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  • Linking New York State Veterans and Their Families to Supportive Services By: NYSHealth Priority Areas: Veterans' Health Date: February 2017 Type: Grant Outcome Reports, Grantee Name: Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, Inc

    In response to ongoing challenges facing veterans, the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) launched its Rapid Response Referral Program (RRRP) for returning veterans and their families. The program was designed to link veterans and their families to case managers and veteran-specific resources across New York City, providing broader access to benefits in a community setting. Services range from helping veterans and family members deal with depression and stress to connecting them to health care, mental health, legal, housing, and employment services. In 2013, NYSHealth awarded IAVA a grant to double its capacity by expanding RRRP across New York State. In 2015, NYSHealth awarded IAVA a second grant to further build upon the program’s expansion.

  • Improving Outcomes and Reducing Costs for Medicaid Managed Care Patients By: NYSHealth Priority Areas: Advancing Primary Care Date: February 2017 Type: Grant Outcome Reports, Grantee Name: Refuah Health Center

    Refuah Health Center is a federally qualified health center that serves low-income residents in the Hudson Valley region. NYSHealth awarded Refuah a grant to partner with Fidelis Care, one of the largest Medicaid managed care plans in New York State, and Health Management Associates (HMA), to collect and then analyze claims to identify unnecessary utilization and costs. At the time, Refuah lacked information on the utilization patterns of its patients outside of its center, such as costs of emergency, specialty, and hospital care. Under this grant, it aimed to use the data collected to implement new payment schemes for lowering health care costs and improving quality of services for its patients.

  • Exploring the Role of Hospitals in Improving Population Health By: NYSHealth Priority Areas: Building Healthy Communities Date: February 2017 Type: Grant Outcome Reports, Grantee Name: Cornell University Weill Cornell Medical College

    There has been increasing attention to the concept of population health—the health of all the people in a geographic community. Population health comprises more than medical care; it also includes factors such as socioeconomic status, the built environment, and education. Hospitals and accountable care organizations can play important roles as key drivers of population health, but medical professionals often have a much narrower definition of this concept. Creating a common definition of population health is essential both to assess the extent to which hospitals are working to improve population health and understand what resources are (or are not) being allocated to this important work. In 2014, NYSHealth awarded Weill Cornell Medical College a grant to gather and analyze information on the current and future role of New York State hospitals in improving population health.

  • Addressing Social Determinants of Health Through Medicaid By: NYSHealth Priority Areas: Advancing Primary Care Date: January 2017 Type: Grant Outcome Reports, Grantee Name: Milbank Memorial Fund

    Social factors, such as income, access to food and housing, and employment status, have a significant impact on the health and health outcomes of Americans, particularly lower-income populations. Faced with mounting evidence on the importance of these social factors, state Medicaid agencies are looking for ways to integrate social interventions into their coverage, payment, and delivery models to improve the health of Medicaid beneficiaries, who are often the costliest and most complex patients. As they do so, states must decide which social interventions Medicaid should cover, recognizing that Medicaid is not a social services program and that there are limits on how it can be used. Although New York State’s interest in responding to these issues is strong, policymakers lacked actionable information on when and how Medicaid can play a role. NYSHealth joined with the Milbank Memorial Fund to develop an issue brief that provides State officials with practical guidance on how Medicaid can be used to address social determinants of health.

  • Scaling Up a Model to Prevent HIV Transmission in New York City By: NYSHealth Priority Areas: Special Projects Fund Date: January 2017 Type: Grant Outcome Reports, Grantee Name: Housing Works, Inc.

    Despite advances in medicine, the AIDS epidemic continues to be a major public health concern—especially in New York City, which remains an epicenter of the disease. During 2013, New York City recorded 2,832 new HIV diagnoses and 1,784 new AIDS diagnoses. Currently, more than 117,000 people are living with diagnosed HIV infection in New York City, many of whom come from vulnerable populations. Federal guidelines recommend antiretroviral (ARV) medication for all people living with HIV. ARV treatment suppresses the level of HIV in the blood to an undetectable level, which enables HIV-positive people to live healthy lives while making it virtually impossible to transmit the virus to others. Although ARV is highly effective and is now the established standard of care, only 43% of HIV-positive New York City residents have achieved viral suppression. In 2015, NYSHealth awarded Housing Works a grant to scale up a successful viral load suppression model, The Undetectables, to help those living with HIV manage the disease and prevent its further transmission. This evidence-based model has been shown to successfully suppress the virus in 82% of participants. Under this grant, Housing Works aimed to expand The Undetectables model and form a consortium to collectively adopt, refine, and scale up the model throughout New York City.

  • Developing a Wholesome Foods Pop-Up Market By: NYSHealth Priority Areas: Building Healthy Communities Date: January 2017 Type: Grant Outcome Reports, Grantee Name: Field & Fork Network, Inc.

