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Implementing the Federal Smoke-Free Public Housing Policy in New York City: Understanding Challenges and Opportunities for Improving Policy Impact

Jiang, Nan; Gill, Emily; Thorpe, Lorna E; Rogers, Erin S; de Leon, Cora; Anastasiou, Elle; Kaplan, Sue A; Shelley, Donna
In 2018, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development required public housing authorities to implement a smoke-free housing (SFH) policy that included individual apartments. We analyzed the policy implementation process in the New York City Public Housing Authority (NYCHA). From June-November 2019, we conducted 9 focus groups with 64 NYCHA residents (smokers and nonsmokers), 8 key informant interviews with NYCHA staff and resident association leaders, and repeated surveys with a cohort of 130 nonsmoking households pre- and 12-month post policy. One year post policy implementation, participants reported widespread smoking violations and multi-level factors impeding policy implementation. These included the shared belief among residents and staff that the policy overreached by "telling people what to do in their own apartments". This hindered compliance and enforcement efforts. Inconsistent enforcement of illegal marijuana use, staff smoking violations, and a lack of accountability for other pressing housing issues created the perception that smokers were being unfairly targeted, as did the lack of smoking cessation resources. Resident support for the policy remained unchanged but satisfaction with enforcement declined (60.1% vs. 48.8%, p = 0.047). We identified multilevel contextual factors that are influencing SFH policy implementation. Findings can inform the design of strategies to optimize policy implementation.
PMID: 34886292
ISSN: 1660-4601
CID: 5109502

Evaluation of Secondhand Smoke Exposure in New York City Public Housing After Implementation of the 2018 Federal Smoke-Free Housing Policy

Thorpe, Lorna E; Anastasiou, Elle; Wyka, Katarzyna; Tovar, Albert; Gill, Emily; Rule, Ana; Elbel, Brian; Kaplan, Sue A; Jiang, Nan; Gordon, Terry; Shelley, Donna
Importance/UNASSIGNED:Secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure is associated with many health conditions in children and adults. Millions of individuals in the US are currently exposed to SHS in their homes. Objective/UNASSIGNED:To investigate whether a federal ban on smoking in public housing settings was associated with a decrease in indoor SHS levels in New York City public housing developments 12 months after the policy's implementation. Design, Setting, and Participants/UNASSIGNED:This cohort study tracked indoor air quality longitudinally from April 2018 to September 2019 and used difference-in-differences analysis to examine SHS exposure before vs after implementation of the 2018 federal smoke-free housing (SFH) policy in 10 New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) buildings vs 11 matched low-income buildings not subject to the SFH policy (ie, Section 8 buildings). Exposures/UNASSIGNED:Federal SFH policy implementation, beginning July 30, 2018. Main Outcomes and Measures/UNASSIGNED:Comparison of nicotine concentration levels from passive, bisulfate-coated filters before vs 12 months after implementation of the federal SFH policy. Secondary outcomes included changes in particulate matter less than 2.5 μm in diameter, measured with low-cost particle monitors, and counts of cigarette butts in common areas. Results/UNASSIGNED:Air quality was measured repeatedly in a total of 153 NYCHA and 110 Section 8 nonsmoking households as well as in 91 stairwells and hallways. Before the SFH policy implementation, air nicotine was detectable in 19 of 20 stairwells (95.0%) in NYCHA buildings and 15 of 19 stairwells (78.9%) in Section 8 buildings (P = .19) and in 17 of 19 hallways (89.5%) in NYCHA buildings and 14 of 23 hallways (60.9%) in Section 8 buildings (P = .004). Nicotine was detected less frequently inside nonsmoking apartments overall (26 of 263 [9.9%]) but more frequently in NYCHA apartments (20 of 153 [13.1%]) than in Section 8 apartments (6 of 110 [5.5%]) (P = .04). One year after policy implementation, there was no differential change over time in nicotine concentrations measured in stairwells (DID, 0.03 μg/m3; 95% CI, -0.99 to 1.06 μg/m3) or inside nonsmoking households (DID, -0.04 μg/m3; 95% CI, -0.24 to 0.15 μg/m3). Larger decreases in nicotine concentration were found in NYCHA hallways than in Section 8 hallways (DID, -0.43 μg/m3; 95% CI, -1.26 to 0.40 μg/m3). Conclusions and Relevance/UNASSIGNED:The findings suggest that there was no differential change in SHS in NYCHA buildings 12 months after SFH policy implementation. Additional support may be needed to ensure adherence to SFH policies.
PMID: 33151318
ISSN: 2574-3805
CID: 4684142

