Issue 13
May, 2016

Welcome to Synergy


We are pleased to present the thirteenth 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. 

In This Issue

Coalition Building: 
Partnership between the Suffolk Care Collaborative and Long Island Health Collaborative to improve the health of Suffolk County.
Population-Health Improvement Program (PHIP) Team
From Left to right:  Michael Corcoran, PHIP Data Analyst, Janine Logan, Senior Director, Communications and Population Health, Sarah Ravenhall, Program Manager, Kim Whitehead, Communications Specialist. 
The key to the success of DSRIP and the SCC is collaboration and engagement. These characteristics are demonstrated in the relationship between the SCC and the Long Island Health Collaborative (LIHC). The LIHC is an  exte nsive workgroup of  committed partners who agree to work together to improve the h ealth of Long Islanders. LIHC members include both county health departments, all hospitals on Long Island, community-based health and social service organizations, academic institutions, health plans and local municipalities, among other sectors. The LIHC was developed by hospitals and the Health Departments of Suffolk and Nassau Counties with the assistance of the Nassau-Suffolk Hospital Council to develop and implement a Community Health Improvement Plan. 

In 2015, the LIHC was awarded funding from New York State Department of Health as a regional Population-Health Improvement Program (PHIP). With this funding, various projects have been launched that promote the concept of population health among all sectors, the media and to the public. Monthly meetings serve as an outlet for member organizations to network, identify opportunities for collaboration and leverage resources.

Community Health Needs Assessment Prevention Agenda and CHAP
The LIHC has been a very active and strong collaborative partner supporting the SCC's efforts to improve population-based health management and implement the DSRIP project plans and workstreams. Many of SCC project stakeholders also participate in the LIHC.  The staff at LIHC works very closely with our Project Management Organization (PMO) team and Network Development team. The engagement with our PMO includes participation the Community Health Activation Program (CHAP). Last year, the SCC worked with the organization partners of the LIHC to develop a Community Health Needs Assessment Prevention Agenda survey that was distributed electronically and in hard copy to residents in Suffolk County.  The survey was shared with the Project Manager for CHAP, who immediately identified that the survey contained the necessary elements needed to support CHAP's community health assessment survey. Discussions have commenced between our two entities and we envision a robust effort to engage community members in this survey process for the Summer of 2016. Further, the LIHC is a part of the Nassau-Suffolk Hospital Council (NSHC), a function of NSHC is the facilitation of insurance enrollment to Medicaid and Medicaid Managed Care programs. Individuals participating in the CHAP program will be navigated to these services. 

Are you Ready, Feet?™ Initiative
One of the many functions of the LIHC, with support from PHIP, is to pursue the New York State of Health's Prevention Agenda; similar to the SCC's Project 4bii - Increase access to high quality chronic disease preventive care.  We have discovered numerous opportunities to work together on this project. The LIHC has created an easy-to-use online portal and reward program as an interactive approach to promote physical activity and walking. The simple and inexpensive act of walking is one of the easiest ways for consumers be more active, and the personalized Are You Ready, Feet? ™ Dashboard aims to incentivize consumers to increase their healthy, daily activities. The program advocates for  combating  chronic diseases via the CDC's recommendation for 150 minutes of physical activity per week for the average adult consumer.

Surrounding the initiative is a social media outreach campaign that includes search engine optimized blog posts, boosted Facebook posts promoting targeted blog content, branded hashtags for both the portal (#ReadyFeet) and the LIHC itself (#HealthCollab), a commitment from the LIHC's dedicated members to engage with these posts, share them, and create their own, with all of these actions driving consumers to the site and the Are You Ready, Feet?™ portal. This program is available to use within your organization! Multilingual promotional materials have been printed and are ready for distribution to employees, patients, consumers, families, or any partnering networks.
Cultural Competency & Health Literacy Initiatives
The engagement with the SCC Network Development Team includes participation in Cultural Competency and Health Literacy (CCHL) and Community Engagement workstreams.  To improve CCHL across our contracted and/or engaged partner providers and organizations, both the LIHC and SCC have established CCHL workgroups and team members from each entity sit on each other's workgroup.  Early on, we identified the synergy between our efforts on this workstream and combined our talents, resources and time.  This collaborative approach resulted in an extensive interview process researching CCHL training vendors to support the workforce training needs for SCC & LIHC partners (hospitals, local department of healths, CBOs, etc.). 

