Community Engagement Pillar Policy Brief Series | NYU Langone Health

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Institute for Excellence in Health Equity Community Engagement Pillar Community Engagement Pillar Policy Brief Series

Community Engagement Pillar Policy Brief Series

NYU Langone’s Institute for Excellence in Health Equity is dedicated to providing evidence-informed research to reduce health disparities. Our community engagement pillar’s Health Policy Brief Series highlights NYU Langone research and data on important health equity topics. In partnership with Government and Community Affairs at NYU Langone Health, our objective is to educate internal and external audiences about health equity approaches, disseminate evidence-based solutions to address disparities in healthcare and health outcomes, and present health equity recommendations for healthcare systems and policymakers.

Here are our policy briefs and summaries.

Heart Health

NYU Langone researchers have developed evidence-based solutions to address hypertension and uncontrolled hypertension among minority racial and ethnic minoritized populations. Examples of effective interventions include leveraging mHealth technology to increase medication adherence and community health worker–led health education sessions to improve hypertension control. Financial incentives from government agencies and wide adoption of evidence-based interventions by healthcare systems are needed to support and sustain hypertension initiatives. Read our Heart Health Policy Brief.

Data Equity

The absence of accurate and comprehensive data on marginalized racial/ethnic groups limits researchers’ ability to address health disparities. Healthcare systems and researchers can facilitate implementation of equity-centered data processes by engaging community stakeholders in data collection efforts, from designing instruments to analyzing data. Current federal and state policies on reporting patient racial/ethnic data would benefit from updated guidelines on collecting disaggregated racial/ethnic categories. Read our Data Equity Policy Brief.

Community Health Workers

Community Health Workers (CHWs) facilitate connections between community members and healthcare systems, and patient referrals to social services. CHWs’ knowledge of communities and their backgrounds allows them to provide culturally and linguistically tailored health services. Research has demonstrated the impact of CHWs on improved diabetes and hypertension control, increased cancer screenings, and other health outcomes. To do their jobs effectively, CHWs need support and resources, specifically professional development and sustainable funding. Healthcare systems can provide support through recruitment, training, and career development efforts. Federal and state policymakers can ensure sustainable funding through public insurance reimbursement policies. Read our CHW Policy Brief.

Social Determinants of Health

Social Determinants of Health (SDoH) refers to the conditions in which people work, live, and age, and are significant contributors to individual health, accounting for up to 55% of overall health and wellbeing. Healthcare policies and external benchmark agencies are increasingly promoting the incorporation of SDoH into medical treatment and oversight, with notable provisions from The Joint Commission and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Given these factors, health systems should expand their work in SDoH by conducting standard screenings for health-related social needs (HSRNs), establishing system-wide goals and metrics related to SDoH, and implementing data-driven interventions. Despite hospital-based changes, it is important to note that HRSNs are the downstream effects of population-level SDoH. Without effective SDoH policy that incorporates a Health in All Policies (HiAP) framework, individual HRSNs will continue to persist. Read our SDoH Policy Brief.

Additional Resources

NYU Langone offers resources on health equity interventions and studies for healthcare systems, researchers, and policymakers. The resources shared here are detailed in our health policy briefs for those interested in learning more.

Community Health Worker Research and Resource Center