ANALYZING RISK FACTORS FOR ADVERSE OUTCOMES TO COVID-19
FAIR Health is a nonprofit organization committed to bringing transparency to healthcare costs and insurance. The organization engaged a team to uncover the most important risk factors for adverse outcomes to COVID-19 (such as hospitalization and mortality). Leveraging material from the organization’s collection of 32 billion health insurance claims—the largest collection of private health data in the country—the team ran statistical analyses on claim data to identify significant risk factors associated with patient demographics and clinical characteristics. The team used this analysis, along with findings from a literature review, to compile a report that includes key findings, recommendations for at-risk populations, and a dissemination plan for various policy and clinical stakeholders to use.
UNIT COST ANALYSIS FOR COMMUNITY LIVING PROGRAMS
The Institute for Community Living (ICL) is a nonprofit human service agency that provides clinical, rehabilitation, housing, and other support services to assist individuals and families affected by or at risk of mental illness in New York City. ICL runs two programs, Assertive Community Treatment and Personalized Recovery Oriented Services, that offer integrated comprehensive care designed to improve well-being, recovery, and participation in community living. In anticipation of operating these programs with reduced funding due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and potential cuts to New York State Medicaid, ICL enlisted a team to analyze both fixed and variable program costs. The team conducted a unit cost analysis and determined break-even points. With this analysis, the team developed recommendations for promoting data driven management, increasing program sustainability, and improving quality of care to improve the financial performance of both ICL programs.
EVALUATION OF A LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM FOR PUBLIC SERVICE PROFESSIONALS
The Milbank Memorial Fund (MMF) is an endowed foundation that works to improve population health by connecting leaders and decision makers with the best available evidence and experience. MMF’s Emerging Leaders Program (ELP), launched five years ago, seeks to cultivate leaders who can address the challenges and opportunities in today’s complex health policy environment by developing practical, hands-on leadership skills in future public service officials. In anticipation of a future redesign with a more virtual program model, MMF solicited a team to conduct ELP’s first formal program evaluation. The team designed and conducted interviews and surveys with past ELP participants and mentors, and analyzed the results using both qualitative and quantitative methods to identify key themes. With this evaluation, the team generated specific recommendations for improving program monitoring and data collection and implementing mechanisms to improve ELP’s mentorship, networking, curriculum, activities, and program format.
ESTABLISHING THE VIRTUAL URGENT CARE TELE-PREP PROGRAM
NYU Virtual Urgent Care is a 24/7 video chat service that allows patients to connect with a NYU Langone Health care provider from the privacy of their home. NYU Langone Health tasked a team with spearheading the launch of a Virtual Urgent Care program for PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis), a preventative HIV drug regimen that is nearly 100 percent effective when taken daily. The team conducted a literature review on best practices and created a workflow for PrEP initiation via telehealth, which includes a PrEP initiation protocol and an “express lane'' of orders and documentation in the electronic health record for provider use. The team generated an educational presentation on the protocol, and assisted the client with outreach and marketing to the LGBTQ+ community and other groups at risk for HIV infection. Throughout the project, the team partnered closely with the NYU Langone Health corporate marketing team, the community-based Family Health Centers program, and the IT and Emergency Departments.
DESIGNING A SCHOOL-BASED SUBSTANCE USE EDUCATION PROGRAM FOR PARENTS
The Partnership to End Addiction provides services to families impacted by substance use and addiction through its helpline, educational resources, and toolkit of training sessions. With the help of a Capstone team, the organization sought to deliver fee-based substance use programs for parents and caregivers through schools. The team conducted a needs assessment to identify potential barriers to successful implementation and a competitor analysis of the landscape of existing substance use and prevention programs. The team worked with the client to develop strategies for financial sustainability through mixed revenue sources, program implementation, toolkit marketing, and increased accessibility. The team also provided a framework to measure program success and effectiveness.
IMPROVING ACCESS TO SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH SERVICES IN KINSHASA, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO
Médecins du Monde (MdM), an international humanitarian organization serving vulnerable populations, has been working on improving sexual and reproductive health (SRH) outcomes in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for over 10 years. Having launched a new SRH strategy in 2019, MdM engaged a team to assess its impact on contraception and abortion access, and help determine which of its current practices are most effective in reaching youth and adolescents. The team examined the current status of adolescent SRH services, access, and rights in Kinshasa and the DRC; reviewed other countries’ practices to improve contraceptive and abortion services; and conducted interviews with youth, local health providers, pharmacists, NGOs, and community leaders in Kinshasa. Based on its findings, the team developed recommendations for MdM to expand access to SRH services for youth and adolescents in Kinshasa.
EVALUATING THE IMPACT OF BOILER FUEL REGULATIONS ON AIR QUALITY IN NEW YORK CITY NEIGHBORHOODS
Over the past two mayoral administrations, New York City’s municipal government has implemented a series of local regulations designed to improve air quality across the city. One such policy, the Clean Heat initiative, curtailed the use of two heavy fuel oils used in building boilers for winter heating. Leveraging publically available data, the team analyzed whether the policy has been implemented as designed, and whether the implementation resulted in the intended outcome of meaningfully decreasing the concentration of dangerous particulate matter (PM2.5) in street-level air in various city neighborhoods. The team developed a report that includes an analysis of differentiated impacts in high- and low-income neighborhoods and suggestions for future regulation design that prioritizes environmental justice and equity.
INCREASING PERIOD PROTECTION FOR YOUNG WOMEN IN ZAMBIA
Menstrual Health Management (MHM) is a key aspect of safeguarding the health, dignity, and overall life opportunities of girls and women. A study by Zambia’s Ministry of Education shows that girls miss an average of 36 school days per year due to ineffective MHM. While there are many challenges to implementing effective MHM rooted in social norms and beliefs, access to safe and affordable MHM products is a critical component of ensuring individual protection and gender equity. The team conducted over 60 customer discovery interviews with Zambian women and health organizations, and discovered that many young women in Lusaka still feel unprotected by the cheap pads that are most accessible there. As a result, the team created ZamPads, a social enterprise that seeks to manufacture high-quality, low-cost sanitary pads locally. By leveraging Zambia’s thriving cotton sector and establishing short, cost-effective supply chains, ZamPads can fulfill its mission of providing “period peace of mind” for all women, not just those who can afford it.