Research Promotes Quality Health Care

Wed, August 05, 2009

At Premier HealthCare (Premier), we believe that the best measure of the quality of our services is their effectiveness in ensuring the health and well being of our patients. We place tremendous value on the comments we receive from people with disabilities and their families. They often provide the best information on how well we are meeting their health care needs. Premier is currently spearheading a variety of research initiatives in order to continue to provide the most effective services for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities in New York.

This research will also advance the knowledge of health care issues and practices among service providers and professionals across the nation. In September, the prestigious Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities published an important article* detailing a study conducted by Premier and the YAI/National Institute for People with Disabilities. The study investigated the utilization of health care services among people with developmental and intellectual disabilities who live in group homes. Our research team examined patients’ disability characteristics, medical conditions and access to appropriate health care. Their findings suggest that a coordinated, multi-disciplinary practice model has benefits for people with developmental disabilities who live in group homes.

Through Premier’s affiliation with the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and its Seaver and New York Autism Center of Excellence, patients and families have opportunities to participate in studies that will advance health care for people on the autism spectrum. These studies are designed to promote a greater understanding of ASD that can guide consumers, families and service providers to improved outcomes.

In conjunction with the City University of New York, Premier is conducting a study of health care use and overall health status of consumers. This research will examine consumers’ ability to report on health status, the role of caregivers in affecting consumers’ health and the barriers that hinder consumers from using quality health care resources. Premier will partner with the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Department of

Disability and Human Development to conduct a survey on behavioral risk factors and health care use for people with intellectual disabilities. A goal of the study is to identify areas of improvement within the service system and to implement preventive measures against chronic conditions.

To help ensure the ongoing coordination of our research efforts, Dr. Cindy Toste recently joined YAI/NIPD as Manager of Research. Cindy, who holds a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from the University of Maryland at College Park, is especially interested in promoting the well being and resilience of people with developmental disabilities through individualized, specialized health and mental health services.

Premier is committed to improving the health of our patients and to advancing health care services for all people with disabilities. Coordinated systematic inquiry is an important component of our mission. We are delighted to work in partnership with so many renowned and committed organizations and individuals to continue to enhance health care services for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities.

December 2006

by Marco Damiani, M.A.

Director, YAI/NIPD Clinical and Family Services