2018-06-20 / Front Page

Queens-Based Fortune Society Receives $487,000 Grant from OneCity Health

The Fortune Society (Fortune) announced on June 13 that it has received a $487,000 grant from the OneCity Health Innovation Fund to implement its project, Connections to Care.  In collaboration with NYC Health + Hospitals’ Correctional Health Services and community partners including Bellevue Hospital, Gotham Health sites, and primary and behavioral health providers in the community, Fortune will use the grant funding to connect people being released from Rikers who are at high risk for substance abuse relapse and/or avoidable emergency department use with primary health care and holistic support services in the community. The program focuses on chronically ill, Medicaid-eligible adults with opioid use disorders.

While incarcerated, participants anticipating discharge will receive a physical, behavioral and social health assessment. Upon discharge, they will be offered transportation and then be directly connected to the NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue Hospital Transitions Clinic, NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health sites, and/or other health care providers to receive essential health care, including medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for those with opioid use disorder.

The goals of the Connections to Care programs are to increase primary care visits, initiation and engagement in alcohol and drug treatment, and reduction in preventable emergency department visits.

JoAnne Page, President and CEO of The Fortune Society said, “Most of the people on Rikers are medically and socially vulnerable. Too many have undiagnosed and untreated mental illness, substance use disorders, and HIV/AIDS. They have an eight-fold higher risk of death from drug-related causes during the first two weeks following release. Fortune’s Connections to Care program will provide these underserved New Yorkers with critically needed care – a safety net that will save lives. Fortune is deeply grateful to the de Blasio administration, OneCity Health and NYC Health + Hospitals for believing in our program and for funding it so generously.”

OneCity Health, the NYC Health + Hospitals Performing Provider System under New York State’s Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) program, selected eight community partners to receive funding from its $5 million Innovation Fund to implement programs that will reduce avoidable hospitalizations, improve community health outcomes, and address social determinants of health, like food security and health literacy.

The $5 million Innovation Fund was open to all OneCity Health partners, which includes more than 160 community-based organizations, hospitals, physician practices, pharmacies, behavioral health practitioners and others. OneCity Health encouraged partners to collaborate and submit joint applications, and ultimately received 41 applications from 55 partners.

“Congratulations to our partners for submitting creative ideas that cover a range of topics, from opioid dependency to improving connections to care. Their innovations will help improve the health of our patients,” said Israel Rocha, CEO, OneCity Health. “Each project represents two important aspects of the DSRIP program, innovation and community collaboration. These innovative solutions help to bridge the gap to a value-based payment environment, and the collaborations between our community partners demonstrate a holistic approach to creating an integrated delivery system. We look forward to helping to foster these programs over the next year and seeing their results.”

The $5 million fund is one of the largest allocations set aside by a Performing Provider System across the State to support more community collaborations, innovations, and best practices.

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