GNYHA and the Association for a Better New York (ABNY) released suggestions for hospital community engagement for the upcoming 2020 Decennial Census. The ideas were part of the GNYHA/ABNY Health Care Counts 2020 Census campaign, which was announced in May at GNYHA’s Annual Meeting and Reception by Stephen Corwin, MD, President and CEO of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, and LaRay Brown, President and CEO of Interfaith Medical Center and One Brooklyn Health System, Inc.

Health Care Counts 2020 Census is designed to help hospitals do their part as trusted community partners to obtain as complete a count as possible. Some populations and communities are always more difficult to count, including the elderly, young children, immigrants, and communities of color. For 2020, these hard-to-count populations may be even more difficult to reach because, for the first time, the Census Bureau is encouraging participation online or by phone, a difficulty for those without computer or internet access. And while the Trump Administration withdrew a proposal to include a citizenship question, discussion of that question has added to the existing distrust in immigrant communities about Census 2020 participation.

Census results are used to determine the number of seats for each state in the House of Representatives, the drawing of state legislative district lines, and the allocation of funding for Federal programs, including health care and social services funding. An undercount in 2020 could cost New York State one or two Congressional seats, according to projections.

On September 25, GNYHA and ABNY will host a briefing to discuss Census 2020 and how the Health Care Counts 2020 Census initiative can help hospitals participate in community and staff engagement activities to obtain as complete a count as possible.