Our History | EngageWell


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Ending the AIDS Epidemic

EngageWell’s founding agencies have a long history of working together starting with the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s. They are currently collaborating with New York State’s Ending the Epidemic (EtE) Initiative to save lives and improve the health of New Yorkers by maximizing the availability of life-saving, transmission-interrupting treatment for HIV.

Reducing the Harm of Substance Use

EngageWell was started by eleven agencies that joined together several years ago to advocate for harm reduction services and programs. The group conducted a citywide survey to evaluate harm reduction services and their findings were used to inform the development of the “New York State Medicaid Coverage for Harm Reduction Services” White Paper in 2013. Their work helped NYS gain federal approval to use Medicaid funding to pay for harm reduction services.

Improving Engagement in Health Care

Many of EngageWell’s member agencies were founders of iHealth, a state-wide organization advocating for community providers offering Health Home care coordination that helps high need Medicaid beneficiaries access and engage with health care services. As members of iHealth, EngageWell’s network providers have worked together for years, and continue to collaborate to improve the quality and availability of care coordination services.

Facilitating Innovation and Integration of Services

In 2017, 20 providers with shared experience fighting the HIV epidemic, saving lives of substance users and launching NYS Health Home services joined together to apply for NYS Behavioral Value Based Payment (VBP) Readiness funding. Awarded $2.58 million in 2018, the founders of EngageWell formed an Independent Practice Association (IPA) to facilitate integration of behavioral, medical, care coordination, harm reduction, social and housing services to improve health care outcomes for New York City residents, with a focus on those with HIV/AIDS and/or behavioral health disorders.