Talia Vaughn and Trust Robinson, who are outreach and enrollment coordinators at SelectHealth, a part of VNSNY CHOICE, where I work, look forward to a time when society does not need an International Transgender Day of Visibility. One March 31 in the future, they hope, people who transition genders will be seen and heard and experienced every day for who they are: people. People with their own talents and challenges, friends in your community, colleagues in your workplace.


In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, home is the safest place to be for many seniors. But an extra level of attention is needed to make sure home is safe from falls for seniors who may be unsteady on their feet, taking multiple medications, suffering from chronic conditions, or recovering from COVID-19. Each year, one in four Americans age 65 and older falls. In fact, falls are the leading cause of both fatal injuries and nonfatal trauma-related hospital admissions among older adults, according to the National Council on Aging.

Falls among seniors happen primarily in the home, and they…


This article was originally published in HIV Plus magazine online on February 7, 2020. Please click here to read more.

As we observe National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day on February 7th, it’s a reminder that while much has been accomplished in terms of treatment and prevention, the African American community continues to be disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), while the rate of new HIV diagnoses among African Americans declined 15% from 2010 to 2017, black Americans still account for nearly half of all new HIV cases each year. At the same…


Year-end corporate messages typically summarize progress made in the prior months and offer projections of success for the coming year—all supported by volumes of complex metrics that inevitably point to a dollar amount. But, when the defining goal of an organization is to maintain the health and foster the well-being of vulnerable populations who have slipped through society’s safety net, success is harder to quantify.

The real value a health plan brings can be measured in many ways—for example, by a health plan member whose physical therapy enables her to overcome mobility problems and walk to the grocery store on…


New York’s new Medicaid special needs plans deliver vital, targeted care to people living with HIV and others who need it most.

This article was originally published in HIV Plus magazine online on November 24, 2019. Please click here to read more.

As runners in the recent New York City marathon were reminded, the course is 26.2 miles long. Stopping at mile 26 isn’t good enough — in fact, those last 385 yards can be the toughest. That applies as well to the remarkable, tireless efforts of the medical research and healthcare communities who are working together to bring the AIDS epidemic to an end — a finish line that is today clearly in sight.

The HIV virus has taken more than…


Sepsis Trust ©2019 Sepsis Alliance

If you aren’t familiar with the term “sepsis,” you should be. Perhaps the most potentially lethal condition facing medically compromised patients today, sepsis is hard to diagnose, fast developing — and its incidence is rising at an alarming rate.

Sepsis results when the body’s immune system cannot defeat an infection and instead turns on itself, often leading to organ failure and death. As Sepsis Alliance reports, the scope of this condition is startling: It has been estimated that sepsis affects more than 1.5 million patients nationwide each year, and is responsible for the deaths of a quarter of a million of those patients and a third of all hospital fatalities. In addition, a 2008 hospital discharge survey showed that the average length of stay (LOS) for septic patients was 75 percent longer compared to those hospitalized for other conditions…


How Culturally Tailored Care Management is Helping Safeguard the Health of America’s Diverse (and Growing) Senior Population

Over 53 million Americans are now 65 or older, and that number is expected to nearly double over the next 40 years. Our nation’s seniors are also becoming steadily more diverse as a group, and are more determined than ever to “age in place” in their own homes. In the process, they are adding a new aspect to the list of U.S. freedoms: Health Autonomy, meaning that everyone in the U.S. …


When Florence, an older New Yorker with a history of uncontrolled hypertension (high blood pressure) and obesity, recently joined a managed long-term care (MLTC) insurance plan, the nurse care coordinator/nurse practitioner assigned to her by the plan was faced with an immediate challenge: Florence was a frequent visitor to the emergency room, driven there by recurrent bouts of dizziness related to her chronically elevated blood pressure. Besides being expensive and avoidable, her repeated ER visits were also doing nothing to improve her underlying blood pressure issues.

May is National High Blood Pressure Education Month, and a good time to share…


“Care for home-bound patients doesn’t end with just making sure they are taking their meds,” says Clarene Richards, Lead Social Worker with the Visiting Nurse Service of New York’s (VNSNY’s) CHOICE Managed Long-Term Care health plan. “It’s also keeping them psychologically grounded, monitoring their ability to function successfully and independently in their homes, and coming to the rescue with solutions when they can’t manage for themselves.”

Government officials and health care experts continue to assess the best strategy for an affordable health care “safety net” to protect the nation’s most vulnerable populations: the elderly, the chronically ill, and the impoverished…


Follow New York State’s Successful Model for HIV Treatment and Prevention

The recent call by the White House for a national initiative aimed at managing and preventing Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) was welcome news. Here in New York State, we know from firsthand experience that, with the right strategy and sufficient resources — including making health insurance and healthcare services accessible to people with HIV and those at risk for acquiring HIV — this goal is eminently achievable.

Last November, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that New York’s “End the Epidemic” program had produced a 20% statewide decline in the annual rate of new HIV diagnoses since its launch in 2014. …

Hany Abdelaal, D.O.

President of VNSNY CHOICE Health Plans at Visiting Nurse Service of NY, and a leading healthcare expert focused on elder independence.

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