Issue 35
March, 2018
Welcome to Synergy
We are pleased to present the thirty-fifth issue of Synergy, a monthly 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
SCC Hosts Tobacco Free Campus Initiative Breakfast

SCC's Tobacco Free Campus Initiative continues to engage New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) and Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) sites across Suffolk County with the goal of assisting Behavioral Health Organizations (BHO) in becoming Tobacco Free environments. SCC is extending its partnership with the Tobacco Action Coalition of Long Island and Northwell Health's Center for Tobacco Control to carry out the initiative. Project leads, PJ Tedeschi, Director of the Tobacco Action Coalition, Patricia Folan, Director, and Andrea Spatarella, Nurse Practitioner, both from Northwell Health's Center for Tobacco Control provide technical assistance in the form of policy creation, policy implementation, patient and provider tobacco cessation materials and staff education sessions.

On February 22, 2018, the SCC hosted its second kick-off breakfast with representatives from OMH and OASAS facilities. Over the next several months, eight additional BHOs will complete the Tobacco Free Site Readiness Survey and begin their transition to Tobacco Free Campus status. Each site will receive an Implementation Toolkit and tailored technical assistance. For more information about the Tobacco Free Campus Initiative, contact Alexandra Kranidis, SCC Project Manager, at
Greater New York Hospital Association Antimicrobial Stewardship Certificate Program
SCC has partnered with the Greater New York Hospital
Attendees at the February 28, 2018, training session
Association (GNYHA) to offer an Antimicrobial Stewardship Initiative to skilled nursing facility partners. The Antimicrobial Stewardship Program (ASP) engages team approach methods for training nursing home staff to become ASP champions. The certification program focuses on reducing c
lostridium  difficile (C. difficile) and urinary tract infection (UTI) transmission rates, ensures the proper use of antibiotics and highlights best practices.
The ASP Certificate Program has three parts: a preliminary home study component, a live multi-hour webinar and a full day in-person training program. Continuing education credits were offered through NYS Council of Health System Pharmacists & Continuing Medical Education Office of Montefiore Albert Einstein to participants who completed all three certification components.

Attendees at the February 28, 2018, 
training session
GNYHA held the full day in-person training for Long Island skilled nursing facilities on Wednesday, February 28, 2018, at Stony Brook University Hospital. Twenty four skilled nursing facilities participated in this training program. Approximately 60 clinicians attended, including pharmacists, physicians and nurses. 
Presenters included infection control physicians and pharmacists who led informative presentations on measuring antibiotic use, C. difficile & ASP Guidelines and best practices, developing ASP policy, UTI assessment tool, Center for Disease Control ASP guidelines, and more.  Participants engaged in two group workshops focusing on UTI antimicrobial stewardship and drug-use evaluation.

The webinar recording can be accessed by registering on the GNYHA website
SCC Participates in CancerWise Café  Event

On Saturday, March 17, 2018, SCC Project 4bii 
partner, Stony Brook University's Cancer Center, hosted the CancerWise Café event. Project 4bii is a disease specific program targeting the development of chronic-disease specific initiatives for community education and screening under the five focus areas of the program: obesity, tobacco cessation, lung cancer screen, breast cancer screen and colorectal cancer. The event focused on the latest advances in screening, prevention, diagnosis, management and treatment of several types of cancers. They included breast, lung, colorectal, blood, head and neck, gastrointestinal, gynecological, prostate and skin cancers. Information from health and community based providers, such as the American Cancer Society, were also available to attendees.

Sofia Gondal, SCC Community Engagement Liaison, with event attendee
SCC's Community Engagement Liaisons, Sofia Gondal and Lyndsey Clark, attended the event and provided an
 overview of SCC's community programs and conducted live website demonstrations of SCC's  Community Engagement webpage . In line with Project 4bii outreach, a variety of cancer vendors participated in the CancerWise Café event and hosted educational displays to educate and promote awareness for community members. SCC's Community Engagement team will continue to participate in similar collaborative events.

For outreach specific questions and to learn about how your organization can participate in similar events, please contact our Community Engagement Team at .
Federation of Organizations Receives NY State Grant to Expand "Assertive Community Treatment" Services to Long Island's North Fork

Federation of Organizations was recently awarded a grant from the New York State Office of Mental Health to expand its Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) services to the North Fork of Long Island. 

The new ACT Team, which was assembled in January 2018, is now providing services and will be able to care for 68 people in Suffolk County.

ACT Teams are mobile units of professionals that go to the streets, shelters or homes to provide services to people diagnosed with severe mental illness whose needs have not been met by traditional service delivery approaches.

"Many lives will be improved, thanks to this grant which will enable Federation of Organizations to provide needed services to individuals with serious mental challenges on the North Fork of Long Island," said Jason Vandewater, Director of Clinical Services, Federation of Organizations.

