Updates from UHF on research, grantmaking, convenings, and fundraising efforts

Published three times a year, Blueprint reports on the range of activities at UHF and the health care landscape we work in.

Most Recent Issue
  • May 29 2023
    Blueprint, Spring 2023

    This issue’s cover story highlights a recent UHF report, produced in collaboration with Boston Consulting Group, on the economic and societal impact of gun violence on people nationwide and in New York. Dr. Barbot’s commentary, “We Need to Talk About Guns,” looks at basic things we can all do to help stem this tragic toll. The issue also features a Q&A with Dora Mendez, UHF’s new vice president of human resources and chief diversity, equity, and inclusion officer; news items on renewed support for three innovative programs and a UHF-hosted discussion to help keep New Yorkers insured; a profile of a graduate of UHF and Greater New York Hospital Association’s Clinical Quality Fellowship Program, who dramatically improved treatment for heart attack patients; and a recap of our recent Tribute to Excellence in Health Care.

Past Issues
  • Oct 31 2022
    Blueprint, Fall 2022

    This issue focuses on United Hospital Fund’s new president and CEO, Dr. Oxiris Barbot, with a biographical sketch and an introductory essay acknowledging the turning point at which UHF finds itself. Brief updates on recent UHF work include a webinar highlighting early childhood literacy as a public health issue; progress on medication management in nursing homes; and the new task force on Bridging Quality and Equity. And snapshots from recent UHF events include highlighting the need for investing in equity and collaboration at UHF’s Medicaid Conference, rethinking “safety” in health care at the Quality Leaders Forum; and honoring four exceptional health care leaders (and greeting each other in person again!) at the annual Gala.

  • Jun 15 2022
    Blueprint, Spring/Summer 2022

    The cover story and president's commentary both look at New York's Medicaid program--its crucial role, its recent growth, and how UHF's Medicaid Institute is working to strengthen it. A Q&A with Vaughn Murria, UHF’s Vice President of Human Resources, looks at the our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiative. This issue also introduces several new UHF efforts: promoting children's literacy in primary care practices; improving transitions home from skilled nursing facilities; bringing together leaders in health care quality and health care equity; and combating medication overload ("polypharmacy") in nursing homes. Lastly, a rundown of the recent Tribute to Excellence in Health Care, and the quality leaders from across the New York metropolitan area who were honored at it.

  • Dec 1 2021
    Blueprint, Fall/Winter 2021

    In this issue: Food insecurity in New York, and how UHF is working to address it; two new directors elected to UHF's board; a Medicaid conference spotlighting social needs and disparities, and a Quality Leaders Forum focused on “what matters to you?”; updates from UHF's annual Gala; a Q&A with Joan Guzik, director of quality and efficiency for UHF’s Quality Institute; and, in Tony Shih's regular piece, a consideration of the mental health crisis introduced by the of COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Jun 24 2021
    Blueprint, Spring/Summer 2021

    The cover story from our spring/summer issue describes a digital prototype co-designed by UHF to help health providers and patients overcome communication barriers and better achieve patients’ health goals. How’s My Health Dashboard was informed by a nine-month partnership with patients and clinicians at a New York City primary care practice. Tony Shih’s regular commentary details some of the positive changes in the health care system driven by the COVID-19 pandemic. Other highlights include new projects; staff news; a recap of UHF’s Tribute to Excellence in Health Care; a story about a Quality Leaders Forum presentation by Dave A. Chokshi, MD, commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene; and a Q&A with Alexandra Brandes, director of UHF’s Medicaid Institute.

  • Dec 9 2020
    Blueprint, Fall/Winter 2020

    The cover story from our fall/winter 2020 issue describes a major UHF report that estimates the devastating impact of COVID-19 on children in New York state. Other highlights include United Hospital Fund's new work on a statewide pediatric health equity program and, relatedly, a Q&A with Susan Olivera about the program. Tony Shih’s regular commentary provides a post-election update, acknowledging and laying out the immense challenges still confronting our health care system, as well as hope for progress. Other topics covered include UHF’s virtual gala, which honored five exceptional health care leaders; and our ongoing COVID-19 commentary series, which examines a range of issues related to the pandemic, including emergency department visits, antibiotic resistance, and the need to tackle racism.

