North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System
The North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System (NSLIJHS) is the largest integrated health care network in New York State and uses the National Prevention Strategy (NPS) to guide its Community Service Plan and employee prevention and wellness agenda. In 2012, NSLIJHS’s newly expanded Office of Community and Public Health (OCPH) incorporated the NPS into its strategic plan to impact the health of its employees, patients, and surrounding communities. Concurrently, OCPH worked with the Long Island Health Collaborative (LIHC) to include the NPS in the 2014–2017 Community Health Improvement Plan framework of Nassau and Suffolk Counties’ departments of health. OCPH then designed educational programs targeting different audiences to integrate the NPS.
The Spinney Hill Partnership farmers market on opening day.
Efforts to inform, enable, empower, and incentivize staff—such as healthy vending initiatives and classes to optimize sleep patterns— reflect the Priorities of the NPS. As part of the NPS Active Living Priority, the Walk to Paris Program was executed in 2013. As a result, over 15,000 employees each took an average of 703,583 steps, and they collectively lost an estimated 145,159 pounds.
NSLIJHS believes that understanding issues related to health literacy and cultural competency is essential for delivering accurate information and care, encouraging healthy lifestyles, and ensuring proper medication management. In line with this belief and the NPS Elimination of Health Disparities Strategic Direction, all staff members are required to be educated on these topics, and NSLIJHS has established various interdisciplinary educational initiatives that have helped to transform the NSLIJHS climate.
NSLIJHS sponsors a number of evidence-based community programs, such as senior fall prevention, child safety, and tobacco control. In collaboration with local schools, council members, municipal governments, churches, and senior centers, OCPH launched the Spinney Hill Partnership in 2013. This neighborhood-based community wellness pilot program is intended to be replicated in different surrounding localities. OCPH staff referenced the National Institutes of Health publication Principles of Community Health to design their engagement strategy. Common health concerns and barriers to care were identified through a system-wide community health assessment, and program initiatives now reflect several NPS Priority Areas: Healthy Eating, Active Living, Tobacco Free Living, Injury and Violence Free Living, and Preventing Drug Abuse. The Strategic Direction of Empowering People is at the heart of each effort so that participants learn to share information and understand how to navigate the health system for acute illness or prevention.
“The overarching goal of our prevention and wellness initiatives,” says Dr. Jennifer Mieres, Senior Vice President of the Office of Community and Public Health, “is to empower individuals to become 50-50 partners in all of their own health care.”
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