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Stanley Brezenoff
December 14, 2016


Community Engagement Meetings Held

Over the past four weeks, NYC Health + Hospitals has held a series of community engagement meetings around the city to help educate interested New Yorkers about changes to the city’s health care landscape, and to learn from them about their own community’s health needs and priorities. These meetings are an outgrowth of the One New York – Health Care for Our Neighborhoods: Transforming Health + Hospitals report issued earlier this year, and its commitment to vigorous, ongoing, stakeholder engagement around the transformation of public health care in New York City. We have been pleased to partner with the New York Immigration Coalition and Community Resource Exchange in holding these events, and ultimately in producing a report that will capture information shared at these meetings.

Expansion of Ambulatory Care Services – New Staten Island Gotham Health Center

On November 30th NYC Health + Hospitals broke ground on construction for a new $28 million, 18,000-square-foot ambulatory care center located at 165 Vanderbilt Avenue on Staten Island. The new health center will provide accessible, high-quality health care for more than 40,000 patient visits annually. Opening in the fall of 2017, the center will offer comprehensive primary medical and mental health services for children and adults. The health center will have evening and Saturday hours. Clinical services will include: Pediatrics, Women’s health, Behavioral Health, Asthma & Diabetes Care, Radiology (X-ray, Ultrasound, and Mammography), Ophthalmology and Podiatry.

Funding for the construction includes $20 million from New York City’s Primary Care Expansion Initiative and $8 million from the New York City Council. MJCL Architects created the architectural plans, and Axis Construction is the general contractor for the modular construction project.

Energy Efficiency and Cogeneration Technology
Will Help Yield Savings, Reduce Carbon Footprint

The transformation of our health system requires that we become a more efficient organization. To that end, this month we reported a decrease in energy use of more than 10 percent system-wide in fiscal year 2016, which yielded $21 million in savings from price reductions in the cost of fuel and decreased usage. An important benefit of energy consumption reduction is the accompanying decrease in greenhouse gases. The health care system reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 24.14 percent between 2007 and 2016 and is on track to meet its goal of reducing greenhouse gases by 50 percent by 2025.

Another energy related item I’d like to showcase is the planned installation of a micro-turbine cogeneration system at NYC Health + Hospitals/ Kings County. Cogeneration technology is an example of the cost efficiencies that will help us achieve our transformation goals by the year 2020. This project will help reduce energy costs by more than $10 million over the next decade, and is anticipated to reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by 3,259 metric tons.

I am also pleased to note that NYC’s Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) has recognized Ruby Cruz, a member of NYC Health + Hospitals Corporate Energy Unit, as “Energy Manager of the Year” for 2016, acknowledging her excellence in energy efficiency management.

DCAS has also recognized Joseph Ricco III, a senior stationary engineer at NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull, as one of its “Energy Champions” for 2016. “Energy Champions” are recognized for their efforts in energy management at New York City’s largest energy-consuming agencies. In 2015, Marcus Lewis, who, like Ms. Cruz, works for the NYC Health + Hospitals/Corporate Energy Unit, was recognized by DCAS as “Energy Analyst of the Year”.

OneCity Health/DSRIP Update

OneCity Health continues to advance transformation efforts, focusing in particular on transitions and primary care. Initiatives include:

  • Implementing programs to transition patients from various care settings to the community and to link them to a strong primary care team. Five NYC Health + Hospital sites (NYC Health + Hospital Metropolitan, NYC Health + Hospital/North Central Bronx, NYC Health + Hospital/Woodhull, NYC Health + Hospital /Kings County, and NYC Health + Hospital/Lincoln) have kicked off the first phase of the Emergency Department Care Triage Project that connects patients from the Emergency Department to primary care providers, ensuring they have appointments and the appropriate clinical information.
  • In addition, Transition Management Teams continue to provide 30 days of supportive care management for patients at high risk of readmission at two NYC Health + Hospitals facilities. To date, there have been 166 program graduates with an additional 120 engaged in the program. OneCity Health hosted its first training in November to begin to integrate community partners into the program.
  • OneCity Health also continued efforts to strengthen primary care. Kick-offs occurred at a mix of seven NYC Health + Hospital and community partner sites to begin implementing co-located services for primary care and behavioral health.
  • Moreover, as part of the OneCity Health cultural competence and health literacy (CCHL) initiative, 75 partner sites will soon begin a self-assessment to establish a baseline and the current state of each organization’s CCHL strengths and opportunities for improvement. The CCHL initiative will provide our network with an opportunity to identify disparities and gaps in service delivery, and promote best clinical and administrative processes.
  • Finally, NYC Health + Hospitals and 38 community-based partner organizations continue their outreach and engagement of uninsured New Yorkers to connect them with insurance and primary care. OneCity Health presented on this successful partnership at a November Greater New York Hospital Association symposium.

OneCity Health submitted its DSRIP Year 2, Quarter 2, report to the New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH) at the end of October. To date, OneCity Health has met commitments under the NYS DOH DSRIP program resulting in earnings of 99.9 percent of maximum potential DSRIP performance dollars.

