Congratulations to the Newest Certified Recovery Peer Advocate (CRPA) Graduates!

Congratulations to the 2023 Certified Recovery Peer Advocate (CRPA) class! These newly certified CRPAs will go on to make a difference in someone’s life by supporting individuals living with substance use disorder. As part of the program, they will become employed at one of Staten Island PPS’s partner organizations.

The primary function of a CRPA is doing outreach with people currently in a program or considering treatment. Using their recovery experience, professional training and lived experience, peers boost individuals’ engagement in treatment and commitment to recovery.

Thank you to special guest speaker, Stephen Nico, Peer Supervisor at Richmond University Medical Center for sharing his perspective with the class as a peer counselor and for screening this cohort!

The CRPA program is one of four free apprenticeship programs sponsored by Staten Island PPS. To learn more about the program and how to become a CRPA, visit

[Press Release] Staten Island PPS Issues $50,000 in Awards to Staten Island Organizations Addressing Social Determinants of Health



For more information, contact:
Lauren Tepfer
(917) 830-1149 


Staten Island PPS Issues $50,000 in Awards to Staten Island Organizations Addressing Social Determinants of Health

Staten Island PPS has awarded $10,000 to each of 5 nonprofit organizations to support capacity building and enhanced service provision in addressing critical social determinants of health for Staten Islanders.

Staten Island, NY, October 2023 – Staten Island PPS has partnered with Nonprofit Staten Island (NPSI) to identify five local nonprofit organizations addressing key community needs and award $50,000 in support of their work. This partnership has engaged organizations who have historically been disconnected from healthcare systems and networks.

The connectivity initiated through this opportunity better positions providers who possess valuable expertise and approaches to more effectively address social determinants of health, which have been well-documented as pivotal in shaping community health outcomes. By addressing these determinants comprehensively, in partnership and across sectors, SI PPS and their partners at NPSI aim to tackle the root causes of health disparities and promote holistic approaches to healthcare.

Awards have been issued to A Chance in Life, Celebrate Hope, The Council of Jewish Organizations (COJOSI)/Igud Harrabonim, H.E.A.L.T.H. 4 Youths, and K Woods Foundation. The proposed projects increase resources available to the community and assist these organizations in strengthening the sustainability of their services.

“Building capacity among community-based not-for-profit organizations is critical to addressing health equity issues. The SI PPS and SINFP collaboration generated widespread enthusiasm among our Staten Island-based CBOs,” said Joseph Conte, PhD, the Executive Director of the PPS. “We are proud to be able to award 5 grants and at the same time, disappointed we cannot support all the amazing applications that were received. The winners will add great support for the PPS and Northwell Health ongoing effort to address disparities in the community. Those not selected will be invited to create relationship with the PPS to support the SDOH needs of the community.”

“Through this collaboration with Nonprofit Staten Island, SI PPS has not only fostered connectivity but also harnessed the expertise and innovative approaches of these organizations,” added Tatiana Arguello, Executive Director of Nonprofit Staten Island. “Together, we are challenging the norms of the nonprofit sector and taking actionable steps in furthering equity, strengthening access, and promoting wellness across our Staten Island community.”

Tal Jasmin, Chief Operating Officer of K Woods Foundation added, “This partnership is a game-changer, challenging the limitations of the non-profit industrial complex and paving the way for transformative change. We are all in when it comes to championing equity, justice, and wellness across Staten Island. Together we are creating a brighter, more equitable future for our community.”

Gabriele Delmonaco, President and CEO of A Chance In Life, said,  “This invaluable support not only ensures that we can continue to offer culturally sensitive food options and nutrition services to our fellow Staten Islanders, but it also underscores the significant role that education, employment, housing, nutrition and access to quality healthcare services together have on an individual’s health and well-being.”

Mark Santo, President of Celebrate Hope Recovery Center, noted, “As a small, grassroots organization doing everything we can to help our fellow Staten Islanders recover from the trauma and pain of substance abuse, we are deeply appreciative of Staten Island Performing Provider System and Nonprofit Staten Island for recognizing the value in our work, and providing us with this invaluable platform to let others in our borough know who we are and what we do.”

