New York State Department of Health Announces Finalists in Social Determinants of Health 'Call for Innovations' Initiative

Nine Finalists Will Be Featured at Health Innovation Summit

ALBANY, N.Y.(September 13, 2018) - ALBANY, N.Y. (September 13, 2018) - The New York State Department of Health today announced the nine finalists of the Social Determinants of Health 'Call for Innovations' Initiative. The solicitation for innovations, a first of its kind in New York State, attracted over 200 applicants from across the country, all of whom have come up with creative and effective ways to address social determinants of health for Medicaid members. The nine finalists represent community-based organizations, healthcare providers, and technology companies.

New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said,"New York State's leadership in addressing social determinants of health is improving the lives of residents throughout the state.Within the Medicaid program, this focus on social determinants is simultaneously making communities stronger and reducing healthcare costs. I want to thank the people and organizations who responded to this challenge. You are ensuring that, regardless of the socio-economic challenges communitiesface, people are receiving adequate health care, as well as nutritional and other services to improve their quality of life."

Addressing social determinants of health, or the conditions in which people are born, live, grow, work, and age, has a significant impact on health outcomes and costs less than medical interventions. The 'Call for Innovations' provided an opportunity for companies and organizations to highlight how they can improve the lives of Medicaid members through cost-effective and innovative solutions.

"We remain committed to addressing social determinants of health in order to lower costs and improve health outcomes for New York State's most vulnerable populations," said New York State Medicaid Director, Donna Frescatore. "The tremendous response to the 'Call for Innovations' proves that New York is leading the way to find new and diverse ways to transform healthcare across the State."

The nine finalists will be invited to present their solutions to a group of distinguished panelists and an audience of over 600 people on September 26, 2018 at a Social Determinants of Health Innovation Summit hosted by the Department. While finalists will not receive funding or monetary awards from the State, it is an opportunity for organizations to hear and share best practices in the field. Dr. Zucker will also make a presentation at the Summit.

Finalists' social determinants of health innovations by category are:

Community Based Organization Category

God's Love We Deliver, Inc for addressing food insecurity through the delivery of medically tailored meals and medical nutrition therapy to more rural and other high-need populations using a food-safe shipping carrier, and for using telemedicine to deliver nutritional assessment and counseling to individuals.

Northwest Bronx Community & Clergy Coalition for working in collaboration with regional health information organizations to reduce the exacerbation of asthma symptoms for patients at high risk of emergency room and hospital admissions, who are also living in "hot spot" multi-family buildings in the north and central Bronx.

Rural Health Network of South Central New York for the Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program (FVRx), which helps to prevent and manage chronic diet-related diseases, and screens and connects patients with community-based preventative and management healthcare services.

Healthcare Provider Category

ArchCare for the creation of Timebank, a free volunteer service exchange program that empowers socially isolated New Yorkers, to meet their own needs and those of their neighbors by sharing their talents and time through a supportive community network.

Community Services, Family Health Centers of NYU Langone for creation of the Full Community School approach, which is both a place and a set of partnerships between a public school and other community resources to focus on academics, youth development, family support, health and social services and community development with the goals of improved student learning, stronger families and healthier communities.

Montefiore Health System for its system-wide, three-pronged approach of systemically and routinely conducting social determinant of health screenings, using an evidence-based referral tool to link patients to community-based organization services, and supporting community based organizations by providing them with training, coaching, and tools.

Technology Solutions Category

Socially Determined Inc. which created a holistic model of the population by fusing clinical, claims, public and commercial data to develop a social determinants of health risk index. Based upon the social and clinical needs of the population, specific cohorts are identified to be at risk. Interventions are then designed to improve the populations' social and health outcomes.

Unite Us for its Healthy Together Referral Network which connects medical and community-based systems together for referral and care management through real-time electronic referrals, in-app messaging and notifications, as well as a shared social determinants of health dashboard that ensures all providers have access to the same information for the population they serve.

Village Care for the creation of the Rango program, a technology-based medication adherence and patient engagement program available via smartphone app and web browser that has been effective in empowering individuals living with HIV to better manage their condition.

For more information about how New York State is addressing the social determinants of health, visit: