Single Source Procurement: West African Community Health Collaborative

Pursuant to New York State Finance Law § 163.10(b), The New York State Department of Health is presenting the following summary of relevant circumstances, and material and substantial reasons why a competitive procurement was not feasible.

Office of Minority Health & Health Disparities Prevention (OMH-HDP) in partnership with the New York City Department of Health and Mental hygiene (NYCDOHMH) proposes to use funding to support a West African Community Health Collaborative that will assist the Department in engaging West African community members and leaders in New York City. This collaborative will build upon current efforts of the NYCDOHMH to address community concerns associated with the Ebola crisis as well as formalize a Community Engagement Planning and Mobilization process designed to establish a roadmap that will address both immediate and long term Ebola-related health concerns and overall community health. The central aim of the Collaborative is to develop community-led strategies that will address the unique needs and concerns of the West African communities in New York City. Specifically, the Collaborative will identify strategies at the City and local levels and facilitate the development of community-specific action plans that will address the following (proposed):

  1. Identify key West African stakeholders, leaders and potential spokespersons.
  2. Develop timely, culturally and linguistically sensitive, science-based messaging and public health campaigns tailored to the needs of the West African community.
  3. Identify strategies to educate public on the science and epidemiology of chronic and infectious diseases.
  4. Address the current stigma and discrimination resulting from health and mental health diagnosis – utilizing education, advocacy and sensitization efforts.
  5. Address the mental health and psychological needs of West Africans in NYC that may arise from the personal tragedies suffered from this virus and the stress that may come from social isolation, quarantine or stigma.
  6. Provide and disseminate culturally appropriate mental health resources to West Africans living in NYC.
  7. Identify innovative and actionable strategies for improving health of West Africans in NYC – As needed, share additional health resources with West Africans in NYC.
  8. Assess and evaluate the economic impact of disease on West Africans - globally and locally.
  9. Inform the development of measurable indicators to assess health needs and to track improvement in health outcomes among the West African community.
  10. Create forums for community input by holding events to continuously engage popular opinion leaders and community organizations on best strategies to addressing health concerns.

OMH-HDP works with individuals, communities, government, and public/private partners to ensure high quality, affordable and accessible health care for all New Yorkers. As established by Public Health Law the Office is responsible for: 1) Integrating and coordinating state health care grant and loan programs established specifically for minority health care providers and residents; 2) promote, support, and conduct research to improve and enhance the health of minority populations; 3) serve as a liaison and advocate on minority health matters in conjunction with the Minority Health Council; assist medical schools and state agencies to develop comprehensive programs that increase the diversity of the health care services within minority communities; and 4) assess the impact of programs, regulations and policies on minority health and health services.

NYCDOHMH has been identified as the Single Source entity to organize and facilitate this collaborative initiative due to its unique experience and established connections with West African leaders and community members within New York City. Approximately 60% of the Africa-born population of NYC comes from West Africa. NYCDOHMH co-facilitated the inaugural meeting of the NYS West African Health Collaborative held on November 20, 2014 at NYS DOH, 90 Church Street, NY. The NYS DOH Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker presided over the event. The participants gathered at this meeting shared concerns over the impact of the current epidemic on their respective communities and highlighted the unique needs of the West African population in NYC with regards to health messaging, communication, stigma, discrimination and the need to tailor education and advocacy efforts. Additional forums will need to be convened to allow a variety of stakeholders the ability to contribute to identifying concerns, offer suggestions and collaborate with other sectors, agencies and organizations, i.e., legal/advocacy, schools/education, businesses, faith-based, law enforcement, media, healthcare, youth, human rights commission, immigrant affairs, etc. to establish a comprehensive strategy to address the health concerns of the West African community.

Procurement / Program Name West African Community Health Collaborative
Contractor Name(s) New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene
Contract Period 11/1/2014 – 3/31/2015
Contract Number(s) C030183