United Hospital Fund Provides $285,000 for Grants to Improve Health Services in New York City

Release Date: 11.09.2011
Contact: rdeluna@uhfnyc.org
Contact Phone: 212 494 0733

The United Hospital Fund today announced five grants totaling $285,000 to improve health care services in New York City.  These strategic grants are a part of the Fund’s program to support the development of model projects, sponsor research to analyze systemic problems, and foster innovative solutions.  Beneficiaries of the Fund’s grants include not-for-profit and public hospitals, nursing homes, and health care, academic, and public interest organizations.

Among the initiatives funded through the five grants are programs to assess the range of substance abuse treatment services at community health centers and recommend interventions to increase centers’ capacity to provide these services, to continue a major quality improvement project with dozens of hospitals throughout the greater metropolitan area, to support a range of HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment projects in New York City,  to test new protocols designed to reduce poor obstetrical and neonatal outcomes associated with obesity in pregnancy, and to evaluate strategies to increase health service use by low-income families with a child who has special medical needs.

“The United Hospital Fund has a long history of targeting the needs of vulnerable populations, and these grants show our continuing commitment,” said James R. Tallon, Jr., president of the United Hospital Fund. “With these five grants, we’re focusing on individuals with substance abuse problems, those with chronic illnesses, those with extremely high risk of medical complications in pregnancy, and low-income families who are struggling to care for a child with special medical needs.  Our aim is to test innovative models of care, models that could be replicated later on a broader scale.”   

Details on the grants are included below.

Improving the Quality of Care

Brooklyn College ($25,000)
To conduct a survey to assess the range and scope of substance abuse treatment services currently available at community health centers in New York State and develop recommendations for interventions to expand their capacity to provide  these services.

Most substance abuse treatment takes place at specialty facilities, which operate separately from primary care and mental health services.  This separation limits access to treatment, and, in 2009, just over 10 percent of low-income New Yorkers in need of services received substance abuse treatment at a specialty facility.  The Affordable Care Act, as well as the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, are expected to foster better integration of substance abuse treatment into medical care settings, including community health centers.  This grant will support  a statewide survey to describe the substance abuse treatment services currently available at community health centers, assess their infrastructure capacity, and develop recommendations for workforce and system interventions to expand the centers’ capacity to provide needed services.  Improved access to treatment could result in cost savings related to reduced hospitalizations and better management of chronic conditions for patients receiving substance abuse treatment services.

Greater New York Hospital Association ($125,000)
To continue and enhance the quality improvement infrastructure developed by the Greater New York Hospital Association and the United Hospital Fund.

In 2005, the United Hospital Fund and the Greater New York Hospital Association formed a partnership to improve the quality of care provided in hospitals in the New York metropolitan region, beginning with an initiative to reduce central line-associated bloodstream infections in intensive care units.  Since then, the Fund and GNYHA have implemented a series of successful and well-received quality initiatives involving 65 hospitals.  This grant will build upon the quality improvement program through the following activities:

  • Continue the Clinical Quality Fellowship Program, which is developing the next generation of physician and nurse “champions” to lead quality improvement and patient safety efforts at hospitals;
  • Continue to focus on the rapid identification and treatment of sepsis through the STOP Sepsis Collaborative; and
  • Develop a new palliative care quality improvement collaborative that will provide a standardized approach to the provision of palliative care services across a range of programs.

Montefiore Medical Center ($75,000)
To pilot test a multidisciplinary “care map” to reduce the incidence of adverse obstetrical and neonatal events associated with obesity in pregnancy.

Obesity is strongly associated with multiple risks, including maternal, fetal, and neonatal death.  In 2009, the United Hospital Fund awarded a $65,000 grant to support the work of five hospitals—Beth Israel Medical Center, Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center, Maimonides Medical Center, Montefiore Medical Center, and Mount Sinai Medical Center—and FOJP Service Corporation (the hospitals’ risk management organization) to develop a multi-specialty, comprehensive “care map” to decrease adverse obstetrical and neonatal events in high-risk, underserved, minority populations who have especially high obesity rates.  This grant will pilot test the care map at Montefiore Medical Center to determine the feasibility of its implementation.  Staff at FOJP will collect baseline data on compliance with the care map and outcomes data for pregnant women with a body mass index of over 40—the marker for morbid obesity.  Findings will be shared with all FOJP hospitals and their affiliates, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, members of the Greater New York Hospital Association, and others. 

The New York City AIDS Fund ($10,000)
To support an AIDS grantmaking collaborative in New York City.

AIDS is still a serious public health issue in the U.S., with nearly 1.5 million Americans living with AIDS and HIV infection.  In New York City, that number is over 100,000.  This grant will help support the New York City AIDS Fund’s collaborative grantmaking efforts, which, in 2011, will provide approximately $1 million in grants.  The AIDS Fund’s priorities this year focus on three areas: prevention projects geared toward communities with the highest infection rates, projects to improve the cultural competency of HIV service programs, and advocacy and public policy efforts.

Redesigning Health Care Services

New Alternatives for Children ($50,000)
To implement and evaluate three engagement strategies to increase medical and mental health service use by low-income families with a child who has special medical needs.

Caring for a child with special medical or mental health needs places a great deal of responsibility and strain on parents.  For low-income parents who struggle to meet their children’s basic needs, caring for a child with special needs can be overwhelming and lead to preventable emergency room visits, hospitalizations, child neglect, and sometimes removal of a child from the home and placement in the foster care system.  New Alternatives for Children (NAC) is a respected health and child welfare agency that provides comprehensive services for children with severe disabilities and chronic illnesses and their families.  Despite the pressing need for services provided by NAC, many parents have difficulty keeping their children’s medical and mental health appointments.  With this grant, NAC will test and evaluate three strategies to better engage parents and improve their children’s use of services: use of a parent advocate to provide support and guidance, provision of home-based visits and extended clinic hours, and enhanced transportation assistance to appointments. NAC will integrate the successful strategies into its normal operations, and share findings with other agencies that provide health care to vulnerable populations.

About the United Hospital Fund: The United Hospital Fund is a health services research and philanthropic organization whose primary mission is to shape positive change in health care for the people of New York.

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