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  • Northern New York Rural Health Care Alliance, Inc. You’re Never Too Small to Save a Life: Quality of Care in Critical Access Hospitals Priority Area: Special Projects Fund Priority Area: Expanding Health Care Coverage $69,593

    New York State has 13 Critical Access Hospitals that serve as lifelines to the communities where they are located. Critical Access Hospitals tend to have tight operating budgets, small staff volumes, and unpredictable revenue, all circumstances under which quality improvement courses, techniques, and campaigns are generally not feasible. Moreover, communication between these 13 Critical Access Hospitals is limited, with no opportunities for them to learn from each other or consult on shared concerns.

  • New York Legal Assistance Group, Inc. LegalHealth Technical Assistance Project Priority Area: Special Projects Fund $115,016

    New Yorkers with limited resources, particularly low-income individuals and immigrants, need assistance when facing the diagnosis and treatment of a serious and/or chronic illness. These individuals face potentially life-threatening barriers, such as being denied access to public or private health insurance and therefore being denied access to treatment, surgical procedures, and medications. These underserved populations also face obstacles in the workplace that are related to a diagnosis, including denial of income, health benefits, and provisions under the Federal Family Medical Leave Act, as well as at home, such as maintaining affordable housing and threats of eviction. New York Legal Assistance Group’s (NYLAG’s) LegalHealth division leads the LegalHealth Technical Assistance Project, which seeks to strengthen existing medical-legal partnerships (MLPs) and help create new ones to better serve the needs of low-income patients with serious and/or chronic illnesses who are struggling with legal issues that could affect their health, treatment, and/or access to medical care.

    Grant Update

    View the agenda for the June 5th, 2009 multidisciplinary conference discussing strategies for implementing medical-legal partnerships sponsored by NYSHealth, the New York State Coalition of Medical-Legal Partnerships, and the Health Law Section of the New York State Bar Association.

  • The New York Immigration Coalition Strengthening the Capacity of Immigrant Organizations to Link Uninsured Immigrants to Health Care and Insurance Priority Area: Special Projects Fund $150,230

    For low-income immigrants, New York’s health care system is nearly impossible to navigate without assistance. Newcomers inevitably turn to ethnic social service organizations in the community to get answers to their many questions about how things work in America, to understand their rights, and to negotiate bureaucracies and learn about avoidable risks. Yet immigrant communities in New York lack indigenous organizations with expertise on the health care system. Moreover, very few organizations have the capacity to accurately educate individuals on basic issues such as their rights to non-emergency care, how to access services, and the potential consequences of government health insurance or medical debt for an immigrant and his or her family members and sponsor. In response to these challenges, the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) used funding from NYSHealth to build the capacity of immigrant community organizations to address the health care needs of their constituents.

    Read about the New York Academy of Medicine's evaluation of this project.

  • Frances Schervier Home and Hospital d/b/a Schervier Nursing Care Center Recognition and Treatment of Pain in Cognitively Impaired Older Adults: A Video Library Priority Area: Special Projects Fund $20,046

    Complications and consequences of untreated pain, including falls and depression, are widespread among nursing home residents. Residents who are cognitively impaired and unable to communicate their discomfort suffer most; however, nursing home staff often lack education and training in this area. To target this issue, Frances Schervier Home and Hospital devised a project to provide pain management education for long-term care staff to improve the quality of care and life for this vulnerable population.

  • Foundation for Long Term Care Research to Practice: Long Term Care Charge Nurse Peer Mentoring Priority Area: Special Projects Fund $160,182

    There are a variety of issues facing long-term care nursing facilities. First, there is a severe shortage of long-term care registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs) in New York State. According to a 2006 report by LeadingAge New York, about 65% of New York nursing homes reported having unfilled RN and LPN positions. In addition, nursing programs rarely train students in management. Yet when RNs or LPNs start working in long-term care settings, they are thrust into management and leadership positions as charge nurses, leading to difficulties in these roles and a resulting high turnover rate. In September 2007, the New York State Health Foundation (NYSHealth) awarded the Foundation for Long Term Care (FLTC) a grant to expand across New York State the Pathways to Leadership program, a leadership, management, and communications training program aimed at reducing turnover of charge nurses.

