Strengthening Social Connectedness Using Public Policy: Webinar Recording
Numerous studies demonstrate the link between social connectedness and our health and well-being. Strong, supportive relationships with people in our community help us access resources, manage our stress, and live happier and more fulfilling life. Despite this understanding, few government policies and programs specifically work on issues of connectedness, like addressing social isolation, loneliness, and domestic abuse.
In this VNL webinar we gathered panelists to discuss the state of the field and current innovations in social connectedness public policy. We learned about new social prescribing programs in the United Kingdom, as well as policy advocacy work here in the United States. Watch the on-demand recording below to hear our discussion in full. Scroll down further to learn about our panelists, or sign up for our Social Care newsletter on the right to see future events and news.
Meet our webinar panelists
Dr. Danielle Varda
CEO & Founder, Visible Network Labs
Dr. Danielle Varda is a network scientist, startup founder, technologist and mother of three spirited girls. After getting her start at the RAND Corporation she started the Center on Network Science at CU Denver before founding Visible Network Labs in 2017. She is a regular speaker, trainer, and panelist on the topic of social connectedness, network leadership, and science in Colorado and across the United States.
Prof. Gina Yannitell Reinhardt, PhD
Director of Evaluation, Dissemination, & Integration, Connected Communities Project (ConCom)
Professor Gina Yannitell Reinhardt, PhD, works in the Department of Government at the University of Essex. She is the Director of Evaluation, Dissemination, and Integration for the Interreg-funded Connected Communities Project (ConCom). ConCom is an innovative social prescribing project implemented in England, UK, and Normandy, France. Gina is an expert in evaluating the impact of public programs and policies on difficult-to-measure outcomes, such as health, wellbeing, connectedness, loneliness, and social isolation, as well as the effect of these outcomes on political trust, community engagement, and social and economic inequalities. She consults with local, regional, national, and international authorities in the UK and abroad.
Dr. Dragana Vidovic
Evaluator, Connected Communities Project (CONCOM)
Dr. Dragana Vidovic works at the University of Essex on evaluating the impact of Interreg-funded social prescribing project, Connected Communities, implemented in England, UK, and Normandy, France. Dr. Vidovic studies social connectedness and loneliness and the impact of these issues on individual and community wellbeing, civic and political engagement and conflict. She has a background in psychology, political science and theatre. Prior to completing her PhD studies in politics at the University of Essex, she studied and worked in the field of social neuroscience at the Minnesota Center for Twin and Family Research (USA). She is passionate about applying academic research to inform and improve decision-making in the field and at the policy level.
Policy Lead, Coalition to End Social Isolation & Loneliness
Daneen has more than 10 years of experience in health care regulatory and policy topics, including provider reimbursement, payment and delivery system reform and the Affordable Care Act. She also has international health care experience related to developing HIV/AIDS provider networks. She provides leadership to the Coalition's policy advocacy efforts. Daneen, a native Marylander, graduated from the University of Miami with a Bachelor of Health Science degree. She also has a Master’s in Health Services Administration degree, with a concentration in health policy, from the George Washington University.