Sharp HealthCare

Zack Lenert


Zack Lenert is the vice president of Integrated Care Management at Sharp HealthCare.

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