By Darin Buxbaum, CEO, Wider Circle

The past year at Wider Circle has been a thrilling tapestry of growth, connection, and impact. We’ve woven together a vibrant community of 50,000 members – a 200% increase from last year. Our threads now stretch across 12 states, where we’ve forged half a million connections over 11,800 in-person events, each a vibrant knot strengthening our members’ well-being and reinforcing the social fabric of our country.

But while we celebrate these achievements, we must also acknowledge the darker threads that remain woven into the healthcare landscape. This past year exposed some glaring flaws in our system, most notably when millions lost their Medicaid coverage due to failings in the redetermination process. According to STAT’s November 2023 report, over 10 million people were disenrolled from Medicaid in the past six months alone.

As healthcare organizations, we bear a moral obligation to advocate for the vulnerable populations we serve. The coming year demands a commitment from all of us to speak up and take action. Bureaucratic failures should not be the reason individuals lose access to essential healthcare services. We must be the voice for those who risk slipping through the cracks.

Rebuilding Healthcare with Trust at the Core

For too long, the healthcare experience has been transactional, focusing on checklists, chase lists and demands rather than fostering genuine connections. Patients are seen through the lens of their immediate health needs, with little consideration for the individual’s broader life context. This approach, while efficient, is often ineffective and overlooks the fundamental human need for trust and community. It’s time to reshape healthcare with trust at its core, emphasizing transparency that not only fosters trust but also empowers patients to make informed decisions about their well-being. Our journey towards a more just healthcare future begins with active community engagement, where the voices of individuals and families are not just heard but integral to decisions affecting their lives.

Let’s dispel the illusion that a single app or tech solution can be a magic fix for our healthcare system. Healthcare is fundamentally human, and as such, demands a focus on facilitating genuine human connections. As we head deeper into 2024, our priority must be fostering these connections to bring about real change in addressing the social determinants of health.

Wider Circle: Scaling Impact, Doubling Membership      

In the year ahead Wider Circle will continue to stand up for marginalized communities, including those affected by the Medicaid redetermination debacle. We’re committed to being part of the solution, ensuring that individuals in need have consistent access to the care they deserve.

We have also set a goal of doubling our membership, expanding our reach to impact even more lives positively. We understand the power of community, and by doubling our membership, we aim to create a deeper, more expansive support network. But it’s not just about our growth; it’s about weaving a stronger, healthier social fabric by connecting people and fostering meaningful relationships that contribute to improved overall health and well-being for all.

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