    NYSHealth launched the Healthy Neighborhoods Fund initiative to help six communities across New York State become healthier and more active places, one of which is Niagara Falls’ North End neighborhood. As part of this initiative, NYSHealth awarded Create a Healthier Niagara Falls Collaborative a grant to improve access to affordable, healthy food in the community by expanding pop-up farmers’ markets. Pop-up markets are a convenient and affordable way for residents to purchase fresh, healthy foods in neighborhoods with limited or no access to such food options. In 2015, NYSHealth awarded Field & Fork Network a modest grant to provide technical assistance to the Collaborative in the development of a wholesome foods pop-up market.

  • Expanding Primary Care Capacity in the North Country By: NYSHealth Priority Areas: Advancing Primary Care Date: January 2017 Type: Grant Outcome Reports, Grantee Name: Hudson Headwaters Health Network

    The rural communities in the Adirondack region of upstate New York’s North Country lack widespread access to comprehensive primary care services. This lack of access can result in poor health outcomes, high rates of chronic disease, and increased emergency room visits and hospitalizations. Hudson Headwaters Health Network (HHHN), a federally qualified health center and the North Country’s largest medical group practice, and University of Vermont Health Network (UVMHN), a multihospital organization serving all of Vermont and parts of northern New York, explored partnership opportunities to improve primary care access and capacity in the region. NYSHealth awarded HHHN a grant to support the development of a partnership with UVMHN that would best serve the needs of North Country residents. The project explored the governance, financial, and legal factors and implications of the partnership for the provision of primary care to 15,000 new patients in the area, of which up to 60% were uninsured or covered by Medicaid.

  • Improving Services for Dual Eligibles with Disabilities By: NYSHealth Priority Areas: Special Projects Fund Date: September 2016 Type: Grant Outcome Reports, Grantee Name: Center for Independence of the Disabled in New York, Inc.

    Approximately one-third of New York’s 700,000 dual eligibles—individuals who qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid—are under the age of 65. Many of these individuals have physical and cognitive disabilities that create significant barriers to accessing health care. As New York State moved to implement the Fully Integrated Duals Advantage (FIDA) program, dual eligibles would receive a comprehensive package of physical health care, behavioral health care, and long-term services through both Medicare and Medicaid. Because FIDA plans will be created by managed long-term care plans that currently serve elderly and disabled Medicaid beneficiaries, these plans must increase their capacity to serve a wider disabled population. Furthermore, federal and State laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), require that affirmative steps be taken to ensure that people with disabilities are treated in a nondiscriminatory manner and have access to health plans with providers in their networks. NYSHealth awarded the Center for Independence of the Disabled in New York (CIDNY) a grant to work with six plans and the New York State Department of Health to support the implementation of FIDA, improve ADA compliance, and enhance access and outcomes for people with disabilities.

  • Establishing a Mental Health Clinic for Criminal Justice-involved Individuals By: NYSHealth Priority Areas: Special Projects Fund Date: September 2016 Type: Grant Outcome Reports, Grantee Name: Center for Alternative Sentencing and Employment Services, Inc.

    Responding to the comprehensive treatment needs of criminal justice-involved individuals with mental illness is a major challenge for both criminal justice and mental health officials. Individuals with mental health diagnoses are admitted to jail more frequently than people without mental illnesses for the same offenses, and nearly half of people with mental illness who are incarcerated return to jail within a year. Of youth held in New York State detention, 54% have mental illnesses, 63% have substance use disorders, and 54% have physical health disorders. Many New York City mental health clinics have long waiting lists for treatment and little or no experience serving individuals involved with the criminal justice system. In 2013, NYSHealth awarded a grant to the Center for Alternative Sentencing and Employment Services (CASES) to open the first mental health clinic in New York State that is specifically designed to meet the needs of youth and adults involved with the criminal justice system.

  • Health Career Connection, Summer of 2015 By: NYSHealth Priority Areas: Other Date: August 2016 Type: Grant Outcome Reports, Grantee Name: Health Career Connection, Inc.

    In New York City, challenging and prestigious health care internships are often unpaid—hindering students who cannot afford to take unpaid opportunities from shaping their future educational and career trajectories and building meaningful professional networks. Health Career Connection (HCC) is a national nonprofit organization that provides undergraduate students from under-represented or disadvantaged backgrounds with paid internship placements in health care and public health organizations. The majority of students recruited by HCC are first-generation college students who come from low-income families and communities with limited resources to help them thrive in the workforce. Ultimately, HCC seeks to improve the health of populations by motivating and developing value-driven, capable, and diverse health care and public health leaders and professionals. In 2014, NYSHealth awarded HCC a grant to support five 10-week summer internship placements, including at the Foundation. The experience was exceptional for both the students and hosting organizations, which led NYSHealth to award HCC a second grant in 2015 to continue support for this initiative. Under this grant, HCC matched five students to organizations suited to their career interests: two internships at NYSHealth and three internships at Healthy Neighborhoods Fund grantee organizations.

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