The Child Center of NY took a big step toward providing integrated care when we partnered with Northwell Health in 2017. Now we’re taking things to a new level, thanks to a generous award from the Altman Foundation.
The award is funding our Health Improvement Project, which involves two interrelated components: hosting resident doctors from Northwell Health; and rolling out a new screening tool developed by The Child Center and Northwell, with support from New York Community Trust. Called the Health and Well-being Questionnaire (CC-HWQ), it identifies clients’ physical and/or behavioral health challenges, as well as socioeconomic factors impacting their health — such as unsafe housing conditions — known as “social determinants of health.” On-site Northwell resident doctors provide primary health services and use the screening tool to guide conversations and workshops. A Resource Navigator, funded by the grant, connects families to other services that the questionnaire reveals they might need. The project is at seven sites, with the goal to expand.
“When a family comes to us through one portal — say, a Head Start program — we can assess their needs and connect them to appropriate providers — to the point where they no longer require our services,” says Robert Cizma, our VP of Health Homes and Integrated Care. “Think how many services any family needs. You have medical issues, educational issues. … To find out what’s going on, you’ve got to ask the questions. Ask, ‘Where are you living?’ and you might discover the family is living in a car.”
“Partnership between health systems and community-based organizations can be critical to improving health and quality of life for low-income New Yorkers,” says Rachael Pine, Altman Foundation Senior Program Officer. “We are pleased to support this collaboration between community social services and medical residency training. We expect it will strengthen and broaden the services The Child Center provides its clients, while deepening sensitivity in the next generation of Northwell-trained physicians to the lives of vulnerable individuals and the ‘social determinants of health’ they confront on a daily basis.