Issue 48
July/August  2019
Welcome to Synergy
We are pleased to present the forty-eighth issue of Synergy, a newsletter about the progress and processes of the Suffolk Care Collaborative (SCC).

The definition of synergy is the increased effectiveness that results when two or more entities work together. We are confident that the combined efforts of the many dedicated partners within the SCC will help the Collaborative reach its goals, leading to improved health for the residents of Suffolk County.  

About Suffolk Care Collaborative (SCC):  SCC is an alliance of healthcare providers in Suffolk County, Long Island, NY, formed to support New York State's Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) initiative. Under the guidance and leadership of Stony Brook Medicine, SCC established a Population Health Management Service Organization to improve county-wide health by addressing a wide range of challenges to health in order to improve outcomes by encouraging wellness, making healthcare more accessible and reducing costs by decreasing unnecessary hospital utilization.  For more information, visit our website:

In This Issue

Happy Summer

Building a Business Case for Innovative Partnerships  

On May 23, 2019, SCC's Community Engagement team hosted  Building a Business Case for Innovative Partnerships, a discussion on Community Based Organization (CBO) engagement in Value Based Payment (VBP) models.  The event was inspired by the feedback received from an event SCC hosted in October 2018 entitled:  Innovative Trends in Community Partnerships.

We were pleased to have Ryan Ashe, Director of Medicaid Payment Reform at the NYS Department of Health, kick-off the event with an update on Value Based Payment (VBP) progress across the state and updates to the NYS VBP Roadmap.  Emily Engel, Deputy Director of the New York State Bureau of Social Determinants of Health and Martina Ahadzi, Program Manager from the Bureau of Social Determinants of Health discussed innovate projects addressing the Social Determinants of Health throughout New York, VBP contracting strategies for CBOs, and the importance of creating a value proposition.  A portion of the event was dedicated to a workshop for CBOs to begin outlining their value proposition.

If you were not able to the attend the event and are interested in learning more, SCC is available to collaborate  with partner organizations in the development of value propositions.  If you have already completed a value proposition, we encourage you to share it with SCC.

For more information please contact Amanda Chirco at
COMPASS Unity's 6th Annual Youth Summit

In May, COMPASS Unity, Bellport/South Country's drug and alcohol prevention coalition, hosted its 6th Annual Youth Summit at Bellport Middle School.  COMPASS Unity's Annual Youth Summit is an all-day conference that teaches 8th graders about making healthy decisions.

The day began with keynote speaker, Judith Montauban, who spoke to the 6, 7, 8th graders in attendance about making healthy decisions.  Ms. Montauban is a certified Alcohol Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC) and a certified Community Advocate.  She is a Public Health Educator who specializes in youth engagement and empowerment.

After the keynote address, students then participated in a series of three workshops. The first workshop was facilitated by Charles Fox, Economic Opportunity Council's Director of Special Projects for Community Services and Atisha Robinson, Senior Coordinator for Community Services. Their workshop, called "Making Healthy Decisions", provided students with effective steps to make healthy decisions.  The second workshop, called "What Would You Do?" was hosted by Krystyna Swiecicki, who spoke to students about building social skills, making healthy decisions and dealing with stress.  The third workshop, called "Climbing Out", was facilitated by students from Bellport High School. They presented an evidence-based module from the Why Try program, a secondary school curriculum that aims to help students become more motivated to meet their goals.

The day concluded with a presentation about social media safety, also presented by Krystyna Swiecicki.  Students learned various ways to conduct themselves safely when using the internet.  Each student received a COMPASS Unity goodie bag at the end of the conference.

