MORE TO EXPLORE: Program Evaluation

Charles Cohen

Charles Cohen
Master of Urban Planning2022
Excelsior Service Fellow
Metropolitan Transit Authority

REDESIGNING THE ONBOARDING PROCESS FOR NEW PHYSICIANS

Client
MOUNT SINAI DOCTORS FACULTY PRACTICE
Faculty
Rona Affoumado
Team
Norah Alotaibi, Sammy Choi, Sohee Shin

Mount Sinai Doctors Faculty Practice (MSDFP) is a multispecialty group of more than 2,000 physicians integrated within the Mount Sinai Health System. The current onboarding process can be unmanageable for administrators and confusing to doctors, and can lead to dissatisfaction and high turnover. MSDFP engaged a Capstone team to investigate and analyze the onboarding process for new physicians. The team analyzed current literature, constructed a process map from the physician’s perspective, and interviewed administrators from different hospital systems across the nation. The team produced a final report outlining best practices and recommendations to improve MSDFP’s onboarding processes for short-term and long-term success.

Capstone Year

STRENGTHENING THE FINANCIAL SUSTAINABILITY OF HOSPITAL-BASED VIOLENCE INTERRUPTION PROGRAMS

Client
NEW YORK CITY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND MENTAL HYGIENE
Faculty
Rain Henderson
Team
Margot Cronin-Furman, Michael Kitchin, Kristen Medley, Courtney Zyla

The Violence Prevention Initiative of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) oversees NYC’s Hospital-Based Violence Interruption Programs (HVIPs). While HVIPs are an essential component of NYC’s public health-based violence prevention strategy, they are deeply underfunded and struggle with sustainability. DOHMH enlisted a Capstone team to identify ways to strengthen city-wide HVIPs with a special focus on sustainable financing. The team conducted an analysis of public datasets to explore violence at the national, state, and city levels and to better understand NYC rates of violence relative to other localities. The team completed further research and structured stakeholder interviews, and developed a database of national HVIPs. The final report includes an advocacy policy brief based on the team’s findings and sustainability recommendations, including ways to use Medicaid as a vehicle to reimburse NYC HVIPs.

Capstone Year

EXPLORING THE CURRENT STATE OF DIVERSITY IN HEALTHCARE

Client
DIVERSITY IN HEALTHCARE
Faculty
Brian David
Team
Jennifer DiPaula, Julia Kaplan, Jordan Laib, Lisibeth Payano

Many healthcare organizations are working to improve their diversity efforts and outcomes, but ensuring that best practices are effective and sustainable has proven difficult. Many healthcare organizations have adopted DEI initiatives, but is this truly leading to a paradigm shift in diversity management? With an aging American demographic and an increasingly diverse population, it is crucial to prioritize culturally competent strategies in cultivating a more equitable system for both patients and practitioners. The team undertook a literature review that outlined the current state of diversity in healthcare in the following categories: care, educational opportunity, cultural competency, executive-level involvement, and best practices. The team recommended making efforts to increase accessibility to healthcare education in minority communities and honoring these communities through appropriate cultural competency.

Capstone Year

CRAWFORD PARK IMPROVEMENTS

Client
TOWN OF RYE
Faculty
Elizabeth Larsen
Team
Sally Burns, Tyrell Davis, Jonathan Gonzalez, Joelle Miller, Anna Sampson

Town of Rye is located in Westchester County and comprises the Villages of Port Chester, Rye Brook, and the Rye Neck section of the Village of Mamaroneck. The Town’s administration commissioned the Capstone team to offer a set of recommendations for the enhancement of Crawford Park as a public and social good to the entire Town of Rye community. To help Crawford Park better serve the Town’s diverse community, the team explored affordability models, inclusive programming, and age-appropriate active and passive uses. Based on feedback collected from community members through digital surveys and focus groups, the team produced a final report outlining recommendations that inform future funding and planning efforts for Crawford Park.

Capstone Year

STRENGTHENING PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY FOR DIVERSITY IN US GOVERNMENT

Client
INCLUSIVE AMERICA
Faculty
Erin Connell
Team
Varun Banthia, Rachel Fischer, Anna Quinn

Inclusive America (IA) is a nonprofit organization committed to making the government as diverse as the people of the United States. It advances its mission by tracking the demographic information of all political appointments, informing government hiring managers, developing diverse candidate rosters, and supporting policies that increase public sector diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA). IA engaged a Capstone team to evaluate accountability mechanisms that encourage DEIA within US executive agencies and make recommendations to strengthen their impact, focusing particularly on the Government Accountability Office. The team conducted a literature review and interviewed various academics, audit practitioners, and government officials. Based on its research, the team devised recommendations that include updating criteria for DEIA reviews, prioritizing an intersectional approach, and elevating performance management for inclusion and equity. The team’s final report outlines an evidence-based strategy that civil society organizations like IA can use to advocate for implementation of the proposed improvements.

