Special Projects Fund

Grantee Name

Greater New York Hospital Association (GNYHA)

Funding Area

Special Projects Fund

Publication Date

July 2019

Grant Amount


Grant Date:

September 2016–January 2019

Fostering collaboration among primary care providers and community-based organizations (CBOs) is critical to addressing social determinants of health, such as housing, access to affordable foods, and opportunities for physical activity.

Residents at New York State teaching hospitals provide a significant proportion of primary care services to Medicaid consumers and other low-income populations whose health is particularly affected by nonmedical factors. Although medical residents have begun to receive more education and gain experience in enhanced primary care models and population health management, they lack education and experience in collaborating with social service CBOs and are not fully integrated into the delivery system reform efforts underway in New York. Additionally, residency programs have not widely incorporated training on social determinants of health into their curricula.

In 2016, NYHealth awarded a grant to the Greater New York Hospital Association (GNYHA) to create and pilot a model program for residents that provides skills and training to recognize and address the social determinants of health.

Outcomes and Lessons Learned

  • Identified best practices and challenges to implementation and adoption from similar training programs focused on social determinants of health across the country;
  • Established collaborations between participating residency programs and local CBOs in the Bronx, Staten Island, and Monroe County to provide residents with opportunities to work in CBO settings;
  • Ascertained the current levels of residents’ engagement and interactions with CBOs;
  • Assessed specific community needs in the participating regions;
  • Assembled an advisory workgroup of key stakeholders to develop the training curriculum;
  • Published and disseminated the following guides:
  • Engaged primary care residency programs from 15 New York hospitals and health systems to collaborate with 15 CBOs, training 69 residents in total;
  • Held a symposium to share project findings and lessons learned and discuss larger efforts to integrate social determinants of health within the health care delivery system;
  • Conducted an assessment of the training program, which found that:
    • 68% of residents strongly agreed that they understood how partnerships between health care organizations and CBOs can address patients’ social needs; and
    • 64% of residents said that they were much more likely to consider the social needs of patients after completing the training, and were comfortable referring patients to CBOs.

Both the residency programs and participating CBOs have continued to work together to train primary care residents. While there are currently no plans to expand on the number of training programs in New York, the framework and guides developed through this project are meant to be used as a model for other residency programs and future trainings.

Co-Funding and Additional Funds Leveraged: N/A