  • Aug 11 2020
    Blueprint, Summer 2020

    The cover story of our summer issue highlights United Hospital Fund’s efforts to protect health insurance coverage and address equity issues during the COVID-19 pandemic. The issue includes a story about UHF’s new diversity, equity, and inclusion initiative and recaps of two significant recent events: our Tribute to Excellence in Health Care and our annual Medicaid Conference. In his commentary, Anthony Shih, MD, suggests that, as COVID-19 interrupts progress on health insurance, we need to rethink goals on coverage. The issue also highlights UHF’s five new board members, who bring a wealth of expertise in medicine, nonprofit management, consulting, public health, and government. News briefs cover the appointment of UHF Gould Visiting Scholar, Dave Chokshi, MD, as New York City’s Health Commissioner and the launch of UHF’s Pediatrics for an Equitable Developmental Start Learning Network.

  • May 14 2020
    Blueprint, Spring 2020

    Our spring issue includes updates on some of the ways the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting our work and health care in New York. The cover story looks at how an early childhood development project has taken on new urgency during the pandemic. We also introduce UHF’s growing collection of resources related to the pandemic, including both consumer guides and commentaries on important issues and concerns. Tony Shih examines how the pandemic might affect UHF’s work, as well as big social and policy questions that will need to be addressed going forward. Lastly, the issue recaps other UHF work: a new forum bringing together emerging and established health care quality leaders, and two new projects launched with support from the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation.

  • Nov 25 2019
    Blueprint, Fall 2019

    New York State launched a major overhaul of its Medicaid program several years ago. Our cover story highlights a new UHF report identifying “promising practices” than can help the State bolster this ongoing reform effort. In his regular commentary, Tony Shih, president of UHF, writes about what it takes to achieve widespread adoption of health care delivery innovations. This issue also includes a range of other engaging content: a story about rethinking stigma surrounding health insurance coverage, a look at a new model for enhanced pediatric care in New York State, a recap of our annual gala and profiles of four exceptional gala honorees, a spotlight of a UHF report on asthma and housing conditions, and a Q&A with Anne-Marie Audet, UHF’s senior medical officer, on our work in patient-centered care.

  • Aug 1 2019
    Blueprint, Summer 2019

    Social and economic adversities—known as “social determinants of health”—can have a greater influence on your health than the health care you receive. Our cover story describes how primary care providers are partnering with social service organizations to meet these non-medical needs and highlights a new UHF guide for how such partnerships might work. In his regular commentary, “A Word with Tony Shih,” UHF President Tony Shih writes about what worthwhile activities are included in value-based payment and what is left out. This issue also includes a story about new UHF board chairman John C. Simons and two new board members, a recap of our first-ever Tribute to Excellence in Health Care event, a look at a new report examining parents’ perspectives on how pediatricians can screen for social needs, and a Q&A with UHF senior fellow Carol Levine on how the world has changed for family caregivers.

  • May 15 2019
    Blueprint, Spring 2019

    This is the first issue of UHF’s newly redesigned Blueprint newsletter. The lead story highlights UHF’s yearlong Difficult Decisions About Post-Acute Care project, which was conducted to better understand why hospital discharge planning sometimes falls short. In his regular commentary, “A Word with Tony Shih,” UHF President Tony Shih writes about price transparency and patient empowerment. Other articles in the issue spotlight a new report about residents without health insurance in western and central New York, our Tribute to Excellence in Health Care event on May 6, a profile of UHF Board Chairman and new Legacy Society member J. Barclay Collins II, and a Q&A with UHF’s Suzanne Brundage on harnessing value-based payments to improve children’s health.

  • Nov 27 2018
    Blueprint, Fall/Winter 2018

    An often-overlooked ripple effect of the opioid epidemic of the past decade is its impact on children and families. The lead story of the this issue of Blueprint focuses on a groundbreaking UHF project examining the impact of parental opioid abuse on children's mental health, development, and family responsibilities. The article covers the inaugural meeting of the project in October, which brought together some 40 specialists from around the nation, and describes both the challenges and opportunities that they see. UHF president Tony Shih shares his thoughts about what the opioid crisis says about our health system in "A Word with Tony Shih." Other articles in the issue spotlight UHF's Patient-Reported Outcomes in Primary Care-New York (PROPC-NY) initiative, the dangers to New York's individual health insurance market if the individual mandate is repealed, our annual gala held October 1, and our newly released antibiotic toolkit for outpatient practices.

  • Jul 31 2018
    Blueprint, Summer 2018

    Focusing on the delicate two-steps-forward/one-back dance on health insurance coverage and access to care, our cover story spotlights the important work of UHF’s Health Insurance Project and Medicaid Institute in supporting major advances and analyzing impending threats in New York State. Is health care quality improving? That’s the question UHF President Tony Shih asks in his latest commentary. There’s evidence for and against, but that may not be the right question at all, he suggests. More to the point is what health care stakeholders should be doing to ensure that quality moves in the right direction—a principle guiding much of UHF’s current work. Also in this issue: the Partnerships for Early Childhood Development initiative presents findings from its first phase and launches a second; UHF’s two-pronged approach to the over- and misprescribing of antibiotics uses both Medicaid Institute analysis of the problem’s scope and provider-level interventions developed through our Outpatient Antibiotic Stewardship Initiative; Clinical Quality Fellowship Program capstone projects illustrate the diversity of the latest class of graduates—and of the quality challenges being confronted today; a new report proposes “shared services” as a way to help small primary care practices become medical homes; and more.

