Staff Spotlight: Serving Diverse Populations

Categories: Capacity Building
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PCDC’s Performance Improvement team provides Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) consulting services for primary care practices across the country. To date, the team has assisted more than 475 practices to achieve PCMH recognition — a 100 percent success rate.

Among the experts behind this work is Nicki Andrews, MPH, a Project Manager who joined PCDC in 2017.

Previously, Andrews worked as a Director of Wellness for Mount Sinai Hospital and as a consultant for the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, where she developed behavioral health and quality improvement trainings.

Recently Andrews reflected on a memorable client success story, her background in public health, and what drives her passion for quality care delivery.


Your career has covered many aspects of health care — mental health, HIV prevention, diabetes, care coordination, and more. How does this diverse background inform your work at PCDC?

Population health has always been a passion for me — particularly reducing health inequities among subgroups in the population. My professional background lends well to my current role transforming practice sites and helping improve patient health outcomes.

Today’s primary care landscape is all about building an integrated delivery system. Physicians are combining their activities to deliver comprehensive health care services to their patients. However, this complex system has many levels of care, screening, communication, and education. My job is to assist in bridging the gap and assuring a smooth transition.

 

What PCDC client success story are you most proud of?

We have a client that serves approximately 100 clients in Harlem, providing care for the growing community of adults who are living with AIDS or HIV and/or are symptomatic. I’ve been working with the client for almost a year now to help transform and improve the quality of primary care for this vulnerable population.

Together, we’ve worked on improving access measures such as cycle time, or the amount of time that a patient spends at a doctor’s office visit. Because patients are now able to meet with their doctor in a timely manner, they’re receiving appropriate care before their conditions deteriorate to the point of requiring an ER visit.

This is a small clinic that committed to making just one change that ultimately saves money and results in better care overall. It’s been remarkable to witness.

 

Why did you move from working for one practice to joining PCDC and consulting for many?

My objective as a public health professional is to have a meaningful impact on the health of our citizens. Consulting for many types of practices allows me to cultivate my expertise toward this goal. I truly learn something different from all our clients, which in turn helps me to grow and continuously expand my knowledge.

No two days are alike at PCDC — it is really a dynamic environment where I get to do the work I love.

 

Why have you dedicated your career to health care delivery?

There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach to keeping people healthy. That’s why it is critical for health care organizations to have leaders who reflect the diverse populations they serve and who understand that different communities can have disparate health needs.

My mission isn’t just to have providers see more patients of color; my goal is to involve more people of color in the entire process of improving health outcomes. From start to finish, we need more diverse eyes and ears if we truly want to impact change. That is why I’ve dedicated my career to improving health care delivery and advocating for health equity.