Kathy Welsh

Kathy Welsh

NEW WINDSOR – The greater one’s income, the lower one’s likelihood of disease and premature death.

This was the dialogue at Health Follows Wealth?: Disrupting the poverty cycle and increasing health outcomes, at Anthony’s Pier 9 in New Windsor last week.

Health Follows Wealth?

Participants in the poverty simulation experience at Health Follows Wealth? healthcare and poverty summit. Photo provided

Over 130 participants discussed how income and wealth are part of a complex web of social and economic conditions that affect health over a lifetime. The event’s hosts were RECAP, Cornerstone Family Healthcare, Crystal Run Healthcare and St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital.

The event opened with an interactive talk, Social Determinants of Health, by RECAP COO Michele McKeon to examine the root causes of the poverty and its connection to health. The discussion started with an audience poll about basic necessities and how a lack affects mental and physical health. The group explored the internal and external factors that contribute to poverty, long-term solutions, and how communities can help.

Participants were offered diverse workshops for the remainder of the day. McKeon facilitated an interactive Poverty Simulation to let participants experience the issues faced by people living in poverty, while the Healthcare Leaders Speak: Poverty and Healthcare in America panel discussion addressed the effects of poverty on healthcare service delivery and costs. Participants were Linda Muller, President and CEO of Cornerstone Family Healthcare, Michelle A. Koury, MD and COO of Crystal Run Healthcare, Joan Cusack-McGuirk, President and CEO of St. Luke’s Cornwall hospital, and Michele McKeon from RECAP. Participants also attended workshops on exploring unconscious bias, the challenges of chronic disease and poverty, and the intersection of poverty, mental health and substance abuse.

In-depth workshops and presentations gave participants a greater understanding of the junction between poverty and health as well tools to better serve their clients. The event was organized by RECAP and community partners Crystal Run Healthcare, St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital, and Cornerstone Family Healthcare. It was sponsored by Montefiore Hudson Valley Collaborative.

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