May 2017 Newsletter
Visioning the Healthcare Landscape at 2017 BCHN Symposium

The 2017 BCHN Symposium & Annual Meeting was held on May 23 at Montefiore's Grand Hall. An informative panel discussion, titled "Through the Looking Glass: Visioning the Healthcare Landscape," was moderated by Board of Directors member Marjorie A. Cadogan, Executive Deputy Commissioner, NYC Human Resources Administration Office of Health Insurance Access. Panelists included Anne Karl, Partner, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP; Dr. David Collymore, Chief Medical Officer, Acacia Network; Lacey Clarke, Assistant Director of Policy Community Health Care Association of NYS (CHCANYS); and David Menashy, Associate Vice President, Finance, Montefiore Health System.

Look for video from the Symposium to be published at on June 6.

Board of Directors Officers Chosen During BCHN Annual Meeting

Officers and members of BCHN's Board of Directors posed for a photo following the Symposium & Annual Meeting. Pictured above (from left to right): Victor Quarshie; Arthur G. Edwards; Richard Thomas, Vice President; Marjorie A. Cadogan; John Ruiz, Millie Pacheco; Charles Barnett, Recording Secretary; and Eduardo Alayon, who will serve as President for a third year.

Leadership Award Winners: Dr. Robert S. Beil & Jennifer Leone

During the Symposium & Annual Meeting, BCHN chief medical officer Dr. Jay Izes presented Leadership Awards to Montefiore Medical Group's Dr. Robert S. Beil and Jennifer Leone.

Dr. Robert Beil came to the Bronx after finishing his undergraduate work at Washington University in St. Louis and medical school at the University of Cincinnati. His residency started during some of the darkest days of the American HIV epidemic, when the average lifespan of patients from HIV diagnosis was 2 years and a multi-drug resistance tuberculosis epidemic was sweeping the Bronx. He witnessed firsthand in 1995 as revolutionary HIV medications became available and many of his patients went from having no hope of survival to having the power to survive and thrive. This inspired him to pursue a career in HIV medicine.

Dr. Beil accepted a position as HIV coordinator at CHCC in 1998. In 2001, he became Medical Director of the BCHN and MMG CICERO Program. In the past 16 years, the CICERO Program has provided high quality medical care for over 3,000 HIV positive clients.

Dr. Beil founded and was a board member of the Bronx Community Pride Center for its entire 16 year existence. He sits on QI oversight committees for the New York AIDS Institute and the Callen Lorde Community Health Center. More recently he has led Montefiore's efforts to build a transgender health care program. The Transgender Health Working Group now has over 25 members from 12 disciplines, and Montefiore will be performing it's first gender affirming genital surgery in over 20 years this month. He has also been a leader in the provision of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and aided the development of the capacity of BCHN, Montefiore and Einstein to deliver this HIV prevention method to over 500 persons at elevated risk for HIV infection.

Jennifer Leone has 23 years of diverse healthcare experience working in various settings including long term and acute care facilities, community based organizations to her most recent position within the primary care. She has held various roles at Montefiore ranging from Dietitian to WIC Director to Manager of Patient Health Education to her current role as Assistant Director of Quality and Performance Improvement at Montefiore Medical Group.

Ms. Leone earned a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and food science from Hunter College, and a master’s in public health from New York Medical College.

Her many accomplishments include the implementation of evidence-based patient health education programs, and collaboration with community partners to start a farmers' market in Morris Park section of the Bronx.

Ms. Leone is a skilled collaborator, who brings people together to align goals and create synergies. With a patient centric focus, she advocates for and builds programs to engage and empower patients to become active partners in the health care team.

Family of Florence Criscuolo Accepts Distinguished Service Award

Longtime BCHN Board of Directors member Florence Criscuolo was to receive this year's Distinguished Service Award at our Symposium and Annual Meeting. Sadly, she passed away on May 2 at age 99. Ms. Criscuolo's family was on hand accept the award on her behalf. Also pictured above are BCHN project director Nancy Padilla-Manus, chief executive officer Eleanor Larrier, and Board of Directors president Eduardo Alayon.

The tribute below was written by BCHN chief executive officer Eleanor Larrier.

A Tribute to Florence Criscuolo
by Eleanor Larrier

At four years old, Florence Criscuolo moved with her family from a Manhattan brownstone apartment to a house built by her father in the Bronx, then a part of Westchester County. For the next 95 years, she grew up, got married, raised three children and lived in that same house until her death at home on May 2, 2017. That was barely two months after her resignation from BCHN’s Board of Directors and five months away from her 100th birthday.

