CEO, COMMON GROUND HEALTH
Years in current role: 4
What has been your organization’s biggest success over the past year?
New York state has proposed an 1115 Waiver Demonstration to address the inextricably linked health disparities and system health care delivery issues that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. In partnership with the federal government, the state would fully integrate social care and health care into the Medicaid program. I am very appreciative of how New York state has recognized Common Ground Health as the model for this critical effort to address the social determinants of health; foster greater collaboration to alleviate racial and socioeconomic disparities; and elevate the value of our non-clinical community-based organizations.
What are your expectations for the rest of this year?
Dealing with the COVID-19’s impact has been an incredible challenge. Responding to this public health emergency has been Common Ground Health’s continual focus, as the pandemic shone a bright light on health inequities and how urgently we need to reinforce our commitment to addressing housing, education, employment, transportation and other social determinants of health. The effects of the pandemic remain, and Common Ground will continue to work on building local partnerships to address the mental and emotional health challenges that are a natural consequence of more than two years of a global shutdown.
What is one personal goal you have for the next year?
The pandemic has had a devastating impact on people’s health and taken too many lives. It also has had a tremendous impact on personal relationships. Anyone who knows me knows that I thrive on hugs. I have missed socializing with family, friends and neighbors, and I am delighted that public health guidelines now allow us to be out and about more than we have been in more than two years. My goal is to reconnect and restore my personal relationships. I am ready to give — and to get — plenty of hugs.