Partnering with the Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Written by Jessica Haughton Jan 4, 2023

Integrate Health is excited to announce our partnership with Albert Einstein College of Medicine (AECOM) in New York, USA. Building on years of collaboration between our two institutions, this partnership formalizes our shared commitment to using research to drive health systems change. This partnership will create opportunities for Integrate Health to further advance its research and commitment to research capacity building through collaboration with a renowned US-based academic institution.

About Albert Einstein College of Medicine

AECOM is a research-focused medical school that for more than 60 years has demonstrated excellence in medical and graduate education, patient-centered care, and scientific research to improve health. AECOM aims to “support fundamental clinical and translational research programs serving our local community and the world” and is recognized for its commitment to advocating for social justice through collaborative primary care delivery, education, and research. Like Integrate Health, AECOM believes that health is a human right, that primary care is the foundation of effective healthcare, and that good health involves more than quality medical care but also works to address social determinants of health.

Dr. Kevin Fiori, Integrate Health co-founder and Senior Advisor, initiated the collaboration between our institutions and has created the foundation for this formal partnership. In addition to his role at Integrate Health, Dr. Fiori is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics and the Department of Family and Social Medicine at AECOM and is an Attending Physician at Montefiore Medical Center.

Opportunities for advancing research at Integrate Health

The resources available to Integrate Health through this partnership are vast and far-reaching. By embedding its research team at AECOM, Integrate Health gains access to the expertise and experience of numerous faculty researchers and experts who can advise on statistical analyses, study designs, interpretation of results, and dissemination of findings. Equipped to support rigorous research, the institutional capacity at AECOM will enable Integrate Health to more easily complete research-related administrative tasks, such as processing IRB submissions, applying for federal research grants, and managing pre- and post-award funds. Partnering with AECOM, a renowned academic institution, will create new opportunities for our research collaborators in Togo and in other places like Guinea where Integrate Health is expanding.

Integrate Health collecting household-level data for the Phase II of its effectiveness study

Community health systems lab

As part of the partnership, Integrate Health research team members are formally affiliated with the Community Health Systems Lab (CHSL) within the Department of Family and Social Medicine at AECOM. CHSL is an interdisciplinary research team that harnesses both the science of implementation and expertise of communities to reimagine how community health can be delivered and valued. CHSL works to accelerate health equity in the Bronx, New York, by partnering with local communities through innovative empowerment structures that take an assets-based approach. The Bronx faces multiple social and economic challenges that negatively impact access to healthcare and health outcomes. CHSL adapts best practices and integrates novel technologies from around the world, including Togo, to test interventions that improve the quality of life for Bronx communities.

Our team includes Dr. Désiré Dabla, Research Manager at Integrate Health, who is based in Kara, Togo. His team includes Agnes Miziou, Research Coordinator, and Komivi Badohoun, Quantitative Data Analyst. Jessica Haughton, Associate Director of CHSL and based in the US, works closely with the team in Togo and serves as the liaison between Integrate Health and AECOM.

Bi-directional learning

Members of the Bronx-based CHSL team join Integrate Health program implementers and research team members in Kara, Togo.

In both Togo and the Bronx, Community Health Workers (CHWs) are working directly with patients to improve access to care. While the contexts differ, we believe there are many invaluable lessons to be learned in Togo that can inform how CHWs work in the Bronx and vice versa. We intend CHSL to be a place where global health researchers and practitioners can develop innovative projects, test new strategies, disseminate best practices, share lessons learned, and contribute valuable knowledge to the field of global health, with the overall goal of improving health for all.

Improving health for all

Integrate Health is grateful for this partnership and energized by the many opportunities that will be leveraged through the synergies of our two institutions. Through this partnership with AECOM, Integrate Health will continue to be at the forefront of innovative implementation research that drives health improvements in communities across West Africa and in New York.