Capstone Year

REDUCING GUN VIOLENCE WITH A COMMUNITY REVITALIZATION PROGRAM

Client
OFFICE OF THE MAYOR OF TRENTON, NEW JERSEY
Faculty
Alexander Shermansong
Team
Amanda Drucker, George Ennis, Misbah Khan, Rosanna Moquete

Trenton, New Jersey has faced a major uptick in gun violence in recent years, particularly among the city’s youth, and the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the social, economic, and health issues behind it. The Trenton Mayor’s Office engaged a Capstone team to create a strategy to combat the city’s rise in gun violence by rehabilitating blighted areas. The team analyzed data provided by the city to identify the most crime-ridden areas in Trenton, researched news stories, journal articles, and demographic data, and conducted comprehensive interviews with a variety of stakeholders, including local high school students. The team’s findings included root causes of gun violence, youth needs, and existing intervention mechanisms, and led the team to focus its recommendations on redeveloping vacant buildings and transforming them into useful spaces that fulfill community needs. The team’s final report proposes a program that would engage community members, especially youth, in the demolition, rehabilitation, and installation of new buildings.

Focus Areas
Capstone Year

EVALUATING PROGRAM SUPPORT FOR BIPOC SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURS

Client
ECHOING GREEN
Faculty
Mo Coffey
Team
Chung Eun Kim Armijos, Eliza Heeks, Sindi Mafico, Jenabu Simaha, Natalia Vazallo

For over 35 years, Echoing Green has been building a dynamic ecosystem to support and invest in emerging social entrepreneurs who work at the intersection of global justice, racial equity, and social innovation. In 2020, Echoing Green launched a $50 million Racial Equity Philanthropic Fund and a new Fellow support program to provide equitable and sustainable support to its community of nearly 1,000 Fellows. The organization tasked the Capstone team with developing an evaluation model for its new program structure to determine effectiveness and areas for improvement. The team researched the best ways to support BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) social entrepreneurs and leaders on a global scale and studied the tools and support mechanisms that are most effective in community building across sectors, geographies, and identities. The team developed an assessment tool to collect quantitative and qualitative data on the impact of the new program structure and its support offerings. The team produced a final report with recommendations for the future of Echoing Green’s engagement model.

Capstone Year

ADDRESSING FOOD WASTE AT LOCAL FARMERS MARKETS

Client
VEGGIE FRUITFUL
Faculty
Andy Moss
Team
Shirley Dang, Darren Jones, Hasan Khan

The goal of Veggie Fruitful is to minimize the amount of leafy greens and tomatoes that farmers harvest and take to local markets but cannot sell due to their short life span. To understand the market, the Capstone team identified farmers in New York who employ organic practices and conducted a series of interviews with customers as well as executives at GrowNYC, a sustainability organization. Finding that leafy greens and tomatoes are sensitive to weather fluctuation, the team recommended an affordable, lightweight storage device that takes up unused space under the market table and does not require energy. This device can be designed to regulate produce temperature to prolong produce life span at both farm and market stages, especially during extreme heat and harsh winters. The team’s solution can help local, organic farmers grow more crops, yield more sales, and reduce food waste.

Capstone Year

ANALYZING THE IMPACT OF COVID-19 IN NYC JAILS

Client
NEW YORK CITY BOARD OF CORRECTION
Faculty
Rona Affoumado
Team
Reyna Bhandari, Julia Busto, Chandrasasi Darjatmoko, Nivedita Ramajayam, Jenna Werkman

The NYC Board of Correction (BOC) is a nine-person, non-judicial oversight board that regulates, monitors, and inspects NYC correctional facilities. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the BOC modified its oversight model to document the public health crisis in jails. Priorities included monitoring the system’s evolving response, facility adherence to agency plans, and general operations and compliance with BOC Minimum Standards. With over a year’s worth of data, the BOC engaged a Capstone team to create a comprehensive report on the impact of COVID-19 in jails. The team analyzed the data, conducted a literature review, and coded interviews held with incarcerated people. Based on its findings, the team compiled a final report that outlines areas for improvement and tangible recommendations to address existing gaps in the system.

Capstone Year

AN ASSESSMENT OF MEMBERSHIP ENGAGEMENT AND RETENTION

Client
PANEL OF NATIONAL PATHOLOGY LEADERS
Faculty
Rain Henderson
Team
Sandra Carlino, Elise Freiberg, Audrey White

The Panel of National Pathology Leaders (PNPL) is a think tank established in 2019 that advances best practices in pathology and laboratory medicine. Steadily increasing membership engagement and retention is essential for long-term success. The team was tasked with recommending strategies to increase membership engagement and retention with improved value offerings. The Capstone team conducted extensive market research into the membership offerings of comparable think tanks and professional medical membership organizations. The team also surveyed and interviewed multiple members, panelists, and advisors to better understand perceived and desired membership value. The final report outlines market research, survey and interview results, quick wins, and long-term recommendations to improve membership engagement and retention.

Capstone Year