North Country organizations awarded ‘Promising Practice’ Funds to address local healthcare needs


WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) — Five organizations were chosen to receive funding to address local healthcare needs.

Recently, the North Country Initiative utilized $175,000 in remaining New York State Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment program funding to invest in local “Promising Practices.” This included the ARC Jefferson-St. Lawrence, Complete Family Care and Laser Center, Northern Regional Center for Independent Living, St. Lawrence County Addictions and Mental Health Clinics and Samaritan Medical Center.

According to NCI, criteria for the awards were driven by a poll conducted in Summer 2020. The poll asked regional healthcare providers for feedback on the most pressing health issues in Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties.

Of the 60 issues identified, 14 were chosen Promising Practices funding within six categories. This included preventing and managing chronic disease; promoting mental and behavioral well-being; preventing communicable diseases; promoting healthy infants and children; promoting geriatric and end-of-life care; and strengthening healthcare infrastructure and delivery. 

Then in April 2021, NCI issued a request for proposals to its partner organizations. Grant applications were evaluated based on project feasibility and impact, primarily on the Medicaid/Medicare/uninsured population; focus on social determinants of health; community need; project management; and long-term sustainability.

nvolving multiple stakeholder perspectives in the review process was critical, as they each thoughtfully evaluated the strength of each application through their respective lenses,” shared NCI Deputy Director Joanna Loomis. “Further, the Medicaid recipient, who is a graduate of the ‘Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’-by World’ workshop series, helped us see the impact that these programs would have on our Medicaid population and which were most pressing. This changed the course of the conversation and was an invaluable contribution to the process.”

Each of the five organizations are listed with their respective projects below:

  • The ARC Jefferson-St. Lawrence: “Strengthening Access to Physical & Behavioral Healthcare for People with Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities (IDD) through Remote Technology”
  • Complete Family Care & Laser Center: “Bridging the Care Management Gap for Medicaid Patients”
  • Northern Regional Center for Independent Living (NCRIL): “Community Health Workers (CHW) & Primary Care”
  • St. Lawrence County Addictions and Mental Health Clinics: “Incorporating Virtual Reality into Mental Health & Substance Use Treatment”
  • Samaritan Medical Center: “Intensive Outpatient Management for Congestive Heart Failure (CHF), Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), and Pneumonia Patients at High Risk for Hospital Readmission” 

The nine-month performance period for the grant-funded projects is June 14, 2021 through March 18, 2022. Each organization is required to submit quarterly progress reports and a final report by April 29, 2022.

All project proposals were received and reviewed by a Community Review Committee comprised of healthcare stakeholders including a Medicaid recipient

Each project’s impact will be measured by North Country Initiative throughout the performance period and shared at its conclusion.

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