The Development Of Health And Housing Consortia In New York City

Freeman, Amy L; Mohan, Bonnie; Lustgarten, Henie; Sekulic, Deirdre; Shepard, Laura; Fogarty, Megan; Kaplan, Sue A; Doran, Kelly M
Health and housing consortia in New York City offer a model for bridging the divide between the health care and housing sectors. While staff in these sectors often recognize the need to better integrate their services, there are few models for doing so. In this article we describe the formation of a health and housing consortium in the Bronx, New York City, as well as the successful replication of its model in Brooklyn. While each consortium has some features specific to its service area, the primary goal of both is the same: to provide a neutral space for health care and housing organizations to collaborate in what is otherwise often competitive and fragmented territory. In addition, the work of both consortia coalesces around training and resource development, cross-sector communication, and research and advocacy. We provide examples of the Bronx Consortium's activities in each of these core areas, highlight tangible results to date, and offer recommendations for people interested in undertaking similar efforts.
PMID: 32250662
ISSN: 1544-5208
CID: 4378732

Community Health Worker Intervention in Subsidized Housing: New York City, 2016-2017

Freeman, Amy L; Li, Tianying; Kaplan, Sue A; Ellen, Ingrid Gould; Gourevitch, Marc N; Young, Ashley; Doran, Kelly M
From April 2016 to June 2017, the Health + Housing Project employed four community health workers who engaged residents of two subsidized housing buildings in New York City to address individuals' broadly defined health needs, including social and economic risk factors. Following the intervention, we observed significant improvements in residents' food security, ability to pay rent, and connection to primary care. No immediate change was seen in acute health care use or more narrowly defined health outcomes. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print March 19, 2020: e1-e4. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2019.305544).
PMID: 32191526
ISSN: 1541-0048
CID: 4353682

How Practice Facilitation Strategies Differ by Practice Context

Nguyen, Ann M; Cuthel, Allison; Padgett, Deborah K; Niles, Paulomi; Rogers, Erin; Pham-Singer, Hang; Ferran, Diane; Kaplan, Sue A; Berry, Carolyn; Shelley, Donna
BACKGROUND:Practice facilitation is an implementation strategy used to build practice capacity and support practice changes to improve health care outcomes. Yet, few studies have investigated how practice facilitation strategies are tailored to different primary care contexts. OBJECTIVE:To identify contextual factors that drive facilitators' strategies to meet practice improvement goals, and how these strategies are tailored to practice context. DESIGN/METHODS:Semi-structured, qualitative interviews analyzed using inductive (open coding) and deductive (thematic) approaches. This study was conducted as part of a larger study, HealthyHearts New York City, which evaluated the impact of practice facilitation on adoption of cardiovascular disease prevention and treatment guidelines. PARTICIPANTS/METHODS:15 facilitators working in two practice contexts: small independent practices (SIPs) and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs). MAIN MEASURES/METHODS:Strategies facilitators use to support and promote practice changes and contextual factors that impact this approach. KEY RESULTS/RESULTS:Contextual factors were described similarly across settings and included the policy environment, patient needs, site characteristics, leadership engagement, and competing priorities. We identified four facilitation strategies used to tailor to contextual factors and support practice change: (a) remain flexible to align with practice and organizational priorities; (b) build relationships; (c) provide value through information technology expertise; and (d) build capacity and create efficiencies. Facilitators in SIPs and FQHCs described using the same strategies, often in combination, but tailored to their specific contexts. CONCLUSIONS:Despite significant infrastructure and resource differences between SIPs and FQHCs, the contextual factors that influenced the facilitator's change process and the strategies used to address those factors were remarkably similar. The findings emphasize that facilitators require multidisciplinary skills to support sustainable practice improvement in the context of varying complex health care delivery settings.
PMID: 31637651
ISSN: 1525-1497
CID: 4147222

