Engaging Community Organizations in Redesigning Reentry

In this webinar, colleagues from the Health and Reentry Project (HARP) provide an overview of groundbreaking new policies creating the first opportunity to build systems of care for people leaving incarceration, their potential to improve health and wellbeing, and how community based organizations can translate these policies into improvements in peoples’ lives.

Engaging Community Organizations in Redesigning Reentry

from Rx Foundation’s Power is a Social Determinant of Health series

Session description: In the US, some 440,000 people leave prison and about seven million cycle through jails each year. Despite the efforts of reentry support programs, many return to their communities without the resources to address their health, behavioral health, and social needs. This negatively affects millions of people, their families, and the communities in which they live. Groundbreaking new policies are creating the first opportunity to build systems of care for people leaving incarceration. Join The Health and Reentry Project for an overview of these new policies, their potential to improve health and wellbeing, and to discuss how community based organizations can translate these policies into improvements in peoples’ lives.

Watch the Recording

Additional Resources

HARP has several more comprehensive resources on the topic of health and reentry. Visit their website to learn more: https://healthandreentryproject.org/

Session Highlights

HARP bridges gaps between the health and criminal justice systems to build safer and healthier communities
A high percentage of the incarcerated population have complex health needs: high rates of chronic health conditions, infectious diseases, and behavioral health conditions; typically not well managed when incarcerated
People are 12x more likely to die than the general population in the two week period following release from incarceration; overdose death rates are 40-129x greater
Medicaid has not historically covered services provided during incarceration due to “inmate exclusion policy”. It’s being re-examined at both federal and sate levels
Medicaid policy changes: (1) youth-focused, taking effect January 2025, (2) state-specific 1115 Waivers, and (3) proposed federal laws (i.e. Reentry Act)
Community-based organizations are uniquely positioned given their trust and competency with reentry populations to play a large role in implementation of new policy changes. Two examples: Transitions Clinic Network and Ladies of Hope Ministries
1115 waivers are an opportunity for innovation = while states must cover a minimum of case management, medication assisted treatment, and 30-day prescriptions, then can also include things like dental care, community health worker reimbursements, and more; open to all states, including those who have not yet expanded Medicaid
Community health centers can be involved with referrals, pre- and post-case management, integration of CHWs, coordination of MAT, and providing care inside correctional institutions


Erica Andrade, President/CEO of El Centro

Vikki Wachino (she/her)

Vikki Wachino founded the Health and Reentry Project and is its Executive Director. She has dedicated her career to leading and inspiring organizations that advance policy change to improve the lives of people in need. Prior to founding HARP, Vikki served as Deputy Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. There, she oversaw the implementation of major Affordable Care Act coverage expansions and groundbreaking new policies related to mental health, managed care, delivery system reform and substance use disorder. Her early career included stints at the White House Office of Management and Budget and the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. She holds a MPP from Harvard University and BA from Mount Holyoke College.

Erica Andrade, President/CEO of El Centro

Margot Cronin-Furman (she/her)

Margot Cronin-Furman is HARP’s Chief of Staff. She comes to the HARP team from the Mental Health Strategic Impact Initiative (S2i), an initiative that focused on accelerating cross-sector change-making to transform the nation’s response to mental health challenges. Prior to working in the nonprofit sector, she spent a decade as a clinical social worker in health care settings with pediatric and adult patients in Boston and NYC. Margot’s areas of focus include advocating for people with complex health and psychosocial needs, advancing health policy and practice that is informed by lived expertise, and ensuring that social drivers of health are addressed so that everyone can flourish. Margot received her MPA from NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, MSW from Boston University, and BA from Emerson College.

Erica Andrade, President/CEO of El Centro

Silicia Lomax (she/her)

Silicia Lomax is a Senior Associate of health policy at Waxman Strategies, where she works with organizations on health equity–based policies. She is also the Executive Director of United Against Inequities in Disease, a nonprofit organization that develops sustainable community projects with university chapters and students from around the nation to reduce health disparities. Silicia is a board member of the Global Alliance for Behavioral Health and Social Justice and the Human Rights Forum of the American Public Health Association. In her roles, she works on projects to increase access to mental health services, improve reproductive health in the U.S., and on policies to make healthcare more affordable. In her other advocacy work, she has educated communities and local policymakers on harm-reduction strategies for people with substance use disorders and the elimination of solitary confinement in correctional settings. Silicia received her BA and MPH from the University of Pennsylvania.

Erica Andrade, President/CEO of El Centro

John Sawyer (he/him)

John Sawyer is a Senior Advisor at Waxman Strategies. He brings more than twenty years of policy experience at both the federal and local level, having served in a variety of government positions and as a leader in the nonprofit sector. Most recently, John spent nearly ten years as Director of Federal Affairs at the National Association of Community Health Centers. John also led the policy efforts of the Allegheny County Department of Human Services through ongoing service integration initiatives and the block-granting of state funding. John served on the legislative staff of two members of Congress – then-Representative (now-Senator) Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro (D-CT). John holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Michigan and a certification in Professional Coaching. 

Green Arrows

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