Linkage, Retention and Adherence

New York LINKS

NYLinks was funded in 2011 through the HRSA HIV/AIDS Bureau (HAB)‐sponsored Special Projects of National Significance (SPNS) project to support the development of innovative models of linkage and retention.  The mission of NYLinks, now part of the ending the epidemic efforts in New York State, is to create, evaluate, and improve systemic models of care that optimize existing internal and cross‐agency HIV‐related services to improve linkage to care, retention in care, and viral load suppression for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA).

NYLinks achieves this through the development of regionally based collaboratives composed of health care and supportive services providers to create a learning environment in which organizational and regional improvement innovations can be tested and measured.  Every part of New York is covered by a NYLinks regional group.

NYLinks strives for vertical integration and coordination.  Partners include the New York State Division of Epidemiology, Evaluation and Partner Services (NYSDEEP), the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYCDOHMH), CUNY Hunter College, County Health Departments, the VA, regional networks of care, Managed Care Organizations, and many others who assist with ending the epidemic efforts.  The NYS Consumer Advisory Committee (CAC), Clinical Advisory Committee (QAC), and Young Adult Consumer Advisory Committee (YACAC) receive regular updates and participate in an advisory capacity.

The goal of NYLinks is improvement.  Building from the organizational level, and with a public health overlay, NYLinks strives to develop connections that expand that improvement into the community and region.  Peer sharing is a critical component of NYLinks work.

Surveillance and Data Systems

Key to this work is the integration and strengthening of state and city data systems to improve the quality of available data on linkage and retention.  Production of regional treatment cascades, among other things, help drive improvement. Data from routine assessments of linkage and retention measures at a local agency level, from the larger systems of HIVQUAL, AIRS, Medicaid and NYC and NYS Epidemiology/Surveillance, will all ideally be interconnected with a focus on linkage, retention and suppression work. Ultimately, the long‐term coordination of these data systems will facilitate the provision of quality information to NYC and NYS surveillance systems and of wide‐ranging high quality care to all populations of PLWHA in NYS.  The development of the regional cascades of care is an example of this work.  The recent effort to assist all organizations to develop their own cascade of care is only the latest effort to drive data down to the user level as the most useful tool to identify opportunities for improvement and to capture actual improvement across multiple measures.

For more information:  http://www.newyorklinks.org

Contact:

Steven Sawicki, MHSA
Program Manager
(518) 474-3813
steven.sawicki@health.ny.gov