There was positive feedback from the attendees of the 6th Annual Youth Summit according to post event surveys.  The surveys asked questions about the students' favorite workshops, major takeaways from the event and requested feedback on how to improve future summits.  COMPASS Unity members, students and presenters reported learning and fun over the course of the day.  Members of the Coalition look forward to doing it again in 2020!
SCC Hosts Cultural Competency & Health Literacy Master Training

SCC hosted a Cultural Competency & Health Literacy Train-the-Trainer (CCHL TTT) class on May 14, 2019.  Twelve regional partners participated in the interactive program with the objective of advancing cultural and linguistic competency, promoting effective communication to eliminate health disparities and enhancing patient outcomes.  During the full day program participants learned concepts of regional health disparity data, unconscious bias, social determinants of health, cultural competency and humility, National Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) Standards, health literacy barriers and strategies, as well as the Teach-Back Method.  Upon completion, all participants received certificates of completion and a toolkit to help prepare them to deliver the CCHL Training Program in their organizations.  Congratulations to the new CCHL Master Trainers!  
The CCHL Training Program is provided through  collaboration of the SCC, Nassau-Queens Performing Provider System, Long Island Health Collaborative (LIHC), and curriculum creator Dr. Martine Hackett, an Assistant Professor at Hofstra University.  

Front row, left to right:  Stephanie Burke (Class Instructor), SCC; April Lowry, CDCLI; Michelle Haugton, Gurwin Jewish Nursing & Rehabilitation Center and Meryl Cassidy, Response Crisis Center. Second row, left to right:  Michelle Mercier, St. Catherine of Siena Nursing & Rehabilitation; Guerdy Gregiore, LI Community Hospital; Christine Michelini, LI Community Hospital; Jean Davino, RR Health Strategies and Daniella Bellesia, HITS Consulting Group. Back row, left to right:  Christopher Galarza, EOC of Suffolk; Linda Demasi, Northwell Health; Jason Neal, Association for Mental Health and Wellness and
Shari Santoriello, LI-ARC/HUGS

For additional information about the CCHL Train-the-Trainer Program and SCC's class dates, please visit the CCHL landing page hosted on LIHC's website or e mail .
Stony Brook Medicine's Diabetes Program Selected For HANY's Pinnacle Award for Quality and Patient Safety  
Reprinted from Stony Brook Medicine's Press Release 

The Department of Medicine is thrilled to announce that Stony Brook Medicine's Diabetes Program, has been selected for a 2019 HANYS Pinnacle Award.  The program, effectively led by Joshua D. Miller, M.D., M.P.H., Assistant Dean for Clinical Integration, Medical Director of Diabetes Care, and Assistant Professor of Medicine, is only one of two recipients in a group of 115 select nominees from hospitals throughout New York State.

"This award is so very meaningful to me as it recognizes the work our dedicated team has accomplished over the past 4 years," says Dr. Miller. "This would not have been possible without the encouragement and support of Dr. Yang, Dean Kaushansky and all of our Stony Brook Medicine leadership team. I am indebted to everyone in the Department of Medicine for supporting our program and for helping us to realize our goals."

HANYS' Pinnacle Award for Quality and Patient Safety recognizes organizations that are playing a leading role in promoting improvements in healthcare delivery in New York State.

Dr. Miller continues, "Our diabetes program has now been recognized by HANYS, as a finalist for the 2019 America's Essential Hospitals Gage Award, by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and by Vizient for its innovation and success. I am truly humbled by this recognition and excited for what's to come. I am proud to call Stony Brook Medicine Long Island's leader in diabetes care."

Click here to see the HANYS' media video and Dr. Miller's personal statement about the diabetes initiative and program at Stony Brook Medicine, Quality Diabetes Care: Creating a Culture of Excellence Through Innovation.

Congratulations to Dr. Miller and his team on this very distinguished honor.
New Partnership Helps Tear Down Social Barriers to Better Health
Reprinted from Northwell Health's Press Release

Northwell Health announced a partnership with software platform NowPow to better empower patients to get help in overcoming their social determinants of health-the conditions in their daily lives that make it difficult for them to get or stay healthy.

Research has shown that issues like food insecurity, asthma-exacerbating mold in a person's living space or lack of transportation to a pharmacy or doctor's office are powerful predictors of health or illness.  The partnership with Chicago-based NowPow will bolster Northwell's efforts to address these kinds of social determinants by providing patients with highly matched referrals to community resources that can provide relevant help.

