for Prevention

One Degree: A New Interactive Website to Link Patients to Local Community-Based Resources

Janina Lord Morrison, MD, MPH

July-August 2018

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  One Degree logo


Health care providers in Los Angeles County now have access to One Degree, a website and app-based tool, to search and refer to more than 6,500 community-based resources for health and wellness. One Degree has many easy-to-use features to help providers address their patients’ needs such as exercise classes, health education classes, food banks, and much more. This article will highlight the key features of One Degree and, using a hypothetical case, illustrate how providers can use One Degree to improve their patients’ health. Click today or download the phone app to explore!

Case Scenario

A 55 year-old woman with hypertension and chronic renal insufficiency presents to your clinic to follow-up a recent Emergency Department visit for hyperkalemia. While discussing her medications and diet, she mentions that she has recently taken in two grandchildren to live with her and now finds herself running out of money at the end of the month to buy healthy foods.

What can you do next?

One of the greatest challenges faced by primary care providers is identifying obstacles to health that cannot be easily overcome in the clinic setting. Primary care teams are encouraged to consider and screen for the social determinants of health, but it is not often easy to access resources to help our patients once needs are identified. Fortunately, LA County has invested in One Degree to assist health care providers link their patients to community-based resources to promote health and wellness.


Overview of One Degree

One Degree is an interactive, searchable “Yelp”-like database of resources in LA County. It is available on-line and can be downloaded as an app on a smart phone. Anyone interacting with patients (and even the patients themselves) can search the One Degree database for community resources. One Degree staff, service providers, and community members can add or edit the resources, which are reviewed to ensure that they meet the One Degree content criteria and data standards before being published to the site.

The website and app were developed by a nonprofit, technology-driven organization, also named One Degree, that helps low-income families in LA County and the San Francisco Bay area access the resources they need to achieve social and economic mobility and ultimately, improve their lives.


Key Features of One Degree

  • Search by location, opening hours, communities served, and languages spoken.
  • Share resources with your patients by text, email, or paper print-out.
  • Use assessment questionnaires to screen for diabetes, depression, food insecurity, and housing and get automated recommendations.
  • Create, share, and track patient care plans.
  • Create online collections of favorite resources to share with your team.
  • Review, add, or edit resources.
  • Recommend your patients use One Degree to find resources themselves, such as job trainings and food banks, and to submit applications for affordable housing and other programs.


Using One Degree in the Case Scenario

Let’s walk through how we might use One Degree using our patient example from above.

Our patient seems to have food insecurity and it’s likely affecting her health. We can refer her to a variety of resources including CalFresh, free meals (for adults and children), and food banks. If we wanted to find her a food bank, here’s what steps to take:

1. Go to and select Los Angeles as your location.


One Degree - home page


2. We can click on “Food” or free text into the search window. One Degree automatically offers up specific food-insecurity-related categories to guide our search.


One Degree - search for food example


3. If we click on food pantries, One Degree will take us to a list of resources and a map.


One Degree - search for food pantry example


4. We can click on any resource or use the map to get specific information on how our patient can access a local resource.


One Degree food pantry agency example


5. We can then log in and print the information for the patient or click on “share” to text or email the information to the patient or a family member.


One Degree sharing resources with patients


6. The patient gets a print-out, an email, or a text with the information.


One Degree - resource example shown on phone


Currently, One Degree has listings for over 6,500 resources in Los Angeles County and the number is rising every day. Check out the website ( and share with your primary care team today!


The Story of One Degree

Rey Faustino, One Degree’s founder and CEO, was inspired to start the organization through his experience growing up in a working-class Filipino immigrant family in Los Angeles. While his parents worked multiple jobs to make ends meet, like many new immigrants, his family still faced the challenges of meeting their basic needs, such as health care, educational programs, and immigration services. Knowing where to go for help was simply too hard.

After moving to the Bay Area to work at a nonprofit organization serving low-income high school students, Rey saw that very little had changed in the social service sector in 20 years. While technological advancements and companies like Facebook, Google, and Yelp were thriving, nonprofit and social services continued to use three-ring paper binders, and technology was not being used to benefit vulnerable communities. Rey founded One Degree to ensure everyone has access to the critical, life-saving resources he and his family needed.


For More Information

Visit the One Degree YouTube channel for background and instructional videos, such as how to search and filter resources. 


Patient Resources

  Flyer - One Degree websitefor community resources


Order free materials (e.g., posters, flyers, and stickers) to promote One Degree to your patients and staff.


  Flyer - One Degree websitefor community resources

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Author Information:

Janina Lord Morrison, MD, MPH
Clinical and Preventive Services
Division of Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention
Department of Public Health

Medical Director
The Wellness Center at the Historic General Hospital
Department of Health Services

County of Los Angeles

Rx for Prevention, 2018

Published: July 12, 2018