More than 5,000 patients have worked with community health workers at NYC Health + Hospital, who respond to patients’ pressing social needs to improve their health

More than 5,000 patients have worked with community health workers at NYC Health + Hospital, who respond to patients’ pressing social needs to improve their health

With more than 250 new community health workers, NYC Health + Hospitals has established one of the largest health system-based community health worker programs in the nation.

In a new testimonial, cancer patient Neville Facey describes how a community health worker helped him with appointments, transportation and financial aid

October 20, 2022

Patient Neville Facey

NYC Health + Hospitals today announced that more than 5,000 patients have worked closely with community health workers in the first year of the program. Community health workers regularly meet with patients to identify and overcome barriers to health and well-being, such as housing, financial, dietary and legal needs, as well as to help them schedule medical appointments and to coordinate transportation. With more than 250 new community health workers, NYC Health + Hospitals has established one of the largest health system-based community health worker programs in the nation. In a new testimonial, patient Neville Facey describes how a community health worker helped him with appointments, transportation and financial assistance. Community health workers are part of the primary care team at all of NYC Health + Hospitals’ 11 hospitals and 6 of its Gotham Health locations, and they often come from the communities they serve. They may meet with patients at the clinic, in the community or at home depending on the patient’s preference. The program is open to patients regardless of immigration or insurance status. The NYC Health + Hospitals Community Health Worker program was launched in September 2021 as part of the NYC Public Health Corpswhich also includes the NYC Health Department’s Neighborhood Health Corps.

“A patient’s health cannot be managed by medicine alone,” said NYC Health + Hospitals Senior Vice President for Ambulatory Care and Population Health Dr. Ted Long“Factors such as housing, food and income have a profound impact on a patient’s ability to manage their health. Our Community Health Worker program is transforming the way we deliver healthcare, with NYC Health + Hospitals making a critical investment in the health of our patients by extending the care we provide beyond the four walls of the clinic. This is what the future of healthcare looks like.

“Our health care system has a long history of providing quality health care to every New Yorker who walks through its doors, and we want to raise the bar for how health care is delivered across the country,” said NYC Health + Hospitals Population Health Manager Dr. Nichola Davis.“Health and longevity should not be a privilege tied to wealth. I am so proud that we are helping to level the playing field for our patients by expanding our care teams to include culturally competent and compassionate staff who are dedicated to helping patients find the social care they need to live a life. healthy and full.

“Public health means being there – day in and day out – to build lasting relationships that promote health,” said Health Commissioner Dr Ashwin Vasan. “These testimonials show the positive impact of this work. We are proud of this partnership with NYC Health + Hospitals and honored to work together to strengthen our public health infrastructure.

“Wanita worked very well with me,” said patient Neville Facey. “Anything I needed, I called him. She helped me with my medications, my doctors, my appointments and everything. She was there for me. It made me feel good to have the extra help. She put me at ease to go through this ordeal.

“Prisilla helped me from the first day I came here,” said Rosa, the mother of a pediatric patient. “She helped me get my son’s occupational therapy at school. Since receiving therapy he started to behave well and he started talking a lot and stopped fighting with other kids. She helped me with the apartment, talking to my social worker at the shelter, and she helps me get the voucher. I thank her very much for everything she has done for my son, I really appreciate it.

“There are so many resources out there and people don’t know where to turn,” said Wanita Skerrett, community health worker at NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County. “Once people know what is there to help them, they are so much more relieved and confident that they were able to cope with what they were facing at the time. I really enjoy helping people when they’re going through a tough time and seeing them progress.

“We are doing our best to make sure all families are safe,” said Prisilla Bueno, community health worker at NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan. “The hospital introduces this program into the patient’s life to ensure that he is stable and does not suffer from any insecurities – food, housing or education. For people who think they can’t be helped, we’re here for them.

Community health workers at NYC Health + Hospitals serve adult primary care patients, families with young children, and adults with special needs, such as homelessness, criminal and justice system involvement, and issues behavioral health.

  • Adult Primary Care Program: Community health workers are part of the primary care team at all of NYC Health + Hospitals’ 11 hospitals and 6 of its Gotham Health locations. 1,218 adult patients graduated from the 3-month Adult Community Health Worker Program in Primary Care. Community health workers primarily assisted patients with food insecurity, financial insecurity, medical bills or gaps in health insurance, transportation, housing insecurity, social supports, and legal needs. Almost all patients in the program have one or more chronic conditions. The most common diagnoses of patients in the program are hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, asthma, chronic kidney disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD.
  • Behavioral Health Program:Approximately 40 behavioral health community health workers serve adult patients with mental disorders, substance use disorders or both. They served about 2,100 patients. Nearly half of these meetings focused on aftercare follow-up and access to care services, and another quarter is devoted to putting patients in touch with specific concrete services, such as housing assistance, connection benefits services, education or employment services, legal and immigration needs, as well as access to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and food pantries.
  • Special populations program: Community health workers can spend six to twelve months working with patients who have experience of homelessness or incarceration. Over the past year, over 200 patients have been enrolled in this program.

Contact: pressoffice@nychhc.org; 212.788.3339

About NYC Health + Hospitals
NYC Health + Hospitals is the nation’s largest municipal health care system. We are a network of 11 hospitals, trauma centers, neighborhood health centers, nursing homes and post-acute care centers. We are a home care agency and health plan, MetroPlus. Our health system provides essential services to more than one million New Yorkers each year at more than 70 sites across the city’s five boroughs. Our diverse workforce of more than 43,000 employees is uniquely focused on empowering New Yorkers, without exception, to live the healthiest lives possible. Visit us at www.nychehealthandhospitals.org and stay connected on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/NYCHealthSystem or Twitter at @NYCHealthSystem.

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