Rabbi Mirocznik, President of the Council of Jewish Organizations (COJO SI) shared, ” Our collaboration aims to tackle the intricate, integrated, and interconnected social structures, policies, and economic systems that significantly impact health and quality of life outcomes.” Rabbi Mirocznkik continued, “We eagerly anticipate the positive impact and meaningful changes that will result from our joint efforts.”

Co-founder of H.E.A.L.T.H. 4 Youths, Heather Butts, said, “We hope that our project, which seeks to support youth, college students, veterans, and NYCHA residents, has a positive impact on those communities, as well as the greater Staten Island population. We look forward to a long-lasting relationship with SI PPS collaborating on the incredible work that they do to address the health and wellness of communities throughout Staten Island.”

Projects funded by this opportunity will be implemented between October 2023 and March 2024, and both SI PPS and NPSI look forward to strengthened and sustained relationships with all awardees to continue the important work of addressing social determinants of health across Staten Island.

About Staten Island Performing Provider System

In 2014, Staten Island Performing Provider System (SI PPS) formed an integrated network of medical, behavioral, and social services agencies under the New York State Department of Health Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment Program (DSRIP). Our founding goals included improving the quality of care, reducing costs, and improving health outcomes for Staten Island’s Medicaid and uninsured populations. By the end of the DSRIP Program, we exceeded our goals and maintained our network to continue enhancing and refining the transformative work built in the Staten Island Community.

Today, we continue to work with our partners to improve population health outcomes, address social determinants of health, grow our network, and reduce health disparities. We are dedicated to improving health equity by holding conversations with our community, creating educational and workforce opportunities for youth, and bridging connections with non-traditional service providers to meet people where they are in the community. Learn more at

About Nonprofit Staten Island

Since 2005, the Nonprofit Staten Island (formerly known as SINFPA) has provided resources, support, and advocacy for the borough’s nonprofit community. Through year-round educational workshops, coalition building, affinity groups, networking opportunities and resource sharing, Nonprofit Staten Island (NPSI) strives to ensure nonprofits have what they need to continue being service providers, employers, and active members of the Staten Island community. NPSI membership includes over 150 cultural institutions, faith-based organizations, health care providers, senior & youth service providers, and local community groups that provide critical services and meaningful programs for our diverse Staten Island individuals, families, communities, and neighborhoods.

Through its work, NPSI is prioritizing and elevating equitable and intersectional response from the nonprofit sector to both long-standing and emerging community needs. By upholding and working in service to the core pillars of Community Voice, Community Response, and Community Building, NPSI strives to foster meaningful collaboration and culturally responsive service provision across the borough and New York City. Learn more at


[Press Release] Staten Island PPS and Partners Show Success with AI-Based Analytics Program to Combat Record Overdose Deaths



For more information, contact:
Lauren Tepfer
(917) 830-1149 



Staten Island, NY, September 2023 – In the first year of the program, which launched in March of 2022, the Hotspotting the Overdose Epidemic program has shown great success. There was an 81% reduction in non-fatal overdoses for those clients engaged in the program. More importantly, there were two overdose-related deaths in the engaged group compared to 11 in the non-engaged group. These initial results suggest a strong impact of participation in the multiple levels of service that the program provides.  

The Hotspotting Program is an evidence-based, data-driven overdose prevention and outreach initiative that aims to leverage predictive analytics to identify individuals at the highest risk of overdose and engage them before an adverse event, using a person-centered care management model. The predictive analytics model was developed in collaboration with the MIT Sloan School of Management’s Initiative for Health Systems.    

Other outcomes of the first year of the program include 100% of clients having a Certified Recovery Peer Advocate (CRPA) assigned to them at the initial point of engagement; from the prevention aspect, 84% of clients received harm reduction services (e.g., Narcan, an overdose reversal agent, screening for hepatitis, fentanyl test strips, and clean syringes); and from the social aspect, 91% completed screening for social care needs, with 78% of those needs met by community-based partners. The overall reduction of emