10 Things to Know About Our HAPN Programs

September 12th, 2016 - How our two Health Action Priority Networks in the Southern Tier and Hudson Valley have become the region’s largest catalyst for population health improvement, and what's happening this fall. 

Thanks to HealthlinkNY’s two Health Action Priorities Networks (HAPNs)—one in the Southern Tier and the other in the Hudson Valley—a broad group of healthcare providers, community-based organizations, and health officials have agreed to address specific population health priorities in their networks. To help you stay current on all that’s going on, here are 10 things to know about how the HAPN programs have become the largest catalyst for population health improvement in the region.

HAPN in the Southern Tier

1. The HAPN program assembled 200 healthcare providers, health officials, and health administrators in Binghamton on April 5th to choose two priority areas based on extensive data analysis: mental health and transportation. The program immediately started its search for solutions.

 2. The program is a sponsor and contributor to a Rural Health Network of South Central New York conference that will explore the relationship between transportation and health. Called “Getting There: Bridging the Transportation and Healthcare Gap,” the conference will be held October 26, 2016 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Binghamton. Health case managers, elected officials, and government agencies, as well as transportation companies, representing a 13-county region, will be there.

3. The program is launching a pilot project to help primary care providers to routinely ask patients about transportation needs. The program will design and test a systematic way to ask patients a few questions that will trigger a referral to a transportation service.

 4. To help remove the stigma associated with mental illness and to encourage treatment, the program is developing a mental health stigma toolkit to change public perception about mental illness.

5. The program is joining forces with a Regional Planning Consortium, organized by the New York State Conference of Local Mental Hygiene Directors, to increase access to mental health services.

HAPN in the Hudson Valley

6. Living in poverty makes it harder for people to take care of their health. A priority for the HAPN program in the Hudson Valley is to help providers recognize and address poverty and other social factors that affect their patients’ health. HAPN’s second priority is making sure that people who need behavioral health services receive them.

(L-R) John Arzuaga, Mental Health Association of Orange County receives his weekly “allowance” from Adyna Gamboa of Montefiore Hudson Valley Collaborative, Yonkers, NY, who played the role of Azuaga’s mother in the HelathlinkyNY/HAPN Regional Poverty Simulation Friday in Newburgh.  Healthcare organizations from The Bronx to Middletown experienced the social and health implications of what it’s like to be poor firsthand.

7. HAPN held its first “Blueprint for Health Equity” poverty simulation exercise in Newburgh on June 17th. 100 health and community services providers experienced the daily trials and tribulations faced by low-income patients and their families. People from 11 organizations went through the simulation and learned how daunting daily life can be for people living in poverty, and how it affects their ability to access health services. Now, participants are working with their organizations to improve health equity. See three clips from the event here

8. Two additional Blueprint for Health Equity poverty simulation events are planned for the fall. One will take place in Poughkeepsie on October 13th and the other will be held in Valhalla on November 9th.

9. HAPN is planning to introduce Mental Health First Aid training, a national program, to Hudson Valley public libraries to give staff the skills needed to identify, understand, and reach out to patrons who may be experiencing a mental health or substance abuse problem. Like CPR training, Mental Health First Aid allows non-professionals to assist an individual in crisis and connect that person to professional help.

10. HAPN Hudson Valley will adapt HAPN Southern Tier’s public awareness campaign in the Hudson Valley to address the issue of mental health stigma.

HAPNs welcomes two new staff members

Jessica Krohn, LMSW has joined HealthlinkNY as program manager for HAPN in the Southern Tier. She previously was the chief consultant and violence prevention and response specialist at D.I.R.E.C.T. Consulting. Phillip Ginter LMSW, MPA is HealthlinkNY’s new director of community initiatives, succeeding Adam Hughes, MPH who has been promoted to the position of vice president of operations and community development at HealthlinkNY. Most recently, Ginter was director of community impact and engagement, of United Way of Broome County.  Continuing in her role as program manager for HAPN in the Hudson Valley is Victoria Reid, MSW.

Photo Caption:(L-R) John Arzuaga, Mental Health Association of Orange County receives his weekly “allowance” from Adyna Gamboa of Montefiore Hudson Valley Collaborative, Yonkers, NY, who played the role of Azuaga’s mother in the HealthinkNY/HAPN program Regional Poverty Simulation in Newburgh last June.  Healthcare organizations from The Bronx to Middletown experienced the social and health implications of what it’s like to be poor firsthand.