  • Apr 18 2018
    Blueprint, Spring 2018

    Identifying and addressing patient needs is a theme running through the Spring 2018 Blueprint. Our cover story focuses on two Quality Institute projects reflecting a growing awareness that patients’ perceptions and goals play important roles in patient-provider communication and in health outcomes. That same attention to patients’ concerns—especially to social determinants of health—is at the heart of two other efforts featured in this issue, New York State's First 1000 Days on Medicaid initiative, in which UHF plays a leadership role, and our own Partnerships for Early Childhood Development. Reinforcing the theme of effective clinical–community partnerships, Tony Shih’s President's Letter speaks to the role such collaborations play in the continuing challenge of health care’s “value equation.” And a brief story on UHF’s strategic “refresh” looks at how we’re clarifying our mission and ensuring that all our work is aligned with our goals and values.

  • Dec 7 2017
    Blueprint, Fall-Winter 2017

    In Tony Shih's inaugural Blueprint commentary, he articulates UHF’s four core values. Our cover story takes a look back at the Aging in Place Initiative and the ways in which it pioneered health care/community partnerships and helped community-based organizations become more strategic and results-oriented to better serve their elderly clients; with the recent transfer of the NORC Blueprint website to the New York State Office for the Aging, the work of the Initiative gains a broader platform and continues to have a positive impact on senior services and seniors’ lives. Also in this issue: Grant Spotlight looks at progress in the Partnerships for Early Childhood Development; a new initiative seeks to ensure better-informed decisions on post-acute care; the annual Gala honors four outstanding leaders; Robert Galvin, MD, is elected to the UHF board; and more.

  • Aug 1 2017
    Blueprint, Summer 2017

    On the brink of a major transition in UHF leadership, this issue of Blueprint features an introduction to incoming President Tony Shih, tributes to retiring President Jim Tallon, and Jim’s own look back at the major trends in health care during his tenure. Also in this issue: UHF honors 31 leaders during its annual Tribute to Hospital and Health Care Trustees; two new directors are elected to the UHF board; a pre-Senate-vote look at “repeal and replace” efforts; and new grant support to extend UHF’s Outpatient Antibiotic Stewardship Initiative

  • Apr 24 2017
    Blueprint, Spring 2017

    In this issue’s cover story, a look at UHF’s Partnerships for Early Childhood Development initiative, linking hospital-associated primary care practices and community organizations to identify and address social determinants of health that pose particular risks to children 5 and under. Also in this issue: Jim Tallon comments on the upending of the historic federal-state partnership on Medicaid; enlisting health care in preventing homelessness; the latest class of Clinical Quality Fellows; a toolkit to help hospitals implement New York's CARE Act, and guides to the Act for patients and their family caregivers; preliminary results from Phase 1 of the Outpatient Antibiotic Stewardship Initiative; a look at how commitment to UHF sparked a generous legacy; and much more.

  • Dec 7 2016
    Blueprint, Fall/Winter 2016

    Family caregivers’ perspectives on their daunting medical/nursing responsibilities, revealed in a series of multi-language discussion groups, are helping shape better training materials for them, to reduce their anxiety and stress and improve patient care. Also in this issue: Jim Tallon discusses the “certainty of uncertainty” in the new post-election health care environment; tailoring value-based payment criteria to children’s unique needs; an update on New York’s changing health insurance market; helping community-based organizations become more targeted in their approach to serving elderly clients; UHF’s annual Gala; and more.

  • Jun 27 2016
    Blueprint, Summer 2016

    A new step-by-step framework and guide is helping providers integrate diagnosis and management of behavioral and mental health conditions into even small and mid-size primary care practices; it's a growing priority, and one that UHF has been helping bring to fruition. Also in this issue: Jim Tallon explores the challenges of defining and fully implementing "patient engagement"; how two grantees are engaging hospitals in promoting better partnerships with family caregivers; further advances in hospital quality and patient safety through Clinical Quality Fellowship Program capstone projects; a new toolkit for home care providers, aimed at reducing the risk of life-threatening central line–associated bloodstream infections; UHF's annual salute to outstanding hospital trustees; and much more.