Community Engagement 
Long Island Health Collaborative (LIHC) Committee Meeting
Community Engagement - working with engaged hospitals, local county health departments, CBOs, municipalities, and other community partners to ensure success of DSRIP and the SCC through collaborations, involvement, consultations and communication.   In February, the LIHC, in collaboration with SCC and NQP, hosted a community-based organization summit.  This event was open to all community-based organizations in Suffolk County.  During the summit, representatives from a diverse group of community-based organizations shared their input on what problems are vital to the people and communities served in Suffolk County. The data collected during this session was instrumental to informing our hospital and county community health assessments.  We foresee that these forum-type engagements will be ongoing and further expanded to other entities.   In addition, the SCC worked with all the organizations participating in the LIHC in the development of the LIHC website.  The SCC is currently in the process of redesigning our community resources webpage to include a new directory resource, a calendar and educational information.  We have partnered with LIHC and are planning to link our calendar of events on the community resource webpage.  Additionally, LIHC staff participates on the SCC Community Engagement Workgroup, and the Senior Director is also a member of the Community Needs Assessment, Outreach and CCHL Committee, a SCC governing board committee.

Hot Spotting Analytics and Strategies
LIHC works with the PPS to collect and analyze extensive data that supports community assessment and improvements, the prevention agenda, identifying communities in need, building dashboards, and developing collaborative member and beneficiary surveys across the DSRIP portfolio.  Team leads for data analytics from the SCC and LIHC meet on a regular basis and additionally, a monthly LIHC Data Workgroup is attended by several SCC team members.

We're Neighbors!
Most recently, we have even leveraged the physical distance between our two teams, when the SCC moved to a location within the same professional complex, and are now neighbors of the LIHC.  All of the work that is being done in collaboration with the LIHC has made our efforts more efficient and effective.  Our futures look very bright as we not only intend on supporting each other's projects and efforts; but, also plan to continue sharing and maximizing resources, ensuring good use of our time; and reducing duplication of efforts across Suffolk County.

Learn more about the Long Island Health Collaborative and the Are You Ready, Feet?™ initiative by visiting
The offices of the Suffolk Care Collaborative and The Long Island Health Collaborative
Partner Interview
Name: Janine Logan, APR
Title: Senior Director, Communications and Population Health
Organization: Nassau-Suffolk Hospital Council (NSHC)

What is the Long Island Health Collaborative's (LIHC) vision and some key objectives of the Long Island Population Health Improvement Program? 
The collaborative is the main work group for the Long Island Population Health Improvement Program (PHIP). We're focused on the reduction of obesity, particularly chronic diseases that are related to obesity, and also on enhancing access to chronic disease management and treatment programs in both clinical and community settings.

How do you think the LIHC's goals and mission align with the DSRIP program?
The DSRIP program is looking, as ours is, to help patients become more active in their own health - more engaged and more aware of their nutritional habits and their physical activity habits.
The DSRIP program is focused on the Medicaid population. Our collaborative looks at the Medicaid population but also at all populations outside of Medicaid and what can be done to help them improve their health.

Which DSRIP initiatives do you foresee the LIHC and the SCC collaborating on and how will this take steps towards bettering the health of our community?
Patient engagement and community outreach is an area where there's a lot of overlap. We're also assisting the SCC with some data collection and data needs, as well, and vice versa. It all begins with a base of understanding. Patients, of course, need to understand that those behaviors that they do and do not do affect their outcomes both in the short and long term. And also why it's important to have a Primary Care Practitioner Provider who coordinates their care.
We also realize now that a lot of the social determinants of health, such as transportation, access to care, the cost of care, education level, and poverty all factor into a person's ability to become well and stay well.

What are some strategies that both the LIHC and the SCC can maintain to satisfy the sustainability of community engagement?
The collaborative developed a community health assessment survey that we distributed to thousands of Long Islanders. A lot of the data and mapping that we have done at a very local level has also been very helpful to the Suffolk Care Collaborative.

