Justice-Involved Veterans: Causes and Solutions

On July 9, 2024, NYHealth hosted a webinar on justice-involved veterans.

Many veterans successfully transition back to civilian life, leveraging their military skills after they leave the service. However, others face significant challenges that can lead to involvement with the justice system. Research shows that nearly one-third of veterans have been arrested and incarcerated, a higher rate compared to their civilian counterparts.

NYHealth Senior Program Officer Derek Coy spoke about justice-involved veterans with Dr. Jason A. Higgins, assistant professor at Virginia Tech and author of Prisoners After War: Veterans in the Age of Mass Incarceration. They explored the factors contributing to veterans’ interactions with the justice system, examined the gaps in services, addressed the effect of incarceration on specific veteran demographics, and discussed innovative solutions like Veterans Treatment Courts.

Watch the webinar here.

Strengthening the Workforce through New York State’s Public Health Corps

On June 25, 2024, NYHealth hosted a webinar on strengthening New York’s public health workforce.

Recent research indicates state and local public health departments need a massive workforce increase—80% by some estimates—to deliver essential public health services nationwide post-pandemic.

In response, since 2021, New York State has committed to expanding its health care workforce by 20% over four years and has made targeted investments, including the launch of the New York State Public Health Corps. This first-in-the-nation program aims to strengthen local and statewide capacity to support COVID-19 recovery, increase preparedness for future public health emergencies, and develop a workforce that promotes equity and is reflective of the communities it serves.

Panelists discussed how the program has strengthened New York State’s public health workforce, as well as remaining gaps and opportunities. They highlighted the program’s model and relationship to other workforce programs; local health department leaders and program outcomes across a range of topics, such as communicable disease surveillance, drug overdose, lead toxicity prevention, and reproductive health care access; and opportunities to leverage the program’s successes.

Speakers were:

  • Erin Knoerl, Director, New York State Public Health Corps Fellowship Program, New York State Department of Health
  • Gale Burstein, M.D., M.P.H., Commissioner, Erie County Department of Health
  • Sarah Ravenhall, Executive Director, New York State Association of County Health Officials
  • Tara Schafer, Executive Director, Literacy Buffalo Niagara
  • Danielle Rovillo, Project Coordinator – Health Equity, Erie County Department of Health

Watch the webinar recording here.

View presentation slides.

Policy Solutions to Strengthen Primary Care in New York State

On May 9, 2024, NYHealth and Primary Care Development Corporation (PCDC) hosted a conversation with policymakers, a provider, and an advocate on the current state of primary care policy in New York State.

To improve the accessibility, quality, and equity of care while controlling costs, expanding and strengthening primary care should be a top priority. New York State has a unique opportunity to improve our primary care system, with momentum at the State and federal levels to better resource primary care, strengthen primary care infrastructure, and transform the way care is delivered.

Panelists discussed a leading policy solution considered in New York and nearly 20 other states to improve access and advance health equity by devoting a larger share of health care dollars to primary care. They also highlighted other policy solutions for primary care access gaps and workforce challenges; federal primary care programs coming to New York; and the impact of these policies on patients and providers.

Speakers were:

  • New York State Assemblymember Amy Paulin, Chair, Assembly Committee on Health
  • New York State Senator Gustavo Rivera, Chair, Senate Committee on Health
  • Linda Clark, M.D., M.S., President and CEO, Jordan Health
  • Jordan Goldberg, J.D., Director of Policy, PCDC
  • David Sandman, Ph.D., President and CEO, NYHealth (moderator)

Watch the webinar recording here.

Keeping Score: Using Data to Strengthen New York’s Primary Care System

On April 24, 2024, NYHealth and Primary Care Development Corporation (PCDC) hosted a webinar highlighting how data can be used to drive progress toward a primary care-centric health system.  

The webinar included the release of PCDC’s New York State Primary Care Scorecard, a first-of-its-kind resource on the state of primary care in New York. The scorecard includes data on primary care access, utilization, and outcomes around the State. Speakers discussed the findings, described how they reflect patients’ and health care providers’ experiences on the ground, and outlined how these data can spur action.   


  • Anna Popinchalk, Director of Research & Evaluation, Primary Care Development Corporation 
  • Kimberleigh Smith, Senior Director for Community Health Planning and Policy, Callen-Lorde 
  • Natalya Martins, Vice President of Programs, Massachusetts Health Quality Partners 

Watch the webinar recording and view the speaker slides.

Additional Resources:

Still Hungry: Food Insufficiency in New York State

On April 17, 2024, NYHealth hosted a webinar to discuss findings from the Foundation’s data brief examining food insufficiency in New York State over the past four years. The data show that food insufficiency in New York is nearly as high as it was during the peak of the pandemic, disproportionately affecting New Yorkers of color, families with children, and people with lower incomes. 

Speakers shared perspectives from their work in New York City and throughout the State on food access, local policy, and community partnerships amid shifting landscapes during and after the pandemic.   


  • Ora Kemp, Senior Policy Advisor, NYC Mayor’s Office of Food Policy 
  • Whitley Hasty, Benefits Navigation Coordinator, FoodLink 
  • Emilia Cobbs, Policy and Research Associate, NYHealth 

Watch the webinar recording and view the speaker slides.

A Blueprint to Transform Mental Health and Substance Use Services in New York State

On March 14, 2024, NYHealth hosted a webinar with representatives of InUnity Alliance, who discussed their efforts to transform mental health and substance use services in New York State.

Sustained and effective solutions to New York’s mental health and substance use disorder crisis require an investment in integrated systems of care. Access to all available services, regardless of when a patient enters the health system, allows for optimized patient care, coordinated action, joint advocacy, and collaborative learning.

Recently, the Coalition for Behavioral Health (The Coalition) and Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Providers (ASAP) joined efforts to create InUnity Alliance. The merge combines two leading membership associations for mental health and substance use service providers and collectively represents more than 250 provider agencies and 800,000 New Yorkers. InUnity Alliance is well positioned to address the critical challenges and urgent needs of the addiction and mental health sectors in New York State, including the workforce crisis, inadequate funding and reimbursement rates, gaps in services, and the needs of underserved populations.

Panelists were:

  • Jihoon Kim, Chief Executive Officer, InUnity Alliance
  • John Coppola, Chief Operating Officer for Policy and Advocacy, InUnity Alliance
  • Amy Dorin, Chief Operating Officer for Administration, InUnity Alliance

Watch the webinar recording here.