Ms. Criscuolo’s life and career are distinguished by tenacity, dedication and commitment to community service. After 30 years as an employee in the New York City School System, she filled her life as a retiree with volunteer activities. Ms. Criscuolo volunteered as an ambulance driver taking cancer patients to and from doctors’ appointments, after she recovered from an injury with a very poor prognosis. She joined the Community Advisory Board at Montefiore’s Comprehensive Family Care Center (CFCC), serving there for several decades. In 1999, she became a member of BCHN’s Board of Directors. As chairperson of CFCC’s CAB and serving various BCHN Board offices, most recently as Co-Chairperson of the Governance Committee, Ms. Criscuolo was a tireless advocate for health center patients. Her success in Board member recruitment and voter registration campaigns are a testament to Ms. Criscuolo’s warm and caring personality.

And yes, over the years Ms. Criscuolo found time for much more than we list here, especially service at First Presbyterian Church of Throggs Neck where she sang in the choir and served as liaison to the NYC Presbytery Mission Review Board for several Bronx churches. She was a volunteer fundraiser for United Cerebral Palsy; served monthly at St Peter’s soup kitchen; was a member of Community Board 11, St. Benedict’s Senior Club, the local AARP and speaker on senior topics, the Italian Club, and Coordinator of Polls for the Board of Elections.

In her signature red high heel shoes Ms. Criscuolo was a consummate professional. Diminutive in stature, she stood shoulders above others as a community leader. Her family says, “She encouraged others to never give up and was a witness to the Lord’s love in her life. She was a vital and strong woman in her beliefs and convictions and was not afraid to stand and be a voice for what she believed in.” We at BCHN are proud of Ms. Criscuolo’s service and are pleased that we were able to express our thanks and appreciation while she was alive. We were also delighted to present BCHN’s Distinguished Service Award to Ms. Criscuolo’s daughters, Helen Coyle and June Carol Kittel.

CHCC and CFCC Celebrate 50th Anniversaries!
On May 19, ceremonies were held simultaneously at Montefiore's Comprehensive Health Care Center (CHCC) and Comprehensive Family Care Center (CFCC) to celebrate their 50th anniversary. The ceremony at CHCC kicked off with remarks from Montefiore Health System's chief operating officer, Dr. Philip O. Ozuah, pictured above with BCHN chief executive officer Eleanor Larrier and Board of Directors president Eduardo Alayon. Dr. Ozuah spoke passionately about his formative years as a physician at CHCC, his admiration for the staff, and his appreciation for Montefiore's longstanding partnership with BCHN. Along with Family Health Center, CHCC and CFCC were the first community health centers to join the BCHN network in 1997. In her remarks, Ms. Larrier shared the history and importance of the community health center movement.

You can watch the entire CHCC 50th anniversary ceremony in the video below.
The celebration at CFCC was kicked off by Montefiore Health System's chief medical officer, Dr. Andrew Racine, pictured above with Carol Lau, CFCC Administrator; CFCC counder and BCHN Advisory Council chairperson Dr. Katherine S. Lobach, Professor Emerita of Pediatrics Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center; BCHN chief financial officer Sharon Edwards; and Ms. Dunn, a member of one of the first patient families at CFCC. Dr. Lobach was the first administrator at CFCC, then known as the Comprehensive Child Care Project (CCCP).

In the vignette below written for the BCHN newsletter, Dr. Lobach recalls the early days at CFCC.
Early Days at CFCC: Random Memories from Being Present at the Creation
by Dr. Katherine S. Lobach

In the beginning it was "CCCP", Comprehensive Child Care Project, because we were a federal "Children and Youth Project" supported entirely by grant funds to provide a full range of health services from birth to age 18 years. But before our first newborn patient had reached the age of 15, we had progressed from being a proud exemplar of Lyndon Johnson’s ‘War on Poverty” to struggling for survival in President Ronald Reagan’s war against poor people. That experience has made some of us better prepared for what may be ahead in the present era. For instance we first encountered the idea of a “block grant”, when they decided to change the funding for the programs into a (smaller) lump sum, sent directly to the states, and let the chips fall where they may. What saved us was the decision to make us eligible to bill Medicaid. Now today we face the possibility that Medicaid itself might become a block grant!

Nevertheless, long before the deluge, we had the means and flexibility to create what we thought was an ideal system of care: we identified newborns in the Jacobi nursery and offered registration to them and all their siblings. They would be assigned to their own team of an attending pediatrician, a nurse and a social worker for evaluation and ongoing care. (Later, some of the nurses trained to become nurse-practitioners under our sponsorship.) At least one home visit was made as part of the initial assessment, and a long term plan of care for the family was developed. It included nutrition services --WIC was just getting underway, and the first program in the state was housed with us. (Agnes Brooks, a leader in public health nutrition was a respected member of our staff, and was responsible for making this happen.) Regularly scheduled dental care was also an important element of the comprehensive approach. A system of night and weekend call was set up so families would not need to make unnecessary emergency room visits.

Of course, an ideal system needs to be housed in an ideal facility, and we had the good fortune to be able to design and have built the kind of space and layout that would fit our needs. At first, we occupied the entire first floor of the new building at 1175 Morris Park Avenue, which would later be named the Rousso Building. Among other amenities, it included a large playroom, adjacent to the waiting area, well equipped with toys and books, and staffed by a full time associate who conducted developmental screenings. And thereby hangs a tale.

