UHF Launches Third Phase of Partnerships for Early Childhood Development Initiative

Eight NY health system pediatric practices are partnering with community organizations to address the economic and social factors affecting children’s health 
NEW YORK, NY—January 17, 2020—United Hospital Fund today announced the third and final phase of its Partnerships for Early Childhood Development (PECD) initiative, an innovative program that helps New York-area pediatricians partner with community organizations to treat the social and economic factors that influence the health and well-being of young children.

Pediatric primary care practices affiliated with eight New York City health systems are participating in the PECD initiative, first launched in 2017. During the first two phases, the pediatric practices built the infrastructure and partnerships necessary to screen children and families for social needs like food insecurity, inadequate housing, and parental education, and worked with community-based organizations to ensure that patients received the appropriate interventions to help solve those issues. This third phase will continue that work and evaluate whether those partnerships are making a meaningful difference in families’ lives.

“This project is significant because it not only screens children for social needs but ensures that they and their families get the services to address those needs, thanks to the robust partnerships that have been built between health systems and community organizations” said Suzanne Brundage, who heads the project and is director of UHF’s Children’s Health Initiative. “An evaluation of PECD will contribute significantly to understanding how health care providers can effectively address non-medical factors that influence health.”

In recent years the medical community has increasingly recognized that a child’s long-term health and development is significantly influenced by social and economic factors, and in 2016 the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended that children be screened for these social determinants of health. 

During the first two years of the PECD project the participating teams conducted over 12,000 screenings for social determinants and referred almost 3,000 children and their families to community partners. The teams have reported that housing and utility needs, food insecurity, adult learning, and child care were among the most common social needs. Nearly half of the families screened had at least one or more social needs.

Funding for this third phase, totaling $609,588, is provided by UHF along with The New York Community Trust, The Altman Foundation, and The William J. and Dorothy K. O’Neill Foundation.

Phase III partnerships

•    BronxCare Health System with Phipps Neighborhoods
•    Cohen Children’s Medical Center (Northwell Health) with The Child Center of NY and Interfaith Nutrition Network
•    NYC Health + Hospitals/Gouverneur with Educational Alliance, Grand St. Settlement, Henry Street Settlement, and University Settlement
•    Mount Sinai Health System with New York Common Pantry and LSA Family Health Service
•    NewYork-Presbyterian/Charles B. Rangel Community Health Center with Northern Manhattan Perinatal Partnership
•    NewYork-Presbyterian Queens with Public Health Solutions
•    St. John’s Episcopal Hospital with Sheltering Arms and Family Resource Center Queens
•    NYU Langone Hospital-Brooklyn with Family Health Centers at NYU Langone Brooklyn, Neighbors Helping Neighbors, and New York Legal Assistance Group

About United Hospital Fund
United Hospital Fund works to build a more effective health care system for every New Yorker. An independent, nonprofit organization, we analyze public policy to inform decision-makers, find common ground among diverse stakeholders, and develop and support innovative programs that improve the quality, accessibility, affordability, and experience of patient care. For more on our initiatives and programs please visit our website at www.uhfnyc.org and follow us on Twitter at @UnitedHospFund.. 


Jan. 17, 2020
Focus Area
Clinical-Community Partnerships
Children's Health Initiative