Partnerships

Each year, HRSJ students pair up in dyads and partner with organizations in East Harlem that have identified challenges that can be addressed by medical students.

2017-2018 Partnerships Descriptions (NEW!)

Download .docx version of these descriptions using this link.

Emergency Preparedness in East Harlem

Community Partner: East Harlem Emergency Preparedness Collaborative (EHEPC) & East Harlem Community Organizations Active in Disaster (EHCOAD)
Project Theme: Community Emergency Preparedness/Organizing in East Harlem

Theme Description:
Two HRSJ students will partner with the East Harlem Emergency Preparedness Collaborative (EHEPC), or the East Harlem Community Organizations Active in Disaster (EHCOAD), or with both, depending on the interests of the incoming dyad.  The EHEPC is a planning and policy entity operating out of the East Harlem Neighborhood Action Center to increase the neighborhood’s ability to prepare for, respond to, and recover from public health emergencies.  It interfaces extensively with city agencies, like the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and NYC Emergency Management, among many others.  The EHCOAD, which launched very recently in July 2017, is a neighborhood-based emergency management coordinating organization, whose members represent a broad cross-section of health and human services and faith-based organizations that are willing to play a role in emergency response should the need arise in East Harlem.  Both organizations play a central role in ensuring that East Harlem, a neighborhood in which many residents have intersecting vulnerabilities, is as safe and prepared as can be to face disaster.  The 2015-2016 dyad worked on building out a communications plan and protocol for the EHCOAD’s leadership team to facilitate their role as community organizers.  The 2016-2017 dyad conducted a fact-finding investigation on behalf of EHEPC to create a concept map of emergency preparedness in East Harlem that sought to identify assets, vulnerabilities, and redundancies in that space.  The future dyad will have the chance to continue such work with either the EHCOAD, the EHEPC, or both, collaborate extensively with community and city partners, as well as gain valuable experience in community organizing.

Past Dyad: John Gaipa (john.gaipa@icahn.mssm.edu) and Jennifer Bailey (jennifer.bailey@icahn.mssm.edu)

Pediatric Mental Health

Community Partner: East Harlem Community Health Committee

Theme Description: The HRSJ dyad focusing in on Pediatric Mental Health in East Harlem has been historically based in student participation in the East Harlem Community Health Committee’s Pediatric Health Subcommittee but this coming year’s dyad also has the opportunity to expand on relationships with people working at the city-wide level on mental health care delivery.. For historical context, the East Harlem Community Health Committee (EHCHC) is a coalition of organizations dedicated to improving health in East Harlem via advocacy. In 2011, a now five-year partnership between HRSJ Scholars and EHCHC began and since, many HRSJ scholar dyads have mapped out the barriers to mental health care delivery in the complex system, the different resources available in different East Harlem schools, as well as obtained valuable qualitative data from key informants in school-based mental health. In 2015, ThriveNYC, the first city-wide initiative of its kind in the USA, was rolled out by the Office of the Mayor as a comprehensive platform to address shortcomings of mental health care delivery in the 5 boroughs. Because ThriveNYC’s comprehensive programming is just starting to be implemented in East Harlem, future work could include tracking the impact of this city-wide initiative. This year’s dyad will have the opportunity to maintain connected to the East Harlem Community Health Committee’s concerns while developing relationships with city officials to understand how ThriveNYC is changing the landscape of mental health care delivery in East Harlem. The dyad will then be able to determine advocacy efforts moving forward based on previous recommendations that had been laid out in year’s past. In addition, this year’s dyad will have the opportunity to update the resource mapping and reconnect with the school based health centers.

Past Dyad: This project wasn’t directly worked on 2016-2017, contact Conner Fox (conner.fox@icahn.mssm.edu) or Zina Huxley-Reicher (zina.huxley-reicher@icahn.mssm.edu) or Usnish Majumdar (usnish.majumdar@icahn.mssm.edu)

LGBTQ Health

Community Partner: To be determined

Theme Description: The HRSJ theme focusing LGBTQ health was born out of the Pediatric Mental Health theme over the last two years. The goal of our project last year was to map the psychiatric resources available to East Harlem LGBTQ youth. In order to do this, we conducted semi-structured interviews with community-based organizations. We also performed an exploratory interview with representatives from the New York City Office of School health. After we completed our interviews, we analyzed them for similar themes in order to understand the layout of services available. We learned that school-based clinics are not meeting all of the mental health needs of LGBTQ youth in East Harlem due to varied resources at different schools, community based organizations often lack staff with knowledge of services provided by other organizations and the government, and CBOS often have high turnover of staff, leading to unstable services. For the future, it would be most beneficial to partner with a CBO such as Harlem United, the adolescent health center, or Iris House. The first step would be to map out the services this organization provides then reach out to the other major players and see what they are providing. Next would be to create a map of all the services provided, where they overlap and what is still needed. Then distribute this map to all of the organizations so they can learn to communicate and refer to each other.