Leveraging Population Health Expertise to Enhance Community Benefit

Kaplan, Sue A; Gourevitch, Marc N
As the Internal Revenue Service strengthens the public health focus of community benefit regulations, and many states do the same with their tax codes, hospitals are being asked to look beyond patients in their delivery system to understand and address the needs of geographic areas. With the opportunities this affords come challenges to be addressed. The regulations' focus on population health is not limited to a defined clinical population-and the resulting emphasis on upstream determinants of health and community engagement is unfamiliar territory for many healthcare systems. At the same time, for many community residents and community-based organizations, large medical institutions can feel complicated to engage with or unwelcoming. And for neighborhoods that have experienced chronic underinvestment in upstream determinants of health-such as social services, housing and education-funds made available by hospitals through their community health improvement activities may seem insufficient and unreliable. Despite these regulatory requirements, many hospitals, focused as they are on managing patients in their delivery system, have not yet invested significantly in community health improvement. Moreover, although there are important exceptions, community health improvement projects have often lacked a strong evidence base, and true health system-community collaborations are relatively uncommon. This article describes how a large academic medical center tapped into the expertise of its population health research faculty to partner with local community-based organizations to oversee the community health needs assessment and to design, implement and evaluate a set of geographically based community-engaged health improvement projects. The resulting program offers a paradigm for health system investment in area-wide population health improvement.
PMID: 32296672
ISSN: 2296-2565
CID: 4401742

Secondhand smoke exposure in public and private high-rise multiunit housing serving low-income residents in New York City prior to federal smoking ban in public housing, 2018

Anastasiou, Elle; Feinberg, Alexis; Tovar, Albert; Gill, Emily; Ruzmyn Vilcassim, M J; Wyka, Katarzyna; Gordon, Terry; Rule, Ana M; Kaplan, Sue; Elbel, Brian; Shelley, Donna; Thorpe, Lorna E
BACKGROUND:Tobacco remains the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, with 41,000 deaths attributable to secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure. On July 30, 2018, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development passed a rule requiring public housing authorities to implement smoke-free housing (SFH) policies. OBJECTIVES/OBJECTIVE:Prior to SFH policy implementation, we measured self-reported and objective SHS incursions in a purposeful sample of 21 high-rise buildings (>15 floors) in New York City (NYC): 10 public housing and 11 private sector buildings where most residents receive federal housing subsidies (herein 'Section 8' buildings). METHODS:) from low-cost particle monitors. SHS was measured for 7-days in non-smoking households (NYCHA n = 157, Section 8 n = 118 households) and in building common areas (n = 91 hallways and stairwells). RESULTS:was observed between and within buildings; on average nicotine concentrations were higher in NYCHA apartments and hallways than in Section 8 buildings (p < 0.05), and NYCHA residents reported seeing smokers in common areas more frequently. CONCLUSIONS:SFH policies may help in successfully reducing SHS exposure in public housing, but widespread pre-policy incursions suggest achieving SFH will be challenging.
PMID: 31787288
ISSN: 1879-1026
CID: 4240642

Clinician Perspectives on the Benefits of Practice Facilitation for Small Primary Care Practices

