Breaking Ground: Engaging CBOs in Health Equity

Collective Action to Unify CBOs for Healthcare Transformation

NEW YORK, NY, — Communities Together for Health Equity (CTHE) hosted its first conference, “Breaking Ground: Engaging CBOs in Health Equity” on Tuesday, October 24, 2017. The CTHE Consortium represents community based organizations citywide. Breaking Ground was the first of two CTHE consortium conferences supported by the NYS Department of Health in order to promote CBO engagement in the Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) program and CBO strategic development for the Valued-Based Payment (VBP) environment. Over 160 CBO leaders and stakeholders (PPS, MCO, and government leaders) convened at the SUNY Global Center for a conference that was both by and for community based organizations.

 

Conference speakers included Michael Melendez, Associate Regional Administrator of the CMS Medicare New York Regional Office; Peggy Chan, DSRIP Director from the New York State Department of Health; Former State Assemblyman Roger Green, now with the DuBois Bunche Center-Medgar Evers College; and Dr. Noel Manyinda, Assistant Commissioner of NYC’s Department of Health, Harlem Health Action Center. Throughout the day, over 15 CBO leaders shared their experiences addressing the social determinants of health and partnering with healthcare systems, including CBO leaders involved in housing, food accessibility, quality of the built environment, environmental health, disabilities, and immigrant services.

 

Humberto Brown, Chair of the Steering Committee of the CTHE Planning Grant noted that he is optimistic about the opportunity for CBOs to engage and partner, both with each other as well as other institutions that make up the health care delivery system. Judy Wessler, a CTHE Consortium advisor and member of the DSRIP Project Approval and Oversight Panel stressed that public accountability is critical in identifying outcomes, and flagged that DSRIP’s goal of reducing hospitalizations by 25% could make people more ill, without the right focus on ensuring community based resources and public accountability for quality and access. She noted that “people get left out until they have a voice, and CBOs are the voice.”

Tawanna Black, Executive Director of the Northside Founders Group, who introduced the collective impact strategy to help consortium members’ frame their approach to collaboration and community engagement to position CBOs as equal players in the DSRIP process. The principals of Collective Impact require a focus on racial equity, inclusion of individuals who are impacted, and the use of data to continuously learn, adapt, and improve service delivery. Closing remarks were made by Dr. Marilyn Fraser, CEO for Arthur Ashe Institute of Urban Health.

For more information contact: Faven Araya, MPH, Community Outreach Coordinator, Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health, faraya@arthurasheinstitute.org, 718-826-4999.

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