Imagine what good could be done in the healthcare industry with $3 million dollars. The Hudson Valley no longer has to; the region was recently awarded the generous sum by Montefiore Hudson Valley Collaborative (MHVC) to tackle local healthcare projects. The network’s goal is to ultimately improve the overall quality of life of Hudson Valley residents by funding a total of 19 projects.
The organization is seeking long-term solutions to healthcare issues through this funding. “We are overhauling healthcare delivery,” says Damara Gutnick, medical director at MHVC. “By mobilizing local resources to focus on disease prevention rather than the Band-Aid approach of short-term solutions, we are responding to what matters most to our community.”
MHVC believes that focusing on local healthcare facilities is the way to help in the overall effort to improve the health of the Hudson Valley’s inhabitants. “Different communities have different needs,” says Allison McGuire, Vice President for Integrated Health Systems at MHVC. McGuire went on to discuss that proving a level of collaboration among the network was fundamental in deciding which organizations to award a grant. “We know a patient sees multiple providers, and we wanted our providers to work together,” she says. “Our network is all about sharing best practices.”
The $3,158,726 “Innovation Fund” will be distributed among organizations from Westchester County to Albany. In choosing which candidates to provide funding, McGuire explained that each applicant had to meet a certain standard: their projects had to respond to specific regional healthcare needs. However, McGuire noted that there was no cap on funding when reviewing projects. “We didn’t want to squash regional innovation,” she states.
Rockland Paramedic Services was awarded the greatest amount — upwards of $350,000 — to train paramedics to follow up with discharged patients by visiting them in their homes to ensure patients are following doctors’ orders and assist them in taking medications and scheduling appointments.
Nyack Hospital plans to use its $275,000 to be the first New York hospital to utilize a smartphone app called Twiage. The app would enable first responders to send live data — by way of video, photo, voice memo and text messages — about patient symptoms to the emergency room in order to better prepare for incoming traumas.
The $250,000 that Maternal Infant Services Network was granted will be used to teach students the need for preventative care. The network plans to train teenagers to become Wellness Ambassadors who will be shown healthy habits to take with them and to pass on to their peers. Part of this effort will include conducting focus groups with teens to learn what they care about most and how to apply that to their healthcare.
Other organizations include Hudson River Healthcare, Arms Acres, Westchester Jewish Community Services, Planned Parenthood Mid-Hudson and many others. Some projects are looking to use funding to increase knowledge in neglected areas of study such as how to more properly care for members of the LGBTQ community and those with mental illnesses.
McGuire expects positive results from the investments made in these projects. As a network, McGuire said they have focused on “creating a simple statement: if we do x, then y happens, my goal is x, I’m going to prove it by y.” McGuire explained that plugging real-life factors into those statements is how each the network plans to solve current health issues of the Hudson Valley.