Over the last few years, there has been a growing financial crisis of hospitals in Brooklyn, New York. A large percentage of potentially preventable hospital admissions in the city are due to preventable chronic health conditions such as asthma, heart disease, and diabetes. In response to this crisis, Governor Cuomo budgeted $700 million in capital funding for health care in two of the most distressed neighborhoods of the city: Central and East Brooklyn. The goal of this investment is “to stabilize the health care delivery system in these communities, reduce unnecessary inpatient beds while improving the overall quality of inpatient and outpatient services, and increase access to community-based primary and preventive health care services.” The CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy faculty Drs. Sandra Echeverria, Diana Romero, Lynn Roberts and Alexis Pozen received a $75,000 planning grant from the New York State Health Foundation to evaluate effective population health strategies that can link hospital care systems with community-based approaches in the design, delivery, and financing of a Wellness Trust in Brooklyn, New York. The founding of a Wellness Trust for Brooklyn will be modeled after the Massachusetts Prevention and Wellness Trust, an innovative approach, and one of the first in the nation, designed to fund community-based primary and preventive health care services to improve population health. The goal of the planning grant is to identify potential funding mechanisms, organizational infrastructure, health outcomes as “measures of success” and community interest and political will to effectively establish a Wellness Trust in Brooklyn. The Planning Grant also benefits from the collaboration of local partners in Brooklyn and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
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