Helmsley Charitable Trust Announces Grants to NYC Health + Hospitals to Launch Virtual Behavioral Health Platform

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Helmsley Charitable Trust Announces Grants to NYC Health + Hospitals to Launch Virtual Behavioral Health Platform

NEW YORK, NY – The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust announced today a $3.9 million grant to NYC Health + Hospitals to launch and integrate a new tele-behavioral health service into its virtual urgent care platform, ExpressCare, and to test four new strategies to engage high-needs patients in behavioral healthcare. The grant also supports NYC Health + Hospitals to work with the NYC Department of Homeless Services to create a tailored version of the new tele-behavioral healthcare service for New Yorkers experiencing homelessness, a chronically underserved community.

The grant will help provide around-the-clock support for mental health conditions, including psychiatric support and substance abuse treatment. NYC Health + Hospitals, the largest municipal healthcare system in the U.S., will develop the tailored version of the behavioral health service to treat patients at 25 homeless shelters and six mobile street outreach clinics in the first year. In the grant’s second year, NYC Health + Hospitals will use the grant to increase the use of ExpressCare and plan, execute, and evaluate four behavioral health engagement strategies targeted to some of the hardest-to-reach patients.

“Helmsley’s New York City Program is dedicated to increasing health stability and improving outcomes for New Yorkers with high needs,” said Tracy Perrizo, the New York City Program Officer at Helmsley. “The expansion of ExpressCare to include on-demand urgent behavioral healthcare will reduce avoidable, costly trips to the emergency room and go a long way in improving preventive healthcare for this vulnerable population. We appreciate the vision and partnership of NYC Health + Hospitals and look forward to expanding behavioral health services for this important patient population,” said Perrizo.

NYC Health + Hospitals launched its virtual urgent care program in 2020 with support from Helmsley to tailor the service for homeless patients in partnership with the Helmsley-funded NYC Collaborative for Homeless Healthcare, who advised on the process. The ExpressCare platform quickly filled a critical healthcare gap facing vulnerable residents, especially throughout the pandemic. It has served 75,000 New Yorkers to date with a 95-percent overall patient satisfaction score...