Suffolk County faces several barriers to optimal health (e.g., transportation). How do you think the SCC and the LIHC can work towards overcoming these barriers
Transportation is a tough one. It requires working with transportation partners and influencing transportation policy in whatever way we can, such as getting one municipality to add another bus for seniors, and trying to work with the many cab companies that are out there now. I know that we do have to address that problem and, short of being able to build a monorail system, we have to find ways around it.
There are other barriers as well. There are pockets of extreme poverty on Long Island. If you're living in poverty you're not eating properly, so that affects your disease outcome. You might be working a couple of jobs and not making much money so physical activity is not your number one priority.
Those are the obstacles we have to try to overcome in some communities. Poverty, language barriers and cultural barriers.
The collaborative staff sits on the cultural competency committee at the Suffolk Care Collaborative. They're working on identifying organizations that can train members of the Care Collaborative as well as professional members of the LIHC in cultural competency and cultural sensitivity so that they can then train their staff. That will trickle down to ultimately treating and approaching the patient consumer in appropriate ways.

How have DSRIP activities aligned to the mission of the LIHC?
We're really completely aligned in just about every respect. We're using the same ways to reach people. We're partnering with faith-based organizations, with social service organizations, and with other small organizations that are out there in the community that are seeing what people need and interacting with people on a daily basis. So it's establishing all those relationships and we're doing that together.

How do you envision Population Health changing within the next five years?
I think this very patient-centered model of healthcare, which focuses on Primary Care and trying to catch illnesses and problems before they become more acute, is going to predominate our healthcare delivery system in the next five years.

It's connecting healthcare more to lifestyle and prevention rather than just remedying or writing a prescription. That's a different way for the United States to look at healthcare. 

Is there anything else you would like to add?
I'm personally very excited about the direction that healthcare is taking. I'm pleased that we've realized that those social determinants that are outside of the clinical setting have a very important impact on health outcomes.
Although we can't provide everybody with bus transportation or buy everybody who needs one an air conditioner, we can certainly, as a professional industry, sit down and figure out ways that together we can perhaps meet those needs in an economical way that helps everyone.
Compliance Connection
Whistleblower Protections: What You Need to Know

It takes guts to be a whistleblower about wrongdoing of any kind.  It can be a nerve-wracking process with no guarantee as to results.  Yet whistleblowing-or reporting known or suspected wrongdoing-is critical to ensuring fairness and the many benefits of a society operating with integrity.  To protect and encourage good faith reporting, we have non-retaliation and confidentiality policies in place.  Our anonymous hotline (1-631-638-1390) and Compliance Officer are dedicated to serving the needs of the brave people who want to report known misconduct or activities they reasonably suspect might involve misconduct.

Making false claims to federal or state governments in order to obtain payment takes wrongdoing to "another level" because it involves public money and undermines the public trust.  Reporting this kind of activity is so valuable that under the Deficit Reduction Act, the SCC must provide employees information about the federal False Claims Act, state false claims laws, legal protections available for whistleblowers, and how we try to detect and prevent fraud, waste and abuse.  Our Compliance Policy 14, "Detecting and Preventing Fraud, Waste, Abuse and Misconduct," offers such helpful information.
Committing or facilitating fraud is not only illegal and against SCC policy, it carries heavy penalties, civil and criminal sanctions.  It isn't worth it.  Check out Policy 14 and see for yourself!  Thank you.

Milestone Dates
NYS DOH DSRIP Program Milestone Dates 
Round Two Regulatory Waiver responses completed 
May 3
PPS Regional Learning Symposium (Downstate)
May 4
1115 Waiver Public Comment Day (Downstate)
May 17
PPS Regional Learning Symposium (Upstate)
May 31
Independent Assessor provides feedback to PPS on PPS Year 1 Fourth Quarterly Reports; 15-Day Remediation window begins 
June 14
Revised PPS Year 1 Fourth Quarterly Reports due from PPS; 15-day  Remediation Window Closes
June 29
Final Approval of PPS Year 1 Fourth Quarterly Reports

Frequently Asked Questions


To access NYS DSRIP FAQ, click 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. Whenever opportunities become available they will be posted here.
Job postings are available for the following career opportunities within the Office of Population Health at Stony Brook University Hospital administering the Suffolk Care Collaborative.
For more information, please contact the Suffolk Care Collaborative via email

Stay Informed


SCC communications currently include bi-weekly "DSRIP in Action" emails, a monthly "Synergy" eNewsletter, and the SCC website, which houses a wealth of resources including individual program webpages, presentations, videos, and key documents. To directly sign up for our newsletter, click here 


Have a question? Please send it to then watch for the answer in a future issue of Synergy.