July 11, 2018  Vol. 4, No. 12

Aleteia.org Inaugurates SOMOS Champions Series with Chairman Dr. Ramon Tallaj

Holistic, comprehensive care involves serving the whole person – the physical, emotional, social, and spiritual well-being of each person. Such a service is inherently a spiritual activity. Aleteia.org is partnering with SOMOS to highlight some of our network "champions" who go above and beyond to serve New York City's communities at large. To inaugurate the series, Aleteia interviewed SOMOS Chairman and distinguished champion Dr. Ramon Tallaj for a feature article and video. 

Click below to view the video. Click here to read the article. The article is also available in Spanish

Aleteia (aleteia.org) is an online publication distributed in eight languages (English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, Arabic, Polish and Slovenian). The Aleteia site offers a Christian vision of the world by providing general and religious content that is free from ideological influences.

Click below to view the video in English. Click here to view the video in Spanish.
care management somos community care montefiore cmoCare Management Corner

Announcing SOMOS-Monte CMO Care Management Initiative

The SOMOS Care Management department's newest initiative supports network providers in preparing for the value-based world by providing free care plans for patients with one chronic condition who are in jeopardy of developing another in the absence of intervention.  Under DSRIP project guidelines, these patients are known as Health Home At-Risk. The patient’s medical, social, and care coordination needs are taken care of by a dedicated care manager – a professional who oversees all the services a patient needs to stay healthy. SOMOS' Practice Transformation Team also supports care management initiatives and practices in the communities SOMOS serves.

This Chronic Disease Management project works to reduce unnecessary utilization of care as patients will have less need to visit the Emergency Department (ED), and may be admitted to the hospital less frequently.  To ensure this initiative’s optimal success, SOMOS has partnered with Montefiore CMO – a premier care management organization with a proven track record of improving patient health outcomes.

How can participating in this initiative benefit you and your patients?
  • Your patients will gain a dedicated care manager who can help them plan and stay on track to better health. Services such as monthly check-ins and ready access to their care team betters their care through focused coordination, including improved communication and management of care transitions, referrals, and follow-ups.
  • Patients will receive a comprehensive care plan. The care plan will help support their chronic disease control and health management goals, including physical, mental, cognitive, psychosocial, functional, and environmental factors. Patients participate in creating a comprehensive care plan based on their needs and providers input.
  • Patients will be encouraged to self-manage their chronic diseases by providing them the support they need between medical visits. Having a regular touch point helps patients engage in their care and become more health conscious. Receiving this support will help patients stay on track and improve adherence to their treatment plan.
  • Support patient compliance. Disease management services help improve patient efficiency, promote patient satisfaction and compliance, and decreases hospitalization and ED visits.
  • Sustain and grow your practice. Incorporating care management in your primary care practice helps better manage your patient panels by identifying “at-risk” patients, and delivering the resources necessary to change their health outcomes. Patient selection is based on the most recent New York state data. The PCP reviews the customized care plan with the patient and provides the final plan. A copy of the care plan is submitted to the PCP for inclusion in patients’ medical records.
To learn more about the SOMOS-Montefiore CMO Care Management initiative, please email SOMOS’ Care Management department at caremanagement@somoscommunitycare.org

SOMOS Community Care Blog

Exercise at Any Age
by Denisse Oller

Exercising regularly is key to remaining healthy at any age, but it's especially important for older adults who tend to neglect it. The benefits of exercise are vast, including controlling blood pressure, preventing on-set health problems like diabetes and osteoporosis, and improving brain function. Despite the benefits, only about 40 percent of adults over the age of 75 get a regular amount of exercise. Regardless of the age, everyone needs exercise in order to maintain a healthy life. Here are some tips to help make exercise a regular part of your everyday life. Read more...

Protecting Your Body from the Sun
by Diego Ponieman, MD MPH

With students out of school, and the days lasting much longer, it’s safe to say summer is in full swing. This means it’s time for family vacations and day-long visits to the beach and the park. But with the warm weather and long sunny days come health risks many people either choose to ignore or simply just forget. Rising temperatures and the sun’s harsh rays can lead to immediate and long-term health problems. Here are some tips on how to protect yourself while enjoying your summer. Read more...

You Are What You Eat
by Denisse Oller

What we eat directly impacts our bodies and overall. Food affects everything from our energy levels and mood to our weight and ability to complete tasks. What we put into our bodies is what sustains us throughout the day, so it’s important to eat nutrient-packed foods that will set us up with an energized body and positive attitude. It is also important to realize that nutrition is a huge factor in staying healthy and avoiding potential diseases or other issues. Read more...

July is Minority Mental Health Awareness Month 

July marks Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. Established in 2008, it brings awareness to the unique struggles that underrepresented groups face in regard to mental illness in the United States and beyond. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA):

  • Over 70% of Black/African American adolescents with a major depressive episode did not receive treatment for their condition.
  • Almost 25% of adolescents with a major depressive episode in the last year were Hispanic/Latino.
  • Asian American adults were less likely to use mental health services than any other racial/ethnic groups.
  • In the past year, nearly 1 in 10 American Indian or Alaska Native young adults had serious thoughts of suicide.
  • In the past year, 1 in 7 Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander adults had a diagnosable mental illness.
SOMOS Community Care is working to eliminate the disparities SOMOS patients face in mental health care through the integration of Behavioral Health in the primary care settingDSRIP project 3.a.i.

Here is a highlighted mental health blog post that speaks on the destigmatization of mental health in minority communities.

Breaking the Silence and Ending the Stigma
by Melanie Santos

I am no stranger to mental health stigma. Being raised by an immigrant family in Upper Manhattan where I attended a school of mostly Latino students, mental health conversations were not common. Seeking treatment from a psychologist or other mental health professional was seldom mentioned. Turning to spiritualism, or ignoring symptoms altogether, were the more accepted remedies for mental ailments in my community.

Mental illness is a serious medical condition that can’t be silenced or overcome through willpower, prayer, or sleep. (I can’t tell you how many times I tried to sleep through a panic attack in college.) Most people with mental health problems get better, and even recover completely, but getting help is the first step. Read more...

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