Past Dyad:Wayne Sy (wayne.allendale.sy@icahn.mssm.edu) and Rio O’Mary (rio.omary@icahn.mssm.edu)

Reintegration of Formerly Incarcerated Women

Community Partner: Harlem Community Academic Partnership (HCAP) & STEPS to End Family Violence

Project Theme: Health Needs of Formerly Incarcerated Individuals

Theme Description: Continuing one of the very first partnerships, two HRSJ scholars will serve as part of the Harlem Community Academic Partnership (HCAP) to partner with STEPS to End Family Violence (STEPS). STEPS is an organization seated in East Harlem and across New York City that focuses on re-entry services for previously incarcerated women who were victims of intimate partner violence. Previous dyads who have partnered with STEPS have worked on the HERS project, the Health Evaluation Re-entry Survey, to identify the medical needs of women returning home from incarceration. The HERS survey found a high prevalence of self-identified mental health issues but a large lack of treatment. The 2015-2016 dyad worked with the counselors at STEPS, and found that although they thought it was part of their job and wanted to help address the health needs of their clients, they were under-prepared to do so. The 2016-2017 dyad started to work on a solution to this need by creating a vetted health resource guide for the counselors at STEPS to use and developing a survey for health providers to fill. This year’s dyad has potential to work further on the vetted health resource guide by finding and visiting various potential health resources around New York City. There is room to set up formal partnerships between health providers and STEPS along with further work to make the health resource guide easy-to-use and interactive. The 2016-2017 dyad started to work with Micaela Linder of the Fortune Society to team up in making the health resource guide into a website that can continue to be developed moving forward. Overall, STEPS is the most amazing community partner and, through the partnership, the dyad will learn about prisoner rights advocacy and community based participatory research.

Past Dyad: Jimmitti Teysir (jimmitti.teysir@icahn.mssm.edu); Neha Sikka (neha.sikka@icahn.mssm.edu)

Homelessness

Community Partners: TBD

Theme Description: This HRSJ project began last year with an interest in learning about access to health care among vulnerable populations.  By collaborating with Mount Sinai physicians you will have the opportunity to shadow and learn about the shelter system and health care delivery for homeless populations. Working alongside dedicated physicians, community organizations, and local homeless shelters, you will further learn about what barriers and systems are impacting the care a homeless individual receives. Initial project findings pointed towards an issue of fragmentation in the way homeless individuals accessed care. This includes having to deal with being moved from shelter to shelter and consequently losing continuity of care. Clinics who provide primary care for homeless populations are often overburdened and under-resourced, and receiving specialty care is a challenge as most are insured through Medicaid and have to wait months to get appointments. Continuing aims of this project include exploring further the fragmentation of the systems that are supposed to provide care for homeless populations, thinking more about the goal of the shelter system,  investigating what role it actually plays, and later beginning to think about how to bring together community members to address these issues in a sustainable and community driven manner. The project has much room to grow and a new dyad will have the ability to drive the project in their own direction.

Past Dyad: Cesar Andrade (cesar.andrade@icahn.mssm.edu) and Alex Rus (alexandru.rus@icahn.mssm.edu)

Health Equity and Access to Care within the Mount Sinai System

Community Partners: Mount Sinai and Institute for Family Health

Theme Description: Whereas other themes are primarily conducted through community-based organizations, this theme and dyad is based here at Mount Sinai. Work on this issue was initiated by HRSJ founders and previous leaders a few years ago but officially became an HRSJ service learning theme two years ago. The theme addresses the institutional separation of healthcare delivery for patients with differing insurance plans, especially between public and private plans, within Mount Sinai. The 2014-2015 dyad investigated the difference in wait times for appointments based on insurance status, finding a significant difference in appointment availability and in time spent on hold to get an appointment. The 2015-2016 dyad conducted interviews with department heads and key administrators within Mount Sinai Hospital to better understand the current status of integration efforts and perceptions of segregated care throughout the hospital. The 2016-2017 dyad evaluated patient satisfaction (collected and reported by Press Ganey) in order to understand differences in perceptions of care between FPA and IMA. This year’s dyad will explore how to move from research to advocacy, and connect with different city-wide organizations (NYC Coalition to DIsmantle Racism within the Health System) in order to advance conversation surrounding segregated care at Mount Sinai and beyond.

