Carolyn is leading a Sonoma County team that is using data and AI to bring together information from multiple levels of governmental agencies, hospitals and clinics to improve collaboration and ensure an effective, efficient safety net for its high-need citizens. Recent fire-related emergencies put this new system to its first test.

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What was the challenge you sought to address with AI?
We knew intuitively that our most vulnerable population was probably being served by multiple departments at the county, but we had no way to prove it nor any mechanism to analyze their needs across multiple programs. 

What benefits are you realizing?
Because Watson Care Manager provides a 360-degree view of a client, it allows, for the first time, our front-line staff across the Safety Net departments to collaborate for the most effective care of their clients.  With Connect 360, we have mastered client records across health and social services, behavioral health, housing and justice systems providing vital and timely information in one location for case managers to access. Watson Care Manager is fabulous not only because it provides a central point for client information, but also because it is agile, mobile and cloud based, enabling us to meet our clients where they are.

What do you wish you knew when you first started with your work with AI that you know now?
When I first started this work with AI, my frame of reference was big data analysis, machine learning, etc. I really did not think about how useful AI could be in simple, even common situations such as helping a client make it to their doctor appointment, local clinic or housing assistance. 

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Don’t be afraid to fail… and don’t be afraid to let others fail. It’s often the best source of learning and provides the very means of moving forward.

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