Capstone Courses and Projects

Medical and Health Research Association, Inc

Preventive Health and Education Needs for the Elderly of New York City
The Capstone team was asked by the Medical and Health Research Association (MHRA), in collaboration with the Council for Senior Centers and Services (CSCS), to conduct research about the New York City aging population, with a particular focus on three health issues: falls, influenza and pneumonia, and depression. The team examined census data pertaining to the elderly population in New York, undertook an extensive review of topic-related programs in the U.S., surveyed a sample of the elderly population in New York City to find out more about attitudes around preventive education, and identified a set of “best practices” which could be implemented in seniors centers to reduce disability and death, medical costs, and improve quality of life for the elderly.

New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

Buprenorphine Treatment Services in the 50 States and the District of Columbia: Lessons for New York City
In October 2002, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the drug, buprenorphine, for the treatment of opiate dependence. This drug’s approval created a path to dramatically change the way opiate addicts are able to manage their addiction. Buprenorphine can be prescribed in private physicians’ offices, and thus, offers a more anonymous and convenient alternative to seeking treatment in methadone clinics. The Capstone team researched and analyzed buprenorphine treatment services in other states to provide key information to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYCDHMH) as it develops strategies for implementing services in New York City. The team administered telephone interviews to one federal and 30 state authorities and conducted a site visit to an established treatment service area in Pennsylvania. The purpose of the interviews and site visit were to identify the regulatory policies, financing, and implementation strategies of buprenorphine treatment services. Analyses of these findings suggest that a lack of organized implementation strategies, low physician certification, and high costs of buprenorphine are key impediments to building a successful treatment service. Recommendations on how to manage these challenges were presented to the NYCDHMH.

New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation

Targeted Outreach and Marketing Strategies for the Community Cardiovascular Demonstration Project
The Capstone team was asked by the Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) to advise on implementation of the Community Cardiovascular Demonstration Project, a Corporation-wide program intended to reduce morbidity and mortality from cardiovascular disease (CVD) and address health disparities. The Capstone team worked with HHC to develop outreach and marketing strategies specifically targeting Mexican-American and Dominican populations. Through primary and secondary research, the Capstone team identified and evaluated outreach strategies that have been used in similar populations to increase awareness of CVD and/or the likelihood of seeking treatment. The team then conducted focus groups with members of the target population to test such strategies and evaluate both CVD knowledge and attitudes toward HHC. Based on findings, the Capstone team proposed targeted marketing and outreach strategies and an implementation plan to HHC.