The Lessons of Coordinating Care from 9/11


Reflecting on the anniversary of 9/11 this year, we honor those working in the Towers, the first responders and all of their families and friends—and all Americans who woke up to a changed nation.

The team at Visionlink has a direct connection to this attack, for in its aftermath we began our work around the concept of coordinated care. We were asked by the United Way and the Community Foundation of the National Capitol Region, and several other local organizations to launch a multi-agency case management solution to address the needs of over 6,000 individuals affected by the lost lives of the 59 souls on the aircraft and the 125 who died in the Pentagon. 

We learned that working in silos didn't work. We learned that organizations providing services in a coordinated manner brought better results. And we learned that technology would have to change to keep up with this new approach. 

Over the years our solutions evolved; we launched the technology for the nation's first coordinated assistance network for relief services, then launched new tools for multi-agency, multi-program, multi-location coordination.

And along the way we built on a core, apparent truth—that it's our differences that matter.  In the case management world, that means each partner organization does not do the same thing. They do different things—and it's through the coordination of those differences that partnerships are sustained because of the important differences between agencies that are allowed to build on one another to better serve their clients. 

We played a small part after 9/11, and we'll never be able to sufficiently honor the lost that day, but we do what we can to bring together the talents and resources of amazing organizations building the tapestry of services and advocacy that weave the fabric of successful communities.

In their honor.