Past Dyad: Brielle Cardieri (brielle.cardieri@icahn.mssm.edu) and Conner Fox (conner.fox@icahn.mssm.edu)

Community Partnership Power Analysis

Community Partner: Little Sisters of the Assumption (LSA)

Theme Description: The Environmental Health Services (EHS) program at Little Sisters of the Assumption (LSA) serves children with asthma in East Harlem whose illness can be improved by mitigating triggers in the indoor air environment. A team of skilled, hands-on, home-visiting community health workers (CHWs) provide cleaning, education, and advocacy services, in tandem with family training and community workshops. Since its inception 18 years ago, the EHS program has engaged in formal and informal partnerships with providers, community agencies, organizing groups, and academic institutions around the issues of care coordination and referrals, research, advocacy, and policy change. The 2016-17 year dyad focused on interviewing CHWs and examining the CHW model of LSA to understand how it is impacted by state policy changes (DSRIP – Delivery System Reform Incentive Program) and internal organizational changes (changing the quantitative metrics to reflect more community organizing) as a part of  the health care reform landscape. Potential future directions will be to further understand how LSA is impacted by these changes in order to help improve the EHS program while remaining true to LSA’s CHW model and mission.

Past Dyad: Sayeeda Chowdhury (sayeeda.chowdhury@icahn.mssm.edu) and Usnish Majumdar (usnish.majumdar@icahn.mssm.edu)

Medicaid Redesign Impact Analysis

Community Partner: East Harlem Community Health Committee

Theme Description: In 2014, New York State announced the start of its DSRIP program, which is a five-year program that seeks to reduce avoidable hospital use by restructuring the healthcare system to provide more coordinated patient care. This theme arose from community concerns that DSRIP would not be implemented in a way that valued and benefited East Harlem. Specifically, the East Harlem Community Health Committee (EHCHC) wanted to ensure that DSRIP’s impact on East Harlem was understood. The first phase of this work focused on examining the landscape of community organizations and individuals in East Harlem. Eventually, this narrowed to looking at whether the benefits and costs to organizations of participating in DSRIP justified continuation. To investigate this question, the past dyad conducted a series of qualitative interviews with organizations in East Harlem. Now that the planning phase of DSRIP is over, future efforts should be directed to understanding if and how DSRIP is actually being implemented in East Harlem.

Past Dyad: James Blum (james.blum@icahn.mssm.edu)  and Zina Huxley-Reicher (zina.huxley-reicher@icahn.mssm.edu)


2016-2017 Partnerships and Presentations

Emergency Preparedness in East Harlem

SYMPOSIUM PRESENTATION: Emergency Preparedness in East Harlem

Community Partner: East Harlem Emergency Preparedness Collaborative (EHEPC) and East, Harlem Community Organizations Active in Disaster (EHCOAD)

Students selected for the Emergency Preparedness in East Harlem project will work closely with the East Harlem Emergency Preparedness Collaborative (EHEPC). EHEPC’s primary mission is to bridge the gap between community-based organizations (CBOs) and city health agencies. In the upcoming year, the EHEPC will continue to support the newly-formed COAD: Community Organizations Active in Disasters. The East Harlem COAD is a collection of CBOs in East Harlem committed to organizing a community-based response to disasters. HRSJ scholars will play an active role in both of these organizations by helping to organize events, collect information, as well as write and disseminate reports. Emergency planning, especially at the local level, is a broad and complicated field that too often negatively impacts the community’s health at points of crisis. Accordingly, this project will certainly reward students who are interested in tackling healthcare on an infrastructural level, by bridging the gap between local, city and national emergency preparedness systems.

