GNYHA’s September 20 symposium on Improving Collaborations Between Primary Care Residency Programs and Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) was the culminating event of a project that incorporated social determinants of health training into primary care residency programs. At the symposium, hospital and CBO partners discussed the importance of training the future physician workforce to address social determinants of health as an essential part of health care delivery. GNYHA also introduced a toolkit to guide the development of residency program/CBO partnerships.

In a keynote address, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Acting Commissioner Oxiris Barbot, MD, highlighted the importance of the training component in addressing social determinants of health. “Patients don’t come to us from a vacuum,” she said, “They are products of their community.” Dr. Barbot issued a call to action for health care providers, challenging them to bring public health into the exam room. She also highlighted the need for more creative and sustainable approaches to cultivate better health outcomes for individuals and communities.

Dr. Barbot delivers the keynote address

During a panel discussion, residents and CBOs shared their experiences with immersion training, a component of GNYHA’s project in which CBOs helped place residents in the community for innovative training experiences. Attending home visits with CBO partners was key for some residents seeking to understand the importance of addressing social determinants of health. A resident who was scheduled to accompany a CBO partner for a single morning house visit was so inspired by the experience that she spent the entire day visiting families in the community with the CBO. Based on GNYHA’s evaluation of the project and feedback from participants, the immersion training component was well received by residents, and most of the partnerships facilitated through the project will continue.

Representatives from Northwell Health and NYU Langone Health presented on their respective educational frameworks that support long-term partnerships between residency programs and CBOs. Key lessons learned for partnership sustainability and challenges to growth were among the highlights.

GNYHA will continue providing resources and education for addressing social determinants of health.