NY START Director Presents at Roundtable Workshop Organized by National Academy of Sciences


National Academy of Sciences LogoNew York State OPWDD was invited to participate in a recent roundtable workshop sponsored by the National Academy of Sciences’ (NAS) Institute of Medicine to showcase START as a best practice. The Workshop, entitled People Living with Disabilities: Health Equity, Health Disparities and Health Literacy, was held in Washington, DC at the NAS building and was attended by a national audience of stakeholders engaged in various health advocacy, research and program development initiatives.

Kate Bishop, Director of Program Development for NYS OPWDD presented as a panelist on best practices to address the issues of health disparity and literacy for people with developmental disabilities and mental health challenges. Kate identified the planning for and the implementation of the START model in the NYS OPWDD system and identified some of the early positive clinical outcomes for the individuals engaged in the START service in NYS to date. The core elements of the START model including data driven and evidence informed practices, multi-level cross systems linkages, consultation and assessment and learning collaboratives were presented. Additionally, the Public Health Model was discussed and the relationship of the START model to NYS’s goal to reform the healthcare delivery system to incorporate value based payment approaches was highlighted.

Throughout the day there were trends that emerged as recommendations based on research were shared. Specifically the trends included:

  • Empowering individuals to take self-control through peer mentorship programs and self-directed models;
  • Increasing literacy on health conditions through education;
  • Developing consistent measures of quality that are nationally recognized;
  • Developing data driven systems;
  • Supporting caregivers through empowerment and service models; and
  • Ensuring effective care coordination practices inclusive of an electronic health record.

Many of the initiatives underway in NYS OPWDD are focused on achieving these recommendations. The START model encompasses many of the recommended practices and is exemplary as a best practice approach to meeting the needs of individuals who are struggling within the system of supports due to their mental health needs. OPWDD was proud to share the successes of the START model to date and the underlying system improvements anticipated from the development of a consistent and evidence informed model for crisis prevention and response.

Editor’s Note: Many thanks to Kate Bishop and Jill Hinton for their contributions to the content of today’s Friday Feature.

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