2016-2016 Dyad: John Gaipa and Jennifer Bailey

2015-2016 Dyad: Emmeline Friedman (emmeline.friedman@icahn.mssm.edu) and Sarah Zarrin (sarah.zarrin@icahn.mssm.edu)

Pediatric Mental Health

SYMPOSIUM PRESENTATION: Pediatric Mental Health

Community Partner: East Harlem Community Health Committee

The HRSJ project focusing in on Pediatric Mental Health in East Harlem has been historically based in student participation in the East Harlem Community Health Committee’s Pediatric Health Subcommittee but this coming year’s dyad also has the opportunity to expand on relationships with people working at the city-wide level on mental health care delivery as well as nurturing a relationship with an East Harlem LGBTQ+ youth program. For historical context, the East Harlem Community Health Committee (EHCHC) is a coalition of organizations dedicated to improving health in East Harlem via advocacy. In 2011, a now five-year partnership between HRSJ Scholars and EHCHC began and since, many HRSJ scholar dyads have mapped out the barriers to mental health care delivery in the complex system, the different resources available in different East Harlem schools, as well as obtained valuable qualitative data from key informants in school-based mental health. This past year, ThriveNYC, the first city-wide initiative of its kind in the USA, was rolled out by the Office of the Mayor as a comprehensive platform to address shortcomings of mental health care delivery in the 5 boroughs. Because ThriveNYC’s comprehensive programming has yet to be seen in action in East Harlem, Mount Sinai’s involvement in advocacy efforts on behalf of the East Harlem Community Health Committee has been put on hold in order to track the impact of this city-wide initiative. This year’s dyad will have the opportunity to maintain connected to the East Harlem Community Health Committee’s concerns while developing relationships with city officials to understand how ThriveNYC is changing the landscape of mental health care delivery in East Harlem. The dyad will then be able to determine advocacy efforts moving forward based on previous recommendations that had been laid out in year’s past. In addition to this policy-level work, the 2015 dyad developed a relationship with an LGBTQ+ youth support group at the Tito Puente Education Complex that awaits many flourishing opportunities in terms of community-based participatory research, harm reductionist educational and support models, as well as advocacy projects.

Past Dyad: Wayne Sy and Rio O’Mary

Reintegration of Formerly Incarcerated Individuals

SYMPOSIUM PRESENTATION: Reintegration of Formerly Incarcerated Individuals

Community Partners: Harlem Community Academic Partnership & STEPS to End Family Violence

A team of two HRSJ scholars will serve as interns with the Harlem Community Academic Partnership (HCAP), an organization that seeks to connect researchers and academics with community-based organizations in East Harlem to accomplish goals held in common. Through HCAP, scholars will partner specifically with STEPS to End Family Violence (STEPS), and work with this organization’s re-entry program for formerly incarcerated women who have experienced intimate partner violence. Previous scholars worked on the HERS Project, a Health Evaluation Re-entry Survey, developed in the 2013-2014 cycle, to identify the medical status of women dealing with the unique concerns of intimate partner violence and coming home from jail and/or prison. The HERS survey identified that many of the women coming home suffer from mental health issues, yet are not receiving treatment. Last year’s dyad conducted meetings, a focus group, and a survey to assess how STEPS counselor’s address the mental and physical health needs of their clients. In addition, last year’s dyad explored establishing a formal partnership with the Institute for Family Health (IFH), which provides accessible trauma- informed care. This year’s dyad will have the opportunity to design an intake form that identifies the health needs and concerns of STEPS clients. Another route for this year’s dyad might be the creation of a resource guide that lists medical, legal, job trainings/offerings, and other resources  in one centralized location. Overall, this partnership involves working closely with interns at STEPS and members of HCAP as well as learning with other prison rights advocates. Students may also branch out to explore the advocacy and lobbying work at the NYC Correctional Association located in Harlem.

Past Dyad: Neha Sikka and Jimmitti Teysir

Access to Health and the Affordable Care Act

SYMPOSIUM PRESENTATION: Access to Health and the Affordable Care Act

Community Partners: Doctors for America at Mount Sinai and the East Harlem Community Health Committee

Students working on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) service project will partner with and facilitate meetings for the East Harlem Community Health Committee (EHCHC), a community-based round-table of East Harlem health insurance stakeholders, and the Mount Sinai student branch of the Doctors for America organization. The focus of project is to: 1) to increase education around the ACA and insurance options in the East Harlem community, and 2) to increase East Harlem enrollment in the expanded Medicaid, Child Health Plus, and private Qualified Insurance Plans made available through the ACA 3) advocate policy initiatives supported by the national Doctors for America organization on the local level. Specifically, scholars will work alongside organizations and members of the East Harlem community to disseminate information and plan information sessions. Scholars may also help to identify other community-based organizations with additional enrollment resources to make available to the East Harlem community. Because this year’s ACA enrollment period is from November 1st,

2016 through January 31st, 2017, much of this project’s health insurance enrollment planning and coordination will be front-loaded. Students working on this topic should be aware of this schedule, and will strive to learn quickly in order to explain the complexity of the ACA in simple language, compile easy-to-understand resources, and master the art of public speaking.

