Capstone Courses and Projects

New York Academy of Medicine

Prenatal and Early Childhood Obesity Prevention in East Harlem
"The New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM) improves the health of people living in cities, especially the disadvantaged and vulnerable populations, through research, education, community engagement, and evidence­based policy advocacy. NYAM is located in East Harlem and has recently recommitted itself to improv­ing the health of the local population, where prenatal and early childhood obesity have been identified as major health problems. The Capstone team conducted extensive research, including literature reviews and interviews/focus groups, in order to identify significant resources and barriers in the community, best practices for prevention, and key concerns expressed by community members about these health issues. Based on research findings, the team made recommendations for what role NYAM can play in pre­natal and early childhood obesity prevention in East Harlem, and identified potential collaborators. The team also suggested criteria for evaluating a successful healthy weight policy initiative. "

"New York City Council, Policy and Investigations Division"

Urban Reproductive Health Agenda
"In America's urban centers, high concentrations of poverty, large immigrant populations, and overtaxed public health systems converge to make reproductive health policy an issue of critical need. To begin a dialogue on best practices in urban reproductive health policy, the New York City Council (NYCC), Mayor Bloomberg, and the National Institute for Reproductive Health will hold a summit on urban reproductive health in May 2008, which will bring together municipal leaders from across the nation. Through extensive research, the Capstone team, working on behalf of the NYCC's Policy and Investigations Unit, developed a compendium of municipal­level reproductive health policies and best practices, and made policy recommendations toward a comprehensive reproductive health agenda for U.S. cities in advance of the summit. The project focused on four core areas of reproductive health: abortion and contraception; reproductive health screening and prevention; healthy pregnancies and birth outcomes; and teen sexuality. "

New York University Child Study Center

Research Subject Recruitment Registry Creation and Development
"Despite being named one of only two independent Departments of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in the country and the only New York State Center of Excellence in Mental Health, the NYU Child Study Center (CSC) faced losses of important clinical research funding and findings due to a complex and inconsistent approach to and management of subject recruitment for clinical research. The Capstone team was tasked with improving and streamlining research subject recruitment across the independent and diverse CSC research institutes. The team interviewed CSC staff to determine individual and common needs throughout the insti­tutes and elected to create an online Research Subject Recruitment Registry. The team worked with NYU's Institutional Review Board (IRB) and IT departments to create an appropriate prototype which could be applied to other NYU Medical Center Departments. Additionally, the team provided CSC with training materials for the online registry to ensure that its use is sustainable. "

Robert Wood Johnson Medical School's Child Health Institute of New Jersey

Operational Assessment
"The Robert Wood Johnson Medical School's Child Health Institute of New Jersey (CHINJ) opened in 2005 as a pediatric subspecialty ambulatory practice. Despite steady increases in patient demand, and a favorable payor mix, many ambulatory practice divisions are not reaching their goals for financial sustainability or growth. The Capstone team was tasked with evaluating the operations of seven practice divisions within CHINJ to identify operational barriers to financial and clinical growth. Over the course of six months, the team examined how these divisions could increase efficiency and productivity. The team collected a wide array of data onsite, including workflow documentation and staff interviews. The data were compared with best practice standards from literature and pediatric institutions nationwide. Conclusions from this comprehensive assessment were utilized to provide recommendations for operational improvement to the ambulatory practice. "