PCDC’s Performance Improvement Practice has made measurable strides in helping improve health outcomes for patients and communities nationwide. Driving the team’s continued growth will be Adam Carson, Deputy Managing Director and PCDC’s newest staff member.
Carson brings far-reaching expertise in health care and community development financial institutions (CDFIs). Most recently, he was Director of Strategic Initiatives at the Lake County Health Department in greater Chicago, where he led strategic planning, marketing, grants, policy, and business development.
In a recent conversation, Carson described the wide ramifications of PCDC’s work, and how clients — and their communities — can benefit.
How would you describe your role at PCDC?
My focus is supporting PCDC’s success by maximizing the incredible depth of knowledge on our Performance Improvement team, as well as responding to the strengths and needs of our primary care and community-based partners.
PCDC is a champion for the positive benefits of investing in primary care: improved health outcomes and reduced costs to the health care system. I’ll be working to build relationships and promote policies that support sustainability and innovation in primary care.
PCDC’s work with our clients and partners informs our deep understanding of the opportunities and challenges they face. For example, PCDC has supported nearly 500 practices to achieve National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) accreditation.
As part of the PCMH process, we help our clients rethink how they provide care and partner with community-based organizations to improve patient outcomes. I’ll be working with the team to continually use our hands-on experiences to shape all our programs and services, including PCMH.
What are some of the key lessons you’ve learned in health care and CDFIs?
Improving health at an individual or population level is not a simple task. When we think about improving health, we must account for the economic, social, and environmental conditions of the community.
My time at Hope Enterprise Corporation (HOPE), a CDFI in Mississippi, shaped how I look at the intersection of financial literacy and health literacy. At HOPE, I learned that communities lacking economic opportunities also exhibit poorer health, as well as increased risk for poor outcomes in other critical areas — safety, education, housing, and access to fresh foods.
Strategies to address health inequities require partners working together to implement changes across many sectors, not just health care, to truly improve health outcomes. My hope is that place-based strategies become one means in which we work with partners to address inequality across the country.
What drew you to PCDC?
I was drawn to the opportunity to apply my experience in an exciting way. Health care is increasingly placing greater emphasis on improving the value of care provided, and at PCDC I can help develop strategies that will drive strategic investment to support this aim.
My hope is that as we continue to think about social determinants of health and what they mean for providers and health care organizations, we can move health outcomes in a positive direction. I look at PCDC as the best vehicle to help lead that conversation, both in New York and across the nation.
You’re a “new” New Yorker. What do you do in your spare time?
That’s right, my family and I moved from Chicago in early January. My wife and I have a four-month-old, so it’s been really cool discovering a new city with her.
We try to get out and take in all that New York City has to offer. It’s been fun exploring the subway and some of the landmarks together on the weekends. We hear the city transforms in the spring and summer, so we’re gathering recommendations on the things that we should do from native New Yorkers.