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The Challenge

  • Increase the availability of social services by capitalizing on grants and public funding
  • Create a platform to handle existing data integration and data sharing needs
  • Prepare operations to manage an ever-increasing number of external systems, data points, and reporting requirements
  • Enable clear visualization of client needs, seamlessly blending data related to healthcare, housing, job training, education and more

The Solution

  • Neuron ESB, an intuitive and flexible integration platform optimized for .NET development
  • Flexible hub, optimized for current data needs and anticipated growth
  • Right-sized, intuitive .NET platform to support existing development skills and resources
  • Facilitate smart movement of data between layers of internal and external systems

The Benefits

  • Enable a holistic view of Fortune Society clientele, better validating progress and success
  • Streamline connectivity with state and agency systems, each with unique data demands
  • Improve reimbursements to increase support for behavioral and physical health programs
  • Meet reporting requirements to ensure continued grant provisions and public funding
  • Make stronger client-program connections based on better access to timely assessments
  • Focus advocacy efforts based on a well-rounded, data-centric view of clients
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Company Profile

Based In: Long Island City, New York
Industry: Other
Type: Non-Profit
Employees: 200-500
Founded: 1967

“Neuron ESB is a smart, intuitive and flexible tool, playing an important role in helping us grow and improve services. Beyond simplifying data collection and reporting from an operational perspective, it’s helped us create an integrated platform to make a bigger difference in people’s lives and futures.”

— Marc Piparo, Chief Technology Officer, The Fortune Society

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The Fortune Society
Integrating data to better champion services for individuals and families whose lives are impacted by the criminal justice system.

For almost fifty years, The Fortune Society has been developing model programs that help former prisoners successfully re-enter their communities. The Fortune Society offers a holistic and integrated “one-stop-shopping” model of service provision. Among the services offered are discharge planning and reentry services, licensed outpatient substance abuse and mental health treatment, alternatives to incarceration, HIV/AIDS services, career development and job retention, hard skills training, education, family services, drop-in services and a continuum of supportive housing as well as ongoing access to aftercare. With a $28 million dollar budget, Fortune provides socially and culturally relevant services to more than 6,000 individuals and their families.

Building on its earliest days as a grassroots movement, The Fortune Society has become a recognized force for social justice. “Our services are incredibly varied, but all designed to improve futures for individuals released from prison and lessen the difficulties of re-entering society. We’re helping our clients rebuild their lives – securing transitional and permanent housing, receiving access to drug treatment and healthcare, and benefiting from family services and essential job training,” said Jill Poklemba, associate vice president of development and communications, The Fortune Society.

The Fortune Society needed a platform to handle existing data integration and data sharing needs. It sought to future-proof its operations to manage an ever-increasing number of external systems, data points, and reporting requirements. It also wanted to visualize the data around its clients’ needs, blending together healthcare, housing, job training, and education data.

“Our clients are the best representation of what we can achieve as an entity. We must ensure a holistic, well-rounded view of data related to their needs – helping us not only meet the growing data reporting requirements for the grants and funding contracts that fuel our services, but also tailor and grow services that ensure continued progress and focused advocacy,” added Poklemba. For example, electronic health records (EHR) are a major point of integration for The Fortune Society; ideally, this behavioral and physical health data must be shared effectively with the state of New York’s Health Information Exchange (HIE), a regional health record hub, both to optimize reimbursements and have real-world impact on Medicaid redesign.

The Fortune Society needed to create a platform to streamline and move data effectively between internal and external systems. After researching options such as BizTalk, The Fortune Society’s team decided to develop an enterprise service bus architecture around Peregrine Connect’s Neuron ESB, finding immediate value in its well-defined .NET features and capabilities. “Peregrine’s Neuron ESB is a good match for us, especially contrasted with other solutions that were more costly, offered a much less flexible ‘message broker’ approach, or required resources outside the .NET development environment,” said Marc Piparo, Chief Technology Officer, The Fortune Society. “Flexibility is essential, as we don’t necessarily know what may be required from future integrations, yet our experience shows that data requirements will continue to increase exponentially. Neuron ESB keeps our options unlimited in a really smart way, creating a generic hub that can handle a growing number of data points and help us communicate faster and more effectively with an infinite slate of independent state and agency systems.”

Peregrine Connect’s Neuron ESB will also help centralize client data, creating a data warehouse with selected business intelligence tools, analytics, and dashboards. “We are now able to move toward data aggregation, with all client and system data available in a single report. It’s an executive-level shift in how we operate, allowing IT to provide instant snapshots of everything that’s happening – programs, services, results, and client assessments,” said Piparo. “This is a critical advantage, freeing our development teams from costly and labor-intensive data reporting that required SQL code for even simple database or report changes. This ability is particularly important in driving our long-term growth and expanding services, as we work with so many disparate external systems that were never originally built with integration in mind.”

“Our team continually integrates with new external systems based on specific business rules and unique data requirements. With Neuron ESB, we can now recognize this as a manageable, repeatable process that allows us to transform data quickly and easily. Essentially, the system is poised to grow with us,” said Piparo. “And while it’s true that data integration simplifies and improves our operational performance, for our clients it simplifies scheduling and overall program access. Better, faster data provides a critical foundation, and really aligns with our goal of helping as many people as possible.”

“Our advocacy is informed by the services we offer and specific data points related to results. For instance, data excellence in healthcare programs lets us capitalize on funding for licensed services, anticipate care needs and costs, and create a positive impact on how physical and behavioral health services are designed and developed. Accurate, timely data makes all the difference in our ability to help more people, and play an important role in regional and national advocacy conversations,” said Poklemba.

Client assessments are an essential component in this cycle of data, typically completed through external program websites and critical to validating programs and services to grant providers and public funding entities. The Fortune Society now has an integration platform optimized to capture and use assessment data to its clients’ fullest advantage. “We’re driven by the needs of our clients. Shared data allows us to consistently reflect on what services have been provided, evaluate resulting benefits, and tailor and update treatment plans and ideal services.”


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