One day, the playroom supervisor came to me and complained that the books were disappearing. She thought the children were taking them home! To us that was good news, and we began to budget for book replacements. This “borrowing” remained informal, and it was not till years later that our colleagues in Boston created the concept of “Reach Out and Read”. Nevertheless, after our rather primitive beginning, it is heartening to know that ROR is now an integral part of the pediatric visit in today’s CFCC.

As the years went by, the CCC "Project" grew and changed. Some of the early features were lost, while new ones appeared and flourished. Yet its basic mission will always remain the same: to use all available means to promote the health and well-being of every child and family being served.

BCHN Naloxone Work Featured in Groundtruth Podcast
The opioid epidemic in New York City is the focus of The Groundtruth Project podcast's new season. The most recent episode, "Chapter 4 - A Better Way to Treat Addiction: A New Standard fo Care in the South Bronx," highlights the work of CHCC's Dr. Chinazo Cunningham and BCHN community health worker Yaritza Holguin, who provides Naloxone workshops for patients and community residents. Listen to the episode here.

BCHN Partners with Borough President on Health Day
On May 19, BCHN joined forces with Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and other local organizations on Health Day during the Bronx Week annual celebration. Our Community Health Promotion and Education Program team conducted information sessions on sugar-sweetened beverages, stress and health, and the importance of watching your salt intake.

Pictured above are community health work supervisor Patrizia Bernard, community health worker Michelle Forrester, health educator Arousiag Markarian, and community health worker Rosemarie Archilla.

Pictured above are community health workers Stephanie De Los Santos, Ndeye NGom-Mbacke and Rhea Chandler with community health programs developer Renee Whiskey.

Pictured above, community health workers Aminatta Ulaba-Samura, Noelle Rosa, Yaritza Holguin and Lilibeth Castillo demonstrate for a community member, with the help of a storyboard, how stress effects the mind, body and overall health.

BCHN's CICERO Warriors Join AIDS Walk 2017
On May 21, BCHN teamed up with Family Health Center, Village Care and community residents to form the CICERO Warriors AIDS Walk team. In a year when health care is front and center in the nation’s public discourse, 20,000 New Yorkers turned out for the 32nd annual AIDS Walk, sponsored by Gay Men’s Health Crisis, which raises funds for that agency and several dozen other AIDS services groups in the tri-state area. Outpacing last year’s haul by roughly $85,000, the event raised an estimated $4.59 million, according to figures from GMHC.

BCHN also partnered with Quest Diagnostics this year to celebrate heroes in the HIV/AIDS community. A radio ad aired throughout the month of May on iHeartRadio stations featuring CICERO Community Advisory Board chairperson Sylvia Young. Listen to the ad here.

Health Center Walking Groups Visit Local Bodegas

Improving access to healthy food and beverage options is a key element of the Bronx REACH CHAMPS initiative. BCHN has been working with the Montefiore Officie of Community and Pulation Health's (OCPH) Healthy Store Initiative to bring these healthier changes to local bodegas. During Bronx Week, two patient walking groups, and the staff of one of the centers in our network, walked to three of the bodegas that have implemented numerous changes to meeting the criteria laid out by the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) Shop Healthy program.

On May 12, staff members from Williamsbridge Family Practice made their way to Gold Grill Deli Grocery to sample items on the new menu, including the Bronx Salad. In addition to patient walks, the health center is considering using Gold Grill to cater meetings.

The two patient walking groups were led by BCHN community health worker Pedro Gonzalez and Montefiore health educator Nereyda Franco.

On May 16, patients from University Avenue Family Practice walked to Mango Grocery & Meat Market. Pictured above with the patients are OCPH's senior project manager Elizabeth Spurrell-Huss and outreach representative Aneka Wynter, along with Mango owner Sandy Ortiz.

On May 17 (above), the University Avenue Family Practice walking group traveled to Bronx New Way Deli. Joining the group was Ranell Ogilvie, community liaison from the office of Senator Jamaal T. Bailey.

During the month of June, look for videos from all three Bronx Week walks.

BCHN Events Calendar

Friday, June 2 - Taste of Fordham Plaza Greenmarket
The new Fordham Plaza Greenmarket will be running on Wednesdays from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM from June 7 to December 20. On June 2, the Fordham Road Business Improvement District is hosting a kick-off event featuring health education, food demonstrations, art exhibits, music, games and giveaways. Be sure to stop by the BCHN table to say hello on Friday from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM.

Thursday, June 8 - Building Bridges Fundraising Fundamentals in the Bronx
Meet other community leaders, and find out how you can engage your organization to create a fundraising plan and increase funding streams.


To learn about upcoming events and locations check out the BCHN events page, or to arrange for BCHN representatives to be at your upcoming event, contact us.

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