Sep 03, 2019
NYC Health + Hospitals launched Point of Reentry and Transition (PORT) practices, an initiative of Correctional Health Services (CHS) with the Office of Ambulatory Care, NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue and NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County. The PORT practices increase access to and improve continuity of care for patients recently released from custody in City jails.
NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue and NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County are the sites of the new primary care practices, providing critical linkages to community primary care. PORT practices are staffed by CHS primary care providers who usually work in the jails, shoulder-to-shoulder with primary care providers who work in the two community hospitals. These practices are supported by CHS Community Health Workers who work inside the two hospitals, serving as bridges to help ensure successful and sustained access to community health care. General assistance with reentry and transition can also be obtained through the CHS PORTline at.
“The PORT practices represent an unprecedented collaboration between the high quality primary care resources in our community based and jail based facilities,” said Mitchell Katz, MD, President and CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals. “This is a unique partnership that I believe will yield a tremendous benefit to our patients and can serve as a model to other municipalities.”
“PORT is the most recent in a series of CHS initiatives since our transition to NYC Health + Hospitals, to reduce barriers to continued, quality care in the community,” said Dr. Patsy Yang, Senior Vice President of Correctional Health Services at NYC Health + Hospitals. “This particular program is tailored as a critical step in ensuring that systems can meet the needs of our patients after they leave jail.”
“We are proud to offer a first of its kind model of primary care for our patients leaving jail,” said Dr. Theodore Long, Vice President of Ambulatory Care at NYC Health + Hospitals. “Our PORT team includes doctors from CHS, as well as doctors from NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue and NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County, so that patients can have their needs met – often by the same doctors that treated them in jail.”
“At NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue, we know that keeping all New Yorkers healthy benefits the community and society, and we have a long, successful history of working with the NYC Department of Correction and CHS through the years,” said William Hicks, CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue. “We see this as a great opportunity to ensure continuing health service linkages with individuals during what may be challenging transitional times. This program gives us a solid chance to establish needed supports for this population of patients, and we look forward to this expanded scope of work.”
“As NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County works to improve the health of our community, it is imperative to build programs that make it easier for our patients to attain the care they need and to live healthy lives,” said Sheldon McLeod, CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County. “We have known for a long time that incarceration has a strong impact on individuals and families we care for. This initiative helps us engage with this vulnerable group of patients, as they transition into our comprehensive primary care practices, connecting them to services they need to get their lives on track.”
“As New York City continues to safely drive down the number of people in City jails, we are critically focused on ensuring the health and well-being of people leaving jail and reentering the community,” said Elizabeth Glazer, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice. “PORT provides an essential link to continuity of care, one piece of a complex of partnerships and innovation that will prevent reincarceration and help build healthy lives.”
“In order to reduce recidivism and lower our City’s jail population, it is crucial that we improve the reentry process in New York City – especially for people in need of medical services ranging from mental health care to drug treatment,” said Council Member Keith Powers, Chair of the Committee on Criminal Justice. “I thank NYC Health + Hospitals for launching this new program, which has the potential to greatly improve continuity of care for those leaving jail and returning to their communities.”
Since its transition to NYC Health + Hospitals, Correctional Health Services has actively expanded its discharge planning and reentry support services. The discharge planning services that had previously been offered to individuals receiving mental health treatment, have expanded in scope and extended to other populations, including persons diagnosed with HIV, Hepatitis C, substance use disorders, or complex medical needs; as well as persons 55 years of age and older. Correctional Health Services’ reentry support initiatives are intended to connect people with the care they need after jail, so that they can remain safely in their communities.