Capstone Courses and Projects

The Center for Urban Community Services, Inc.

Development of a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Compliance Plan
The Center for Urban Community Services (CUCS) provides supportive housing and social services, including job-training and placement, technical assistance, and case management, as well as on-site health assessment, psychiatric services, and substance abuse counseling to more than 14,000 homeless mentally ill people in New York City. The Capstone team was initially asked to assist CUCS with the development of a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliance plan, requiring a complete organizational assessment and gap analysis. During the process, the State Office of Mental Health awarded CUCS the opportunity to launch a new initiative—the Assertive Case Management Transition (ACT) program. The Capstone team was then asked to define a hybrid entity, develop a modified HIPAA compliance plan based on this definition, assist with elucidating the pre-emption analysis, and research the State of New York’s substance abuse laws.

Medical and Health Research Association

Performance Measures and Dashboard Development for Targeted Medical and Health Research Association Service Programs
The Medical and Health Research Association of New York City (MHRA) is a large decentralized nonprofit organization providing diverse public health services to at-risk New Yorkers. The Capstone team was charged with identifying performance measures for four targeted MHRA programs and developing an executive dashboard tool to help track overall organizational performance. In partnership with MHRA staff, the team identified appropriate financial, quality, and operational indicators for the WIC Services and WIC Vendor Management programs, the Bushwick Bright Start program, and the Sudden Infant Death Project. These indicators were analyzed and tracked using dashboard performance management tools customized for each program. Finally, the Capstone team created an implementation guide to assist MHRA in developing indicators and dashboards for future programs.

Gay Men’s Health Crisis

Women at the Gay Men’s Health Crisis
Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC), New York City’s oldest not-for-profit AIDS advocacy and service organization, engaged the Capstone team to analyze current program policies and procedures. The team designed a three-pronged project comprised of diverse areas of involvement throughout GMHC by women who are HIV-positive. Specifically, the team examined and addressed women’s experiences in GMHC’s Intake, Assessment and Program Enrollment processes; the participation and experience of participants in the Women in Action (WIA) program; and the use of a client assessment tool for the WIA program. The research was conducted through on-site observation, chart reviews, focus groups, statistical analysis, and pilot tests. The result of the three-pronged analysis is a partial but revealing picture of women at GMHC and included suggestions for improving services offered to them at 24th Street. While the focus of the project was to address women-specific concerns, many of the findings and recommendations are applicable to all GMHC clients.

Planned Parenthood of New York City

The Analysis of Planned Parenthood of New York City’s First Client Contact
Planned Parenthood of New York City (PPNYC) has been in operation for 85 years, providing advanced services and education as well as powerful advocacy to expand reproductive freedom. Following a 2001 customer satisfaction survey that indicated that the top problems at PPNYC were “telephone access to services” and “problems getting questions answered,” PPNYC asked the Capstone team to investigate all the various aspects of first client contact. The team examined the quality of the interaction with the public (PPNYC’s web site), staff issues/training, the current telephone system, outsourcing, and explored PPNYC’s affiliates and competitors. The project involved communicating with clients, interviewing staff, reviewing relevant documents, performing mock telephone calls, and conducting site observations. The team devised evaluation tools, analyzed the website, and researched and analyzed outsourcing options. The team presented PPNYC with recommendations in the following areas: the frontline staff, call center, telephone system, website, and outsourcing.