• |
  • Español

Bench Talk Series: August 4th 2021



Join Staten Island University Hospital on August 4th outside of 22 Roxbury Street for their Bench Talk Series. From 10:30 to 11:30 am, you’ll get to hear from Senator Charles Fall and local healthcare leaders.  Pfizer vaccine is being offered on a starting at 8:30 am. No appointment needed.  Visit https://bit.ly/SIUHBenchTalkSeries for more information about the event.

In the News: “Fentanyl Test Strips as a Form of Harm Reduction: Study Outcome”s


Congratulations to our Director of Clinical Engagement, Nadeen Makhlouf and Chief Medical Officer, Salvatore Volpe, for their feature in Behavioral Health News! “Fentanyl Test Strips in the Form of Harm Reduction: Study Outcomes” focuses on the harm reduction program, through Community Health Action of Staten Island, which issued fentanyl test strips to harm reduction clients from April 2019 through November 2019. Read more about the study findings here.

Staten Island PPS Receives Grant from Empire BlueCross BlueShield


Staten Island, NY, MARCH, 2021 – Staten Island PPS received a $100,000 grant from Empire BlueCross BlueShield Foundation as part of the Healthy Generations Program. The Healthy Generations Program focuses on targeting specific, preventable health concerns—and addressing the disparities and social determinants that affect them—to create a healthier generation of Americans. Empire is committed to investing in programs that focus on preventable health conditions while addressing disparities and social determinants of health, which is at the core of the work Staten Island PPS has achieved together with our partners over the last five years.

“At Empire, we are committed to improving the lives and health of everyone in the communities we support,” said Jennifer Kuhn, Empire Medicaid Plan President. “Through this partnership, we’ll continue to provide meaningful resources dedicated to addressing racial inequalities and health disparities that adversely impact communities of color.”

The focus of the grant is highly aligned with SI PPS population health activities – to create systemic change to better address health disparities, especially in communities of color. It will support collaborative health care by incorporating mental health into primary care services, improving access to mental health services and addressing social determinant of health needs.

The $100,000 funding from this grant will be braided into additional program support to build the capacity of our 70 partner organizations to do this work. “Our greatest strength is our comprehensive partnership network” according to Dr. Joseph Conte, Executive Director of the Staten Island PPS. He added, “Together, our work allows providers and CBOs to adjust to the changing conditions stemming from COVID-19 and mitigate the pressures on our healthcare system, while still addressing the multitudes of health crises that we faced before the virus”.

Specifically, this grant will be used to help increase screening and identification of individuals, specifically for substance use disorder, and increase referrals and access to substance use disorder treatment and services, and other behavioral health resources. Staten Island PPS will also use this grant to fund and collaborate with BIPOC led organizations to understand and address racial disparities, ensuring health care providers on Staten Island are providing culturally competent care. “SI PPS is grateful for this funding from Empire”, says Ashley Restaino, Managing Director of Strategy and Operations at SI PPS. “It will help us achieve our mission of not only improving overall health for Staten Islanders but addressing racial disparities that negatively impact BIPOC communities. We are eager to understand health equity issues from the voices of community members and use our influence in the provider community to implement positive changes.”

The activities from this program will create ongoing benefits to communities of color. It will integrate behavioral health into primary care services and help make mental health routine. Our SDoH platform will provide access to additional social resources on an ongoing basis. Cultural competency training, provided under the grant, will also support and encourage a more diverse and culturally sensitive healthcare environment.

Become an ETS Sponsor Today!


What is an ETS Sponsorship?

When a service member conducts a permanent change of station (PCS), they receive a ‘PCS sponsor’ from their new military installation. ETS sponsors strive to fill a similar role for service members as the service member prepares to exit the military and move to their post-military hometown. Sponsors possess a unique
understanding of their hometown and are connected to resources. They conduct virtual sponsor sessions until the service member exits the military, focusing on specific transition goals. Post transition, sponsors meet face-to-face with the transitioned service member at coffee stores (free coffee and meal) or convenient locations to refine their goals.

Learn more about how you can become an ETS Sponsor here.

Xplorex IT: Addressing Disparities During COVID-19 By Leveraging Technology


Covid-19 has underscored in stark terms, that where we live, learn, work and worship affect how the pandemic impacts a community. Individuals in urban settings, people of color and those affected by disparities suffered far more disease prevalence and mortality than other populations. According to The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Commission to Build a Healthier America our zip code impacts our health and future wellbeing more than our genetics. There is ample research to suggest that social determinants of health (SDOH) factors may contribute to as much as 50-60% of a person’s healthcare costs. Yet the use of technology to bridge this gap has been narrowly deployed and meeting these needs, once assessed, is often poorly executed. This brief article from Xplorex IT, written by Joseph Conte, PhD, Executive Director, Anyi Chen PhD, Chief Information Officer, Ashley Restaino, MPH, Managing Director, Strategic Initiatives & Operations, covers how technology can be leveraged to engage underserved clients to address their social needs during the pandemic.

COVID Vaccine Update for Healthcare Professionals


Dear Healthcare Provider,


As of Monday, January 4, 2021 the following groups can now receive the COVID-19 vaccination (more information can be found here https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-vaccine-information-providers):

  • All Outpatient/Ambulatory front-line, high-risk health care workers of any age who provide direct in-person patient care, or other staff in a position in which they have direct contact with patients (i.e., intake staff), will be eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccine. This includes, but is not limited to, individuals who work in private medical practices; hospital-affiliated medical practices; public health clinics; specialty medical practices of all types; dental practices of all types; dialysis workers; diagnostic and treatment centers; occupational therapists; physical therapists; speech therapists; phlebotomists; behavioral health workers; and student health workers.
  • All front-line, high-risk public health workers who have direct contact with patients, including those conducting COVID-19 tests, those handling COVID-19 lab specimens and those directly engaged in COVID-19 vaccinations, will be eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccine.If you have not already made arrangements with a hospital system or Federally Qualified Health Center, we wanted to inform you that you can reach out to one of our SI FQHCs and make an appointment.


  1. H+H Gotham Vanderbilt– The process for scheduling with them is via this link: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/covid/covid-19-vaccine-locations.pageContact: SueLing Lee
    165 Vanderbilt Avenue
    Staten Island, NY 10304
  2. Sun River Health- Contact Dr Atith Patel at atpatel@sunriver.org  929-474-0282 or Ashley Awn aawn@sunriver.org, 855-681-8700, ext 4444
  3. *Beacon has closed form and appointments for this week but will reopen as soon as they get a new shipment. See their process below.Beacon Christian Community Health Center has begun offering the vaccine starting Monday, January 4 by appointment. To help set up the appointments, Beacon is asking for interested individuals to complete the following google form at this link: https://forms.gle/wJiSVdoMHVgHuLmx8After completing their information, Beacon staff will contact respondents to schedule their appointment.  (Beacon can only provide vaccines to individuals who are in the Priority 1A group.)  

If you have any questions, please contact NYC REACH at nycreach@health.nyc.gov.

Partner Success Stories


In reflecting back on Staten Island PPS’s achievements as this chapter of DSRIP comes to an end, the most successful initiatives that result in improved care to individuals, organizational excellence and population health improvement start more often in the lunchroom than the board room. This is dedicated to our partners who did the hard work, implemented the programs, cared for the people who needed it most, when they needed it most and get up every day and do it again. This is in recognition of their passion and singular effort. Read the full article here.