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2014 Spencer Foreman Award for Outstanding Community Service

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital

NY Presbyterian

Years before the Affordable Care Act, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital (NYP) began pioneering models for accountable, population-based health care in Washington Heights-Inwood (WHI), a predominantly underserved Hispanic neighborhood of more than 200,000. Today, NYP is refining its successful model for adaptability to neighborhoods across the United States.

After conducting a formal community health needs assessment and reviewing existing services, NYP, in collaboration with its medical school partner, Columbia University Medical Center, designed and launched a transformed model of care to improve health status in the community by targeting prevalent maladies: diabetes, asthma, heart failure, depression, and childhood obesity. At the centerpiece of the care model are seven patient-centered medical homes, which serve as nuclei for the “medical village,” known as the WHI Regional Health Collaborative.

“We exist for the public good and have a profound obligation and responsibility to serve our local community,” says Steven Corwin, M.D., CEO of NYP. “This model of care has allowed NewYork-Presbyterian to extend beyond the walls of our institution and truly improve the health dynamics of our community. In less than five years, this care model has reduced emergency visits by 29 percent and hospital admissions by 28 percent for patients with diabetes, asthma, or heart failure.”

Research also is integrated into this model through NYP’s partnership with Columbia’s Irving Institute for Clinical and Translational Research. In 2013–2014, the extensive community-based research initiative collaborated with 23 local organizations and 14 research protocols with support from more than 900 community members.

The success of the WHI Regional Health Collaborative largely is the result of strong support from NYP’s leadership, which has consistently supported investment in the community’s health.

“We’re on a journey that doesn’t really have a final destination,” explains Herbert Pardes, M.D., executive vice chairman of the NYP board of trustees. “Our dream has become a reality, and we want to reproduce it in other communities in the city and across the country.”

Integral to NYP’s journey is its significant investment in the healthy future of neighborhood children and adolescents. In partnership with Columbia, NYP built a network of school-based health clinics—connected to the medical village by information technology—that provide mental health and primary care services to more than 7,000 students. To ensure students grow up healthy, NYP pioneered a comprehensive childhood obesity prevention program, Choosing Healthy & Active Lifestyles for Kids (CHALK). Now in 225 schools in 42 states after becoming a model for first lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Active Schools program, CHALK is proof of the scalability of NYP’s community programs.

NYP also is working to position WHI students as future health care professionals through the Lang Youth Medical Program. Each year, about a dozen aspiring doctors and scientists are selected to participate in a six-year science enrichment, mentoring, internship, and college preparatory program that takes place every Saturday during the academic year, and Monday through Friday each July.

“There were no walls or boundaries,” former Lang scholar Jokeyni Lorenzo says of the program, which allowed her to work at the bedside of patients with bone cancer.

NYP’s approach to improving community health has positioned it as an innovative leader and integral partner in creating a healthier future for the WHI community. “NYP has earned and kept the respect of the community,” attests Gale Brewer, Manhattan borough president.

Spencer Foreman Award for Outstanding Community Service

This award honors member institutions with a longstanding, major institutional commitment to addressing community needs.