On November 29, 2016 New York State posted reports for OneCity Health and the other 24 New York Performing Provider Systems (PPSs) from the DSRIP Mid-Point Assessment, a formal evaluation begun several months ago by the NYS Department of Health as required under the terms of the DSRIP program. OneCity Health has carefully reviewed its own results and is are excited to continue its work to achieve lasting transformation for the benefit of New Yorkers in need.


President Obama Appoints NYC Health + Hospitals’
Dr. Dave Chokshi to Prestigious National Advisory Group

On December 5th 2016 NYC Health + Hospitals was proud to learn that President Barack Obama has appointed Dr. Dave Chokshi to be a member of the National Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health.

Dr Chokshi brings leadership and expertise to the advisory group’s mission of offering a non-federal perspective to the National Prevention Council, which develops policy and program recommendations on developing public, private, and not-for-profit partnerships to improve population health. Happily for our health care system, Dr. Chokshi will continue to serve as the Chief Population Health Officer of OneCity Health and Senior Assistant Vice President at NYC Health + Hospitals, while also taking on this prestigious voluntary role with the National Prevention Council.

NYC Health + Hospitals Marks World AIDS Day

NYC Health + Hospitals observed World AIDS Day on December 1, 2016 with media activity and public events around the system designed to remind New Yorkers of the importance of taking precautions against contracting the HIV virus, and of prioritizing health by getting tested regularly. The health system has championed making HIV testing part of routine medical care and has tested more than 2 million New Yorkers since it began this practice.

The Fund for NYC Health + Hospitals hosted a celebration in honor of the iconic Keith Haring murals in the lobby of NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the installation of the murals, created by the late artist and social activist Keith Haring during the height of the AIDS epidemic. The event recognized NYC Health + Hospitals pioneering role in the global fight to combat HIV/AIDS, and highlighted strides made by NYC’s public health care system toward eliminating perinatal HIV infection and promoting HIV testing and treatment.

Also relevant to World AIDS Day is last month’s award of a $1 million grant from New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst for expansion of services for HIV negative but at risk New Yorkers. The service expansion will earn Elmhurst’s HIV clinic “PEP (HIV Post Exposure Prophylaxis) Center of Excellence status.

Expansion of Transgender Health Services and
LGBTQ Health Center Hours at NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan

NYC Health + Hospitals is proud to lead the way in providing equitable health care for all of our patients, regardless of their gender identities, and to be working hard to eliminate any barriers in accessing care for transgender patients. The system’s focal point for LGBTQ services is NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan, which has expanded health services for transgender patients, including gender-affirming surgeries and increased access to hormone therapy.

Metropolitan is one of only a few hospitals in New York City, and the only one within the city’s public health system, offering gender-affirming surgeries. It has also expanded access to hormone therapy through a dedicated clinic. Patients can now make an appointment for a consultation with a hormone therapy specialist, regardless of whether they have a primary care physician at Metropolitan. Patients enrolled in the LGBTQ Health Center can receive hormone therapy as part of the integrated services available through the primary care clinic.

NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst’s Methadone Treatment
Program Recognized for Excellent Care

NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst’s Methadone Adult Outpatient Treatment Program has achieved the Gold Seal of Approval for Behavioral Health Care Accreditation from the Joint Commission. The accreditation covers a three-year period, signifying excellence as a provider of clinical care, and demonstrating continuous compliance with its performance standards. The hospital’s Methadone Treatment Program treats about 290 patients annually. Many receive vocational counseling and services, such as evaluation of work skills and capacities, identification of vocational goals and needs, and referrals to schools and training programs. To address the unique needs of the ethnically and linguistically diverse communities served by the hospital, the program’s staff are fluent in multiple languages, including English, Spanish, Chinese, Greek, and Hindi.

Funding For Patient Transport Vans at NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst

At a press conference held last month at NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst, New York State Senator, Toby Ann Stavisky presented NYC Health + Hospitals/ Elmhurst CEO Israel Rocha with a check for $100,000 for two new shuttle vehicles. The vehicles will provide transportation for patients, as well as for doctors, nurses and support staff traveling to and from Elmhurst and NYC Health + Hospitals/ Queens. The new shuttles will benefit patient experience by offering a safe and convenient mode of transport between hospitals.

Jacobi Improvements for Pedestrian Safety

NYC Health + Hospitals is advancing the City’s Vision Zero action plan for ending traffic deaths and injuries on New York City streets — an extension of our system’s mission of promoting wellness and empowering New Yorkers to live their healthiest lives. This month NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi, in partnership with NYC Department of Transportation, completed a project to make the hospital campus safer and more pedestrian-friendly. The improvements include the installation of speed bumps, clearer signage and reflective posts, new stop signs and more. Hundreds of patients and staff who traverse the campus on foot each day will now benefit from safer streets and slower vehicular speeds as they cross the street.