To launch the partnership, Northwell will provide NowPow's services to approximately 1,200 Medicaid patients who are part of Northwell Health's Health Home, a care coordination program that provides supportive services for people with significant behavioral health needs.  Drawing on diagnostic codes in health records, NowPow will identify patients' most urgent, non-medical needs (such as mold-remediation for those with asthma or lack of access to healthy food for those with diabetes), and use matching logic and evidence-based proprietary algorithms to recommend community organizations that can help.  In coordinating assistance, NowPow also takes into account patients' geographic location, their eligibility for services, languages spoken and other factors.  NowPow's Community Resource team validates community organizations before including them in the directory.

"We know that medical care alone is not enough to make people healthy," said Nancy Copperman, vice president of community health. "Total health also requires healthy food, a safe place to live and the ability to get to the care you need. By talking to our patients about these issues and integrating NowPow into the care we provide, we can connect people to the tools and resources they need to create truly healthy lives."

Northwell's community-based partners in the Health Home launch will also have full access to NowPow's platform, allowing those organizations to build their own capacity and increase their effectiveness.  All referrals can be shared, tracked and coordinated by Northwell's providers and partners, both of whom can reach out to patients to encourage them to get the help they need.  NowPow will also be able to "close the loop" on referrals of high-risk patients, providing Northwell and its partners with information on whether patients accessed the resources of the various community organizations. In addition, the company will provide other analytics on community needs and resources.

"This kind of data will allow us to fine-tune the efforts we make for our patients, so that we're supporting them more effectively," said Ram Raju, MD, senior vice president and community health investment officer at Northwell.  "It will also help us target our community health investment dollars more strategically, by allowing us to develop a better understanding of the most pressing issues that are dragging down health outcomes in our neighborhoods."

NowPow's platform is grounded in peer-reviewed research on population health. In an independent, third-party evaluation, people who received one or more referral based on the algorithms used by NowPow were compared to matched controls. Primary care use was higher and hospital admissions were lower for Medicare patients who received the referrals compared to those who did not. Emergency department admissions were also lower for Medicaid patients who received the referrals compared to those who did not.

"We are proud to partner with Northwell on this important step in their journey toward treating the whole person, not just the disease," said NowPow's founder and chief innovation officer, Stacy Lindau, MD, MAPP.  "Together we will power the communities Northwell serves with the knowledge everyone needs to stay well, manage their illness, and care for others."
Compliance Connection
Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control Program   

Each year the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) posts the Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control Program (Program) Annual Report.  The Fiscal Year 2018 report was released May 2019 and is available on the OIG's website.  

The report outlines efforts taken to coordinate federal, state and local law enforcement activities with respect to health care fraud and abuse.  The Program has been operating for 22 years and its continued success confirms the soundness of a collaborative approach to identify and prosecute the most egregious instances of health care fraud, to prevent future fraud and abuse and to protect program beneficiaries.

Click here for the Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control Program Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2018.   For compliance  questions or assistance, contact SCC's Compliance Office at and visit the compliance page on our website for helpful information.
 Milestone Dates
 NYS DOH DSRIP Program Milestone Dates
July 31, 2019            DY4 Second DSRIP Payment to PPS  

July 31, 2019            PPS Year 5 First Quarterly Report (4/1/19 - 6/30/19) 
                                  due from PPS 

August 30, 2019       IA completes review of PPS DY5 First Quarter Report

Frequently Asked Questions


To access NYS DSRIP FAQ, click  here.
Access previously published Synergy eNewsletters  here
Job woman showing hiring sign. Young smiling Caucasian   Asian businesswoman isolated on white background.
Office of Population Health
Career Opportunities
The SCC is pleased to invite qualified career seekers to apply for open positions. All job descriptions for current opportunities are posted here.

Current Job Opportunities:
  1. Community Health Associate
  For more information, please contact the Suffolk Care Collaborative via email