Restuccia Health Justice Fellowship - New York
Empowering Health Care Consumers
December 13, 2021
New York State is home to some of the most sophisticated and effective consumer health advocates in the nation, yet the number of go-to advocates is small relative to the size and complexity of the State.
In addition to their finite number, many of the State’s most prominent consumer and patient advocates are nearing the later stages of their careers. To prepare for the next generation of advocates, it is time to identify and cultivate dynamic mid-career professionals, especially emerging leaders of color, who represent the geographic, racial, ethnic, and gender diversity of New York State. Building the power and capacity of rising consumer advocates will have an enduring impact and help ensure that the State’s health care system evolves to be reflective of and responsive to community and patient needs. In 2021, NYHealth awarded Community Catalyst a grant to implement the Restuccia Health Justice Fellowship – New York, a leadership development program to cultivate a broader network of community health advocates and organizations.
Under this grant, Community Catalyst developed and implemented the Restuccia Health Justice Fellowship – New York, a tailored, regional program of its national Fellowship to advance health equity and racial justice. Through the Restuccia Health Justice Fellowship – New York, advocates developed a deeper understanding of the New York State policymaking process, strategies that have been successful in effectuating community-led health reform, and key issues for advancing health equity in New York State. An inaugural cohort of eight fellows received training and professional development to equip them with the skills, tools, and knowledge to collaborate with each other and make meaningful change on behalf of patients in New York. Community Catalyst recruited and engaged fellows from New York State’s community-based consumer advocacy and health policy organizations. Fellows participated in monthly workshops, led by expert faculty, that focused on personal leadership development skills and technical skills in advocacy, health policy, coalition-building, and stakeholder engagement. Based on the workshop series, fellows developed and implemented individual leadership plans. Each fellow was assigned a coach with expertise relevant to their goals and priorities. Fellows then collaborated with leadership and colleagues at their home organizations to implement a capstone advocacy project and close out the fellowship by presenting how they sustained their work.