Developing a Prototype for the Naturally Occurring Healthcare Community in East Harlem

Client: New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation
Faculty: John Donnellan
Team: Kelly Barsan, Ellen Brophy, Erik Halaas, Julia Mills Levine, Alexander Merati
Year: 2012
The Capstone team worked with HHC’s Office of Special Projects to create a model that leverages the existing organizations and resources in the local community to address health disparities and access to health care. East Harlem was chosen because a significant percentage of its residents have no primary care provider or health insurance, live below the federal poverty line, and contend with greater-than-average levels of crime, illness, and economic disparity. This model, called the Naturally Occurring Healthcare Community (NOHC), would facilitate health care provision through the development of linkages with social service and other agencies possessing established relationships with neighborhood residents. The NOHC draws on best practices for serving a community with its given demographic profile and for creating and sustaining partnerships among organizations of differing size, mission, and resources. The Capstone team developed an anonymous survey for East Harlem HHC and CBO employees to register their opinion on the greatest health and psychosocial challenges experienced by residents they serve.