Event Details

Woman leaning her head against a window with a sad look on her face.

Listening to Connect: Patient-Centered Social Needs Screening using Empathic Inquiry (CIN Webinar)

September 3, 2020

Time: 12:00-1:00pm
Register here. 

Are you looking for ways to go from data collection to patient engagement in your social needs screening efforts? Are your staff concerned about asking sensitive questions in a trauma-informed and strengths-based style? Oregon Primary Care Association developed Empathic Inquiry  to guide professionals in developing a conversational approach to social needs screening that promotes partnership, affirmation, and patient engagement. Empathic Inquiry contributes to a primary care environment that prioritizes whole-person health, focuses on connection over data collection, and helps busy health care professionals build patient-centered systems for delicate conversations.

Join Ariel Singer, Community Health Center Transformation Director, and Stephanie Castaño, Transformation Manager, from the Oregon Primary Care Association as they share how the Empathic Inquiry approach was developed, lessons they have learned along the way, and advice for organizations who are interested in implementing social needs screening with patients at the center. You will also hear from Toffer Lehnherr, Health Equity Coordinator at Partnership Health Center in Montana, on the impact this approach has had in their social needs screening efforts.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn how Empathic Inquiry was developed through synthesis of input from patients, evidence-based practice, and recommendations from clinical, operational and front-line leaders.
  • Gain insights into how to put patient-centered social needs screening into practice through both systems design and workforce training.
  • Learn how one organization has adapted this approach into their workflows and the implications in a time of increased telehealth.


Presenter: Ariel Singer, MPH

Ariel Singer is the Community Health Center Transformation Director at the Oregon Primary Care Association, where she leads the development and delivery of programs to support population health improvement and care model transformation. Ariel holds an MPH in Health Promotion, certificates in Lean quality improvement and Human-Centered Design methodologies, and is a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers. She is passionate about creating a more relationship-driven health care system.


Presenter: Stephanie Castaño

Stephanie started working at Oregon Primary Care Association in 2013 supporting various initiatives that focused on health access, health equity and practice transformation. Stephanie is responsible for the daily program management of initiatives that support federally qualified health centers in key areas of advanced care such as team-based care, social needs screening, community health worker deployment, behavioral health integration, human-centered design, and patient-centered communication.

CIN is a learning and action network that aims to advance the quadruple aim by identifying and spreading better ideas for care delivery. CIN is fueled by the energy and innovations of its partner and member organizations. CIN has identified resilient leadership as a top priority for learning in action for the 2020–21 CIN cycle. For additional CIN priorities, please visit https://www.chcf.org/program/california-improvement-network/about-cin/.

CIN is a project of the California Health Care Foundation and managed by Healthforce Center at UCSF, an organization dedicated to helping health care organizations drive and navigate change.