By Dr. Sharon “PJ” Joseph, Medical Director, New York Children's Health Project, Community Pediatrics Program
As a mom and a pediatrician, there are many moments in my life that have made my heart swell with pride: Graduating from medical school, welcoming each one of my children into the world and helping a severely ill patient get better are a few that come to mind. This January, my colleagues at the New York Children’s Health Project (NYCHP) and I experienced pride that is on par with these milestones, when NYCHP attained the highest level National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) accreditation as a Patient Centered Home. NYCHP is the Nation’s first mobile medical program to receive the Advanced/Level 3 accreditation, putting our program on the same level as the best health care providers in the country. It truly is a gold medal around our neck and something we work hard to attain each and every day.
Since NYCHP was established in 1987, our goal has been to provide the best and most comprehensive care, including medical, mental health and nutrition services. We aim to ensure that NO patient falls through the cracks, that communication with patients and their parents is top-notch, that lab and test results are promptly delivered, and that when referral appointments are made, our patients have the support they need in order to complete the referral and receive timely and appropriate care. This isn’t always easy when working with such a transient population in an environment that presents numerous challenges of its own. But because of NYCHP’s unique approach to providing services, we have been able to provide the highest quality of care to underserved patients and are so happy our model of care is now officially recognized.
As a mom, I have always known that NYCHP is the kind of medical establishment where I would want to bring my kids. It is a place where moms know their children will receive the best care – where we will both hold their hands and empower them to understand how to best care for their families. As a doctor, I know the effort and commitment that is necessary for a medical program or institution to receive the Level 3 accreditation. It was a team effort both in the field and throughout the extensive application process and now, with the NCQA accreditation, other doctors and medical establishments will be able to recognize the incredible quality of care provided by NYCHP.
We always knew our work deserved a “gold medal.” Now that we have it, it feels great!