Previously, one ACT Team served both Forks of Long Island. "The North Fork has been an underserved area," Vandewater said. "For individuals with disabilities, there were transportation issues and a lack of appropriate healthcare services in the area. Our new ACT Team will greatly enhance services to the North Fork."
For more info, visit Federation of Organizations' website.
COMPASS Unity's Teen Intervene Program Helping Youth Make Healthier Choices

COMPASS Unity through Strength and Diversity is Bellport/South Country School District's alcohol and drug prevention and awareness coalition. With continued support by Family Service League's Underage Drinking Prevention initiative funded by Suffolk Care Collaborative, the Coalition is helping introduce the substance abuse intervention training, Teen Intervene, to South Country Central School District.
Teen Intervene is an evidence-based brief intervention program designed for youth ages 12-19, who may be experiencing mild to moderate problems associated with alcohol or other drug use. The program provides education and support for teens and parents to replace alcohol and/or substance use habits with healthier choices.
COMPASS Unity's proposal to have the Teen Intervene program adopted as part of the discipline process,  such as out-of-school suspensions related to substance use and possession while on school property, was approved by the school district. This will help ensure that students that may be facing substance use problems get the help they need to make healthier choices and have more favorable behavioral outcomes.
Teen Intervene training is now being offered to South Country Central School District staff members. The training is designed for youth-serving professionals who are or may end up working with substance using teenagers.
COMPASS Unity's coordinator, Lynette Murphy, has been trained in Teen Intervene by Family Service League's Long Island Prevention Resource Center (LIPRC). LIPRC facilitates partnerships for community-based coalitions to focus on effective strategies to deal with alcohol, drug and tobacco use and gambling problems. The LIPRC will provide technical support to COMPASS Unity and South Country Central School District, as Teen Intervene is implemented within the school district's policy.  For more information about Teen Intervene email Lynette Murphy, Social Worker, South Country School District at  
Partner Interview:  Partnering for a Healthier Long Island
Name:  PJ Tedeschi, LCSW
Title:   Director
Organization:  Tobacco Action Coalition of Long Island

Who does your organization serve?
The Tobacco Action Coalition of Long Island (TAC) is one of 25 Advancing Tobacco Free Communities grants funded by the NYS Department of Health's Bureau of Tobacco Control. The American Lung Association administers the grant. TAC is comprised of a community engagement component and a youth action component called Reality Check. TAC serves all of Long Island. Our work focuses on establishing tobacco-free policies to make Long Island a healthier place to live.

Why did you choose to participate as a partner of the SCC?
TAC partnered with the SCC because we were working towards similar goals that support New York's Prevention Agenda. Through our policy work, TAC aims to reduce illness, disability and death related to tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure and to alleviate the social and economic burdens caused by tobacco use.

On which DSRIP project(s) are you working?
TAC works on DSRIP project 4aii - Prevent Substance Abuse and other Mental Emotional Behavioral Disorders, which focuses on reducing the use of substances, such as alcohol, drugs and tobacco across the population in Suffolk County.

How do you see this project making an impact on our communities, workforce and population we serve?
Our collaboration with the SCC establishes a framework in which behavioral health sites can implement a comprehensive tobacco-free policy that includes tobacco cessation services and staff education. The ability to combine our resources allows us to offer additional assistance to organizations with the goal of promoting lasting change and reaching vulnerable populations.

What do you hope the DSRIP program will accomplish in general?
Our goal is to make Long Island a healthier place to live, work and play.   Having more tobacco-free places in Suffolk County will support those who have quit, encourage people to consider quitting and prevent our youth from becoming the next generation of smokers.
The Tobacco Action Coalition of Long Island (TAC) has been in existence for over 23 years. TAC was originally established in 1990 as one of 22 coalitions in New York State participating in the American Stop Smoking Intervention Study (ASSIST). Over the years, TAC has worked closely with the New York State Bureau of Tobacco Control to improve the health status of our communities by changing community policies and social norms regarding tobacco use and promotion.
Currently, TAC is funded by the New York State Department of Health's Bureau of Tobacco Control as one of 25 Advancing Tobacco Free Communities grants in New York State. The grant is administered by the American Lung Association. TAC serves Nassau and Suffolk counties and collaborates with county health departments, local government agencies, non-profit organizations, youth agencies, community coalitions and other concerned citizens.  For more information about TAC, visit the website here.  

Compliance Connection
U.S. Department of Justice False Claims Act Recovery Efforts
Each year, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) reports findings and figures recovered from False Claims Act (FCA) cases. For the 2017 fiscal year, the DOJ recovered over $3.7 billion from false claims. They investigate and resolve matters involving a wide array of health care providers, goods and services. The recoveries restore valuable assets to federally funded programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid. Besides the restoration of dollars, the DOJ's investigative work serves to deter fraud, waste and abuse, potentially saving tax payers millions more in losses.
Last year, $2.4 billion of the $3.7 billion recovered came from the health care industry, which included drug companies, hospitals, pharmacies, laboratories and physicians. This marks the eighth consecutive year that health care settlements and judgements have exceeded $2 billion.
"The False Claims Act holds accountable those health care organizations unwilling to comply with the law", said Daniel R. Levinson, Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in a press release that announced the DOJ's recovery efforts.
$3.4 billion of the 2017 total amount recovered related to lawsuits filed under the qui tam provisions of the FCA. Qui tam complaints are brought about by individuals who expose fraud and false claims and in 2017 payouts to individuals amounted to $392 million.  
For the full press release that details some of the actual cases and specific recoveries in health care and other industries, visit the U.S. DOJ website here

For compliance questions, or assistance, contact the SCC Compliance Office at
 Milestone Dates
 NYS DOH DSRIP Program Milestone Dates
April 1
DSRIP Year 4 Begins

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. Program Assistant
  For more information, please contact the Suffolk Care Collaborative via email