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  • Supporting Knowledge in Health and Health Care Reporting By: NYSHealth Priority Areas: Other Date: July 2017 Type: Grant Outcome Reports, Grantee Name: Center for Excellence in Health Care Journalism

    As the nation’s media outlets face shrinking budgets and shoestring staffing, resources for journalists’ continuing education and professional development are limited. Increasingly, reporters are assigned to multiple beats rather than to one specific issue area, so their knowledge of any one area may be relatively superficial. The Center for Excellence in Health Care Journalism, the supporting nonprofit organization for the Association of Health Care Journalists (AHCJ), aims to fill that knowledge gap through an annual four-day national conference that attracts approximately 600–800 reporters, editors, and producers, as well as health care luminaries. The conference covered a wide range of issues, both content-focused (e.g., covering the progress under the Affordable Care Act, health care disparities, aging and long-term care) and skills-focused (e.g., understanding how to read medical studies or interpret hospital quality data). In 2016, NYSHealth awarded the Center for Excellence in Health Care Journalism a grant to support AHCJ’s 2017 cohort of New York State Health Journalism Fellowships.

  • Assessing Impact of an Asthma Intervention for Children By: NYSHealth Priority Areas: Special Projects Fund Date: July 2017 Type: Grant Outcome Reports, Grantee Name: Fund for Public Health in New York, Inc.

    In the Bronx, the number of children hospitalized for asthma-related reasons is 38% higher than the City average. This disparity is largely associated with indoor allergens from pests, such as mice and cockroaches, which can trigger and exacerbate asthma symptoms. More than 50% of Bronx households report seeing cockroaches and mice in their homes or buildings daily. In contrast, children living in pest-free homes experience fewer asthma-related complications, from school absences to emergency room visits and hospitalizations. The Fund for Public Health New York (FPHNY) designed an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) intervention to address the burden of asthma faced by children in the Bronx. Rather than employing pesticides, IPM eliminates pests by addressing housing conditions conducive to infestation. NYSHealth supported FPHNY, in collaboration with the New York State Department of Health and Montefiore Medical Center, to rigorously evaluate its IPM intervention.

  • Expanding Oral Health Services to Children By: NYSHealth Priority Areas: Special Projects Fund Date: June 2017 Type: Grant Outcome Reports, Grantee Name: Albany Medical Center

    Although preventable, cavities are the most common chronic infectious disease of childhood, of which the burden falls disproportionately on underprivileged, minority, or special needs children. Nationally, 25–35% of children in low-income families have never seen a dentist by the age of five. Consequently, dental decay is often treated in emergency departments and ambulatory surgery settings. NYSHealth initially awarded the Albany Medical Center Pediatric Group (Albany Medical Center) a grant to expand the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Smiles program—a pediatric oral health program that provides preventive services to Medicaid-eligible preschool-age children in areas where access to dental services is limited. Albany Medical Center set out to expand the program at WIC sites in upstate New York, where mothers receiving WIC benefits could also bring their young children to the on-site pediatrician for a basic dental cleaning and fluoride varnish—an important tool in cavity prevention.

  • Developing a Communications Plan to Improve Community Health By: NYSHealth Priority Areas: Building Healthy Communities Date: June 2017 Type: Grant Outcome Reports, Grantee Name: Create a Healthier Niagara Falls Collaborative, Inc.

    To tackle some of the underlying problems that have affected the health of communities, NYSHealth launched the Healthy Neighborhoods Fund initiative to help New York State communities become healthier and more active places. Through the Healthy Neighborhoods Fund, NYSHealth is supporting six communities across the State in their efforts to increase access to healthy, affordable food; improve access to safe places where residents can exercise and be active; and connect children and adults to programs that support healthy behaviors. In 2015, NYSHealth awarded Create a Healthier Niagara Falls Collaborative a grant to participate in this initiative. As part of a technical assistance grant to support the Collaborative in its efforts, NYSHealth awarded it a grant in 2016 to work with a communications firm to define its communications priorities and develop a strategic communications plan.

  • Evaluating the Impact of Active Design on Affordable Housing By: NYSHealth Priority Areas: Building Healthy Communities Date: June 2017 Type: Grant Outcome Reports, Grantee Name: Center for Active Design, Inc.

    Active Design is an evidence-based approach that offers practical urban planning and architecture design solutions to support healthy communities. Active Design elements—such as stairs, supportive walking and biking infrastructure, and on-site exercise facilities—can help transform the built environment and improve the physical and mental health outcomes for residents, especially those living in affordable housing. To help integrate cost-effective Active Design strategies into affordable housing, the Active Design Verified initiative was created to train developers on incorporating design elements and amenities that will promote health. In 2016, NYSHealth awarded the Center for Active Design, Inc., (CfAD) a grant to evaluate the impact of Active Design strategies on levels of physical activity among residents moving into Prospect Plaza, a newly constructed affordable housing building with Active Design elements in Brownsville, Brooklyn (an NYSHealth Healthy Neighborhoods Fund site). Specifically, the CfAD sought to gather pre-data and record health measures and physical activity levels before residents moved into the new building to establish a point of comparison for a larger evaluation effort in the future.