  • American Cancer Society Expanded Access to Colorectal Cancer Screening Among Rural Populations in Upstate New York Priority Area: Special Projects Fund $23,630

    Residents of rural regions exhibit higher colorectal cancer mortality rates and are less likely to receive routine colorectal cancer screening than urban residents. Three New York State counties—Cortland, Delaware, and Steuben— were selected for a targeted mail intervention approach because of their rurality, colorectal cancer mortality, and high percentages of late-stage diagnosis. The American Cancer Society developed this intervention to increase enrollment of uninsured and underinsured rural residents, ages 50 to 64 and in need of colorectal cancer screening, into the New York State Cancer Services Program. In addition, they hoped for program-eligible rural residents to begin or to increase their use of home-based colorectal cancer screening tests when made aware of the program.

  • Adirondack Medical Center Northern Adirondack Health Exchange Priority Area: Special Projects Fund $138,700

    To improve health care on an individual and community level, Health Information Technology (HIT) systems were fine-tuned for the northern Adirondack Region. Specifically, a health exchange was established for Trudeau Health Systems and Adirondack Medical Center, with support from NYSHealth. This communitywide electronic medical record (EMR) integration enabled these providers to create a comprehensive health record for patients across all of their organizations in this rural region—shared records where multiple service area providers could access pre-selected, pertinent patient health information, add information, and use the EMR to treat patients. Thus, the Health Exchange has allowed area health care providers to view and update shared patients’ medical records, allowing for more efficient patient care.

  • Institute for Family Health Access to Primary Care for the Underserved in the Mid-Hudson Valley Priority Area: Special Projects Fund Priority Area: Advancing Primary Care $1,056,453

    Until 2007, the Mid-Hudson Family Health Institute owned and operated six family practice centers in Ulster and Dutchess Counties. These centers were the major source of primary and preventive care in New Paltz, Kingston, Ellenville, and Hyde Park. By 2007, the Mid-Hudson network was experiencing mounting financial losses and was on the brink of insolvency. The collapse of the network would create a huge void in area residents’ access to health care. Consequently, Mid-Hudson asked the Institute for Family Health (d/b/a Institute for Urban Family Health at the time) to step in and assume its operations. By January 2007, the Institute had obtained approval from the Federal Bureau of Primary Care and the New York State Department of Health to acquire the Mid-Hudson sites and include them in their Federal scope of service, transforming the centers into FQHCs and operating them on the Institute’s Article 28 license.

  • Ibero-American Action League, Inc. Promotores de Salud Priority Area: Special Projects Fund $150,000

    There are significant differences in the causes of mortality and in access to health care between Latinos and the broader population of Rochester, New York that reflect inadequate access to health care services, as well as a failure to use existing community services. Latino patients being treated and released at hospital emergency departments for illnesses or complaints that could otherwise be treated in an outpatient setting is an indicator of the lack of a “medical home,” or a usual source of care. Patients who lack a medical home do not have easy access to timely, well organized health care. The Ibero-American Action League, Inc. created a Promotores de Salud (“Health Promoters”) program that encourages better use and understanding of the health care system among Latinos in the greater Rochester area. It reaches out to individuals in need of health care services and connects them to a “medical home” and to insurance resources. It also provides educational workshops and transportation, interpretation/translation, and patient navigation services for area Latinos with targeted health conditions (allergy, asthma, diabetes, heart disease, lead poisoning, mental health, obesity).

  • The Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government Reforming the Small-Group Insurance Market, Phase 2 Priority Area: Expanding Health Care Coverage $195,261

    In the second of two grants from the New York State Health Foundation’s Coverage Consortium initiative, the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government implemented Phase 2 of a project that focused on reform options for New York’s small-group insurance market . This project built on the knowledge base developed in the first grant phase, with specific analyses focused on insurance product standardization, advantages and disadvantages of high-risk pools, and sustainable methods for financing coverage expansions.

    This project was part of a larger NYSHealth Coverage Consortium that funded 10 grants to seven universities, policy institutes, and community agencies across the State, supporting projects that could inform State health reform efforts, offer ways to streamline enrollment in public programs, significantly reduce costs and improve quality, and test ideas for expanding coverage among small employers, sole proprietors, and self-employed people.

    Read an NYSHealth special report that contains a summary of findings from this consortium.

    Read about the first of two grants to the Rockefeller Institute from the NYSHealth Coverage Consortium initiative.

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