Salem Health leads effort to integrate social services in Marion County

Nearly 60 people representing approximately 45 community service providers attended the first meeting for the North Salem service integration team at Center 50+ in Salem last week.

Salem Health has joined forces with Marion County to launch several SITs throughout the county. In the initial pilot phase, Salem Health will launch three SITs in the county by the end of September, each focused on a different high school catchment area: North Marion, North Salem and Woodburn. Salem Health is also funding for unmet needs identified through SITs.

Modeled on a successful program coordinated by Polk County Family and Community Outreach, the three SITs in Marion County recognize that when people’s basic needs are not met, it is more difficult for them to access care and keep themselves and their families healthy. There will be an additional SIT coordinated by Santiam Hospital for Sublimity and Stayton.

“I’m overwhelmed by the response to this kickoff meeting,” said Sharon Heuer, Director of Community Benefit at Salem Health. “I am delighted that so many community service providers gathered to partner and coordinate services for this community.”

SITs are full-fledged collaborations designed to bring together service providers in order to better serve their local community’s needs. The SITs gather monthly to share information and resources in order to make connections and avoid duplication of programming. Any service provider, agency, or organization that serves individuals and families in the catchment area is invited to attend the open meetings. Participants can be representatives from government, community groups, healthcare, education, law enforcement, non-profit organizations, business, and/or the faith community.

“Service integration helps to foster healthy, resilient families and individuals and fill gaps in service,” said Skye Hibbard-Swanson, MPH, MA, Salem Health SIT coordinator and health educator. “We know from watching the 20+ years of success in Polk County that the SIT model of coordination creates a multiplier effect of three to four times the value of services rendered by leveraging existing resources.”

Salem Health, along with Performance Health Technology, has granted funding for the SITs in North Marion, North Salem and Woodburn to meet needs that cannot be addressed through resource sharing and leveraged support. Funds can be used to cover urgent needs (emergency housing, food, clothing, or utilities), health needs (prescriptions or transportation to appointments) and education or enrichment opportunities that would otherwise be out of reach and the use of the funds will be a collective decision by each SIT. Current plans also include procuring additional funding from other partners to further enable the SITs to assist even more individuals and families.

For more information about these SITs, contact Skye Hibbard-Swanson at or visit the Service Integration Teams of Marion County website at

Salem Health offers exceptional care to people in and around Oregon’s Mid-Willamette Valley. It comprises hospitals in Salem and Dallas, a medical group of primary and specialty care providers, plus other affiliated services. Visit us at; “Like” us on; follow us on Twitter: @salemhealth; and view us at