  • Building Up Primary Care Providers in the North Country By: NYSHealth Priority Areas: Advancing Primary Care Date: June 2017 Type: Grant Outcome Reports, Grantee Name: Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital Medical Center

    Health disparities in the rural and remote North Country region of upstate New York are well documented. The region struggles with recruiting primary care physicians, resulting in 40% fewer primary care physicians per capita than the rest of the State. In recent years, significant investments have been made (including by NYSHealth) to improve the way primary care is delivered in the North Country. However, recruiting and retaining primary care physicians remains a challenge. To address this need, Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital (CVPH)—now part of the University of Vermont Health Network—inaugurated the first family medicine residency program/teaching hospital in the region. It is also the lead member of the 12-member EXPLORE consortium, which brings health-related training and learning opportunities to the North Country. To help establish the residency program, NYSHealth awarded CVPH a grant to support the EXPLORE consortium in hosting a one-day training for primary care physicians to serve as preceptors for health profession students.

  • Examining Promising Innovations in Primary Care By: NYSHealth Priority Areas: Advancing Primary Care Date: May 2017 Type: Grant Outcome Reports, Grantee Name: United Hospital Fund of New York

    New York State’s health care spending overall and per capita are among the highest in the nation. Coupled with suboptimal levels of access, quality, and patient experience, the rate of cost escalation is unsupportable. The need to improve performance and control costs was heightened by the increase in demand for care after the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. In response, the State designated advanced primary care as a key priority. It undertook a major campaign among providers, focusing on improving primary care practice and integrating the management of patient care across types of providers, including primary care, hospital care, specialty medicine, long-term care, and mental health and substance use services. In 2014, NYSHealth awarded the United Hospital Fund of New York (UHF) a grant to provide analytical support for the range of efforts to improve primary care by health care providers and the State. Specifically, UHF examined three areas of promising innovation in health care: new models in primary care, development of accountable care organizations (ACOs), and new approaches to consumer engagement in health care.

  • Evaluation Technical Assistance for NYSHealth Grantees: Phase 7 By: NYSHealth Priority Areas: Other Date: May 2017 Type: Grant Outcome Reports, Grantee Name: New York University School of Medicine

    Many grantees, especially smaller, non-academic organizations, often lack the experience, time, and resources needed to conduct and implement evaluations that are critical to effective program execution and sustainability. To address this need among its own grantees, in 2008, NYSHealth began funding a technical assistance initiative that offers additional support to grantees in strengthening the evaluation aspects of their projects. Under Phase 1 and 2 of this grant, the Center for Health Care Strategies led the project; beginning in 2011, an evaluation team from the New York University School of Medicine (NYU) has since overseen the initiative. The evaluation team has been providing direct assistance to grantees; holding training workshops for grantees; and offering one-on-one follow-up assistance to workshop participants. An online evaluation resource is also available for current grantees and potential NYSHealth applicants. Because of the success of the initiative, NYSHealth continues to provide technical assistance for new grantees and applicants each year.

  • Expanding Access to Behavioral Health Services for Veterans and Their Families By: NYSHealth Priority Areas: Veterans' Health Date: April 2017 Type: Grant Outcome Reports, Grantee Name: RAND Corporation

    In New York State, rates of behavioral health problems among veterans deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan are high: nearly one in four struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder and/or depression, and close to 40% have reported binge drinking. Family members, including children, also experience high rates of behavioral health concerns, such as depression and anxiety. Although nearly all veterans are eligible for medical and behavioral health care at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), there are considerable barriers to accessing these services that require veterans to navigate both private and public health services. To create a coordinated care model, the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System began a collaboration with the Northport Veterans Affairs Medical Center to create the Unified Behavioral Health Center for Military Veterans and Their Families (UBHC). This center uses a public-private model of care to provide behavioral health care for veterans and their families by co-locating and coordinating services across two independently governed sides. One side of the center is operated by the VA and serves veterans, whereas the other side is operated by a private-sector provider and primarily serves the families of veterans. NYSHealth awarded RAND Corporation a grant to assess the impact of this partnership for expanding access to behavioral health services for veterans and their families.

  • Connecting Students to Health Care Internships, Summer 2016 By: NYSHealth Priority Areas: Other Date: April 2017 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 subsequent grants in 2015 and 2016 to continue support for this initiative. Under this 2016 grant, HCC matched five students to organizations suited to their career interests: one internship at NYSHealth and four internships at Healthy Neighborhoods Fund grantee organizations.

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