Past Dyad: Cesar Andrade and Alex Rus

Health Equity and Access to Care within the Mt. Sinai System

SYMPOSIUM PRESENTATION: Health Equity and Access to Care within the Mt. Sinai System

Community Partners: Mount Sinai and Institute for Family Health

Whereas others projects are primarily conducted through community-based organizations, this project is based here at Mount Sinai. Work on this issue was initiated by HRSJ founders and previous leaders a few years ago but officially became an HRSJ service learning project two years ago. The project addresses the institutional separation of healthcare delivery for patients with differing insurance plans, especially between public and private plans, within Mount Sinai. The 2014-2015 dyad investigated the difference in wait times for appointments based on insurance status, finding a significant difference in appointment availability and in time spent on hold to get an appointment. The 2015-2016 dyad conducted interviews with department heads and key administrators within Mount Sinai Hospital to better understand the current status of integration efforts and perceptions of segregated care throughout the hospital. This year’s dyad will further this group’s vision by working closely with faculty mentors at Mount Sinai to dig into one piece of the large problem presented by segregated care.

Past Dyad: Brielle Cardieri and Conner Fox

Community Partnership Power Analysis

SYMPOSIUM PRESENTATION: Community Partnership Power Analysis

Community Partner: Little Sisters of the Assumption (LSA)

The Environmental Health Services program at LSA serves children with asthma in East Harlem whose illness can be improved by mitigating triggers in the indoor air environment. A team of skilled, hands-on, home-visiting community health workers provide cleaning, education, and advocacy services, in tandem with family training and community workshops. Since its inception 18 years ago, the EHS program has engaged in formal and informal partnerships with providers, community agencies, organizing groups, and academic institutions around the issues of care coordination and referrals, research, advocacy, and policy change. The 2015-16 year dyad conducted a series of focus groups with EHS clients in order to study the outcomes of LSA’s CHW model, focusing on its impact on community empowerment and the CHW-client relationship, metrics that are not traditionally captured in health care research. The 2016-17 year dyad will expand on this work in order to inform further efforts to improve the EHS program and to increase equitable and sustainable partnerships in the East Harlem community. Potential future directions include more qualitative analysis of focus group and interview data and contextualizing this qualitative data in the health care reform landscape.

Past Dyad: Sayeeda Chowdhury and Usnish Majumdar

Medicaid Redesign Impact Analysis

SYMPOSIUM PRESENTATION: Medicaid Redesign Impact Analysis

Community Partners: East Harlem Community Health Committee

In April, 2014, a five-year, $8 billion, Medicaid program called the Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) program was implemented with the goal of fostering collaboration between different groups such as hospital networks, federally qualified health centers, and community-based organizations. The goal of this reform (and other reforms implemented by the Medicaid Redesign Team) is to restructure the health system and coordination of patient care to avoid unnecessary hospitalizations. While the goals of these reforms are laudable, it is unclear at the moment how they will be coordinated with community providers and community-based organizations (CBOs) in a manner that is equitable with regard to distribution of funding, scope of work, and participation in the decision-making processes. Based on these concerns, the HRSJ dyad working on the Medicaid Redesign Impact Analysis Project will work with the East Harlem Community Health Committee, Inc. (EHCHC) to monitor, and influence, the implementation of DSRIP and other reforms in East Harlem. The HRSJ dyad will have the opportunity to follow-up on past stakeholder interviews by coordinating a series of focus groups to identify key metrics of successful partnership between hospital systems and CBOs. They will have the opportunity to work with hospital leadership—and to build relationships with city, state, and Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services leadership—to discuss opportunities for improvement of DSRIP. The dyad will also play a key role in developing a political strategy (with other city and state-wide advocacy groups) to organize and advocate to ensure that the community has a voice in DSRIP and future Medicaid Redesign efforts. Ultimately, this dyad will aim to not only study the effects of the policy on the community, but help shape future policy direction from the community.

Past Dyad: James Blum and Zina Huxley-Reicher