  • Apr 15 2016
    Blueprint, Spring 2016

    With the launch of the Quality Institute at United Hospital Fund, UHF is significantly expanding its decade-long health care quality activities, focusing on quality assessment and measurement, capacity-building, and patient engagement—all spheres of action critically important to advancing the next generation of high-quality health care. Also in this issue: essentials for a new “golden age” of health care; addressing barriers to immigrants’ health care access; a new class of Clinical Quality Fellows; testing tools for supporting seniors’ health; exploring options for keeping insurance premiums stable; and more.

  • Feb 10 2016
    Blueprint, Winter 2016

    Working to ensure that children's unique health needs are integral to health care reform, a new UHF initiative is exploring how innovations like the integration of early childhood development interventions in pediatric primary care can support healthy families and improve at-risk children's long-term physical, mental, social, and intellectual well-being. Also in this issue: building true partnerships between community-based organizations and health care providers; support for parents of medically complex children; a new guide to tech products and apps aimed at family caregivers; expansion of UHF's antibiotic stewardship efforts; risk sharing between providers and payers; honoring health care leadership at the annual Gala; board news; and more.

  • Jul 27 2015
    Blueprint, Summer 2015

    Pursuing broad adoption of “advanced primary care”—team-based, coordinated health services that use information technology and a common set of quality measures to improve access, quality of care, and the patient experience, and reduce avoidable hospital stays and costs—is an ambitious part of New York State’s health agenda, and UHF is helping develop a strategic plan for promoting this model approach in New York City. The summer 2015 Blueprint cover story explores the benefits, and challenges, ahead. Also in this issue: a renewed focus on child health; preventing infections in home care patients; understanding family caregivers’ needs and preferences for learning tools; promoting the safer use of antibiotics; saluting hospital trustees’ service; a new UHF vice president; and a new board of directors vice chairman.

  • Apr 2 2015
    Blueprint, Spring 2015

    Together on Diabetes-NYC, the Fund's model community partnership that's helping seniors manage their chronic illness, marks a new phase, and its positive impact is recognized with an unprecedented insurance reimbursement agreement. Plus: a Q&A answers questions on "convenient care"—urgent care centers and retail clinics, a growing trend in ambulatory care; a Fund-supported pilot project tests the impact of equipping home care aides with telehealth devices to relay patient data; changes in the small group insurance market may affect premium rates; the seventh class of Clinical Quality Fellows begins its intensive training; outstanding hospital volunteers and auxilians are honored; Cary Kravet is elected to the Fund's board of directors; and more.

  • Dec 16 2014
    Blueprint, Fall-Winter 2014

    The major reforms in New York's health care system are very much grounded in the State's $50 billion Medicaid program, which is leading the way in restructuring the delivery of services to ensure that care is both high quality and cost effective. Informing many of those reforms: the work of the Fund's Medicaid Institute, which has documented the challenges and explored options for improving the program, with a special focus on Medicaid's most complex, high-need, high-cost beneficiaries. This issue's cover story provides an overview of that valuable work, and a look ahead at expectations for the coming year. Plus: Jim Tallon considers the relationship between how health reforms are perceived and their long-term success; we look at the challenges of providing healthier meals for seniors with diabetes; insights from our research symposium on "incentivizing" healthier behaviors; fighting "superbugs" through a new Fund/GNYHA partnership; and more.

  • Jun 26 2014
    Blueprint, Summer 2014

    The Fund's Preventable Hospital Readmission Initiative is helping create new practices and protocols to reduce avoidable readmissions among specific high-risk patient populations; this issue's cover story looks at the early experiences of four participating institutions. Plus: Jim Tallon on New York's model health care reforms; a hospital-based program offers family caregivers essential information and support; a new Fund report documents a dramatic shift in New York's insurance markets; the role of family caregivers in safer hospital discharges gains national recognition with help from the Fund; the annual Tribute to Hospital Trustees honors 28; the Fund gains a new senior vice president for program and two new Board members; and more.

  • Mar 19 2014
    Blueprint, Spring 2014

    This issue's cover story takes a first look at New York State of Health, the state's new health insurance marketplace, and the unprecedented collaboration that has been a key to its successful launch. Also featured: Jim Tallon on the import of patients' perceptions of the changes in health care finance, service delivery, and information that are transforming our health care system; the Fund's continuing work on patient-centered medical homes; reducing avoidable hospital readmissions; the Clinical Quality Fellowship Program's sixth class of quality improvement leaders; Together on Diabetes-NYC's achievements in improving participating seniors' health and lives; Health Leads, brought to New York with early Fund support and now helping patients get the nonmedical services they need, along with their health care; and much more.