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Measurement Project Update: Nine Pilot Projects Chosen for Evaluation

Measurement Project Update: Nine Pilot Projects Chosen for Evaluation

Emma Nalin, MPH, MS
Project Coordinator, Social Determinants of Health, Rural Health Network of South Central New York

With funding from the NYS Health Foundation and Care Compass Network (CCN), Rural Health Network of SCNY is conducting a two-year project (2019-2020) to improve measurement of Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) among rural community-based organizations (CBOs).  As one of multiple activities in the project, consulting firm Germane Solutions evaluated SDOH measurement design for nine pilot projects. The resulting recommendations and return-on-investment tools will directly benefit pilot organizations in communicating the value of their SDOH interventions. The pilots target an array of health conditions with specific SDOH interventions, from addressing trauma in womenwith substance use disorder to conducting home assessments for adults with chronic respiratory problems.

In other news, the SDOH project team has brought on two Binghamton University MPH student interns to conduct measurement projects this summer. The first project will measure the impact of the Fruit and Vegetable Prescription program.

Participant surveys and focus groups will be linked to measurable changes in health, such as improved blood pressure, blood sugar, or weight. The second project will design, implement, and measure a laundry voucher program through a doctor’s office. For some families, the cost of laundry and laundry supplies puts strain on the household budget. Having clean clothes restores a sense of dignity, and cleaning linens regularly reduces the risk of bed bugs and other health concerns. Modeled on similar efforts in Ithaca and Whitney Point, this program will distribute coins and detergent to eligible patients and their families, with potential expansion to other community members in the future.

Look for quarterly updates on progress and learnings from this project in the NYSARH newsletter and website. Jack Salo, Executive Director, and Emma Nalin, Project Coordinator, will be presenting at the NYSARH Annual Conference in September on the topic Overcoming Rural Competitive Disadvantage in VBP through Practice and Policy. Questions about the project can be directed to Emma Nalin at enalin@rhnscny.org.

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