Innovation Driving Change

MHVC is pleased to introduce this new section of our website featuring creative approaches and activities within our MHVC region, as well as important national best practices initiatives that our network can incorporate into the integrated delivery systems and drive outcomes and improve patient care.

MHVC Innovation Fund

MHVC is excited to announce our Innovation Fund, which is intended to support innovative collaborative projects in the Hudson Valley Region through a formal RFP process.

As of the July 5 deadline, we received 37 Letters of Intent for exciting projects across the region; we will announce the successful applicants shortly. Below are the links to the background materials that were available to LOI applicants:

Click here for the Innovation Fund Overview Webinar proceedings (June 5).

Click here for the Innovation Fund Guidance for CBOs Webinar proceedings (June 7).

Click here for the Innovation Fund Guidance Document.

Click here for Innovation Fund FAQs.

Click here for a list of MHVC Contracted Partners.

Innovative Substance Use Workshop Brings Both Sides to the Table

Inpatient and outpatient providers discuss discharge barriers, opportunities

What happens when a problem is seen from both sides? At MHVC’s Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Intake and Inpatient Discharge Processes Implementation Workshop we learned that this perspective is imperative when designing successful workstreams. The innovative workshop, held on May 19th at MHVC with 11 partners from five organizations, had partners from both sides share their experiences -- and frustrations -- candidly, and commitments were made to work together to streamline processes.

“The workshop was designed to help partners understand existing discharge/intake workflows, identify opportunities for improved efficiency, and together build a future state for the SUD discharge and intake process” said Emily Thorsen, MHVC Project Specialist. “These program elements are important as we move into value-based purchasing, so we need to understand how to implement them. This workshop gave participants the opportunity to problem-solve barriers to implementation with both inpatient and outpatient perspectives.”

“We identified issues more easily because we had both parties -- inpatient and outpatient -- in the room. Now MHVC is looking at which of the suggestions we can promote to other partners,” continued Thorsen. The workshop was conducted by MHVC staff and consultants: Dr. Damara Gutnick, MHVC Medical Director; Kristin Woodlock and Rachel Rivera, consultants to MHVC; Natalee Hill, MHVC Director of Quality and Innovation; and Thorsen. “This is a very complex issue from both sides, and the success of each depends upon understanding the constraints of the other,” said Thorsen.

Read the full article in our MHVC June 2017 Newsletter.

What Matters to You?

MHVC and its partners have embraced the new initiative, "What Matters to You?" (WMTY) and made it their own.

In May 2017, MHVC announced its “What Matters to You” (WMTY) campaign (article here), which was launched on international “What Matters to You Day” (June 6th)  with a webinar and subsequent events around the region. “Because the message is so simple and compelling, it is resonating with our partners, patients, and just about everyone else,” according to Dr. Damara Gutnick, MHVC Medical Director.

“There has been positive feedback about the work, which has been seamlessly integrated into almost all of our outreach and trainings,” she continued. MHVC has disseminated information about WMTY widely, including its recent Behavioral Health Learning Collaborative, ED Care Triage training, sessions with medical schools, and the Blueprint for Health Equity forum.

If you have examples of how asking “What Matters to You” has made a difference in a patient’s life or your practice, let us know at

HVCS: A Seven-County RHIO Success Story

HealthlinkNY connectivity improving all aspects of care

Hudson Valley Community Services, Inc. (HVCS), a provider of services to a broad range of vulnerable and underserved patients in all seven counties of the MHVC region, was struggling to get eligibility information from providers. “We struggled to get that information from providers,” said Christina Gardella-Cavalluzzi, HVCS CQI Manager/Compliance Officer. “Not being able to verify eligibility meant that we wouldn't be able to enroll clients.”

About four months ago HVCS partnered with HealthlinkNY, the Regional Health Information Organization (RHIO). Healthlink trained the HVCS care managers on-site so they did not have to travel and lose valuable time with clients. In addition, staff could access training via WebEx. “The ease of training made it easier to get staff on board and involved. We should have contacted Healthlink earlier, but we had started in another direction,” Gardella-Cavalluzzi continued. “Now that the system is in place, the information is immediately accessible and we have not had to waste valuable time. There have only been a handful of clients who have not been in Healthlink because of a recent move into the service area, and once here they are soon in the system too.”

The benefits were immediate for both staff and clients. “Using Healthlink has reduced staff frustration and also helped in areas that we hadn’t anticipated,” said Gardella-Cavalluzzi. The Health Service Coordinator said the process of referring to agencies is now faster and easier. And staff is able to see the full lab history of clients, who often don’t know their results or remember. “For example, when meeting with clients for whom lab results are important, such as with HIV or diabetes, staff can look up the information. We can ask them, ‘Do you know what this means?’ and provide education and assistance accordingly. Having these results not only helps staff to better assist clients, but trains our staff to read and use lab results better.”


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