Answering the Question: “What does DSRIP mean to me?”


MHVC Workforce Communication and Engagement Toolkit launched in April.

You are doing the work and seeing results, but do your front-desk staff and technicians know that DSRIP is more than an acronym? Does everyone in your organization understand DSRIP’s long-term goals and why you are doing these projects?

Based on the latest results of needs-assessment meetings with partners conducted by the MHVC Workforce Communications and Engagement Workgroup in the Fall of 2016, the answer is “maybe not”. As part of implementing the MHVC Workforce Communication and Engagement Strategy, the Workgroup began meeting monthly in June 2016. Composed of nine partners, including hospitals, Community-Based Organizations (CBOs), the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA), and MHVC staff, the workgroup addressed a key question: “How do we determine partner needs for DSRIP communication and employee engagement?”

Partners were invited to share their workforce communications and engagement needs at two  needs-assessment meetings. The key ideas that emerged were:

  1. Cascading communications down to patient-facing staff. Staff is not sure what DSRIP entails and why it is being done, and the basic need is to explain the “why.”
  2. Providing templates so partners can customize the messaging.
  3. Sharing best practices in communication and employee engagement across MHVC.
  4. Translating the complex into easy-to-understand messaging.  “Keep it simple” and provide easy-to-understand language for non-clinical employees as well as direct caregivers.
  5. Developing “how-to” tools. Not all organizations have a communications department or designated person and may need more guidance on creating a communication plan.

The meeting results drove the content of the MHVC Workforce Communication and Engagement Toolkit, which was launched in April and can be accessed through the partner portal. The Toolkit contains templates and tools designed to help managers communicate DSRIP-related information to clinical and non-clinical staff within their organizations.

According to Maria Gerena, MHVC Workforce Development Manager, the Toolkit also includes insights into how other partners have succeeded. “While many partners incorporate DSRIP training into orientation programs for new employees, we want to be sure there is a communication process for those who are already in an organization. We have examples from other partners to help.” There are downloadable description templates for each of the projects that may be customized depending on organizational needs. “We wanted to make it easier for managers to facilitate discussions with their staff about changes happening in their organization as a result of DSRIP.  We asked ourselves, ‘How do we provide the framework for two-way communication and transparency? How do we explain DSRIP to someone whose job is changing?’ How do we demonstrate that DSRIP is new way of thinking and not just a temporary process change,” she continued.

The Toolkit will evolve based on feedback from partners. “We will meet with partners to gather continued feedback and ideas for additional content,” said Gerena. Part of the outreach will be for best practices in communication and engagement, which will be made available in the toolkit and featured regularly in communications with partners.

The Toolkit launch webinar is available here and provides step-by-step instructions on how to use the Toolkit; a PowerPoint is also available here. For more information please contact Maria Gerena by email at or by phone at 914-354-5621.

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