Rogers, Erin S; Cuthel, Allison M; Berry, Carolyn A; Kaplan, Sue A; Shelley, Donna R
PURPOSE/OBJECTIVE:Small independent primary care practices (SIPs) often lack the resources to implement system changes. HealthyHearts NYC, funded through the EvidenceNOW initiative of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, studied the effectiveness of practice facilitation to improve cardiovascular disease- related care in 257 SIPs. We sought to understand SIP clinicians' perspectives on the benefits of practice facilitation. METHODS:We conducted in-depth interviews with 19 SIP clinicians enrolled in HealthyHearts NYC. Interviews were transcribed and coded using deductive and inductive approaches. To understand whether the perceived benefits of practice facilitation differ based on the availability of internal staff for quality improvement (QI), we compared themes pertaining to benefits between practices with 3 or fewer office staff vs more than 3 office staff. RESULTS:Clinicians perceived 2 main benefits of practice facilitation. First, facilitators served as a connection to the external health care environment for SIPs, often through teaching and information sharing. Second, facilitators provided electronic health record (EHR)/data expertise, often by teaching functionality and completing technical assistance and tasks. SIPs with more than 3 office staff felt that facilitators provided benefits primarily through teaching, whereas SIPs with 3 or fewer staff felt that facilitators also provided hands-on support. At the intersections of these benefits, there emerged 3 central practice facilitation benefits: (1) creating awareness of quality gaps, (2) connecting practices to information, resources, and strategies, and (3) optimizing the EHR for QI goals. CONCLUSIONS:SIP clinicians perceived practice facilitation to be an important resource for connecting their practice to the external health care environment and resources, and helping their practice build QI capacity through teaching, hands-on support, and EHR-driven solutions.
PMID: 31405872
ISSN: 1544-1717
CID: 4043212

A protocol for measuring the impact of a smoke-free housing policy on indoor tobacco smoke exposure

Cardozo, Rodrigo Arce; Feinberg, Alexis; Tovar, Albert; Vilcassim, M J Ruzmyn; Shelley, Donna; Elbel, Brian; Kaplan, Sue; Wyka, Katarzyna; Rule, Ana M; Gordon, Terry; Thorpe, Lorna E
BACKGROUND:Tobacco remains a leading cause of preventable death in the U.S., responsible for more than 440,000 deaths each year. Approximately 10% of these deaths are attributable to exposure of non-smokers to secondhand smoke (SHS). Residents living in public multi-unit housing (MUH) are at excess risk for SHS exposure compared to the general population. On November 30, 2016, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) passed a rule requiring all public housing agencies to implement smoke-free housing (SFH) policies in their housing developments by July 30, 2018. METHODS:As part of a larger natural experiment study, we designed a protocol to evaluate indoor SHS levels before and after policy implementation through collection of repeat indoor air samples in non-smoking apartments and common areas of select high-rise NYCHA buildings subject to the HUD SFH rule, and also from socio-demographically matched private-sector high-rise control buildings not subject to the rule. A baseline telephone survey was conducted in all selected buildings to facilitate rapid recruitment into the longitudinal study and assess smoking prevalence, behaviors, and attitudes regarding the SFH policy prior to implementation. Data collection began in early 2018 and will continue through 2021. DISCUSSION/CONCLUSIONS:The baseline survey was completed by 559 NYCHA residents and 471 comparison building residents (response rates, 35, and 32%, respectively). Smoking prevalence was comparable between study arms (15.7% among NYCHA residents and 15.2% among comparison residents). The majority of residents reported supporting a building-wide smoke-free policy (63.0 and 59.9%, respectively). We enrolled 157 NYCHA and 118 comparison non-smoking households into the longitudinal air monitoring study and performed air monitoring in common areas. Follow up surveys and air monitoring in participant households occur every 6 months for 2.5 years. Capitalizing on the opportunity of this federal policy rollout, the large and diverse public housing population in NYC, and robust municipal data sources, this study offers a unique opportunity to evaluate the policy's direct impacts on SHS exposure. Methods in this protocol can inform similar SFH policy evaluations elsewhere.
PMID: 31146711
ISSN: 1471-2458
CID: 3987752

Re: Surgical Management of Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms Attributed to Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia: AUA Guideline [Letter]

Foster, H E; Barry, M J; Dahm, P; Gandhi, M C; Kaplan, S A; Kohler, T S; Lerner, L B; Lightner, D J; Parsons, J K; Roehrborn, C G; Welliver, C; Wilt, T J; McVary, K T; Bagla, S; Piechowiak, R; McClure, T D; Isaacson, A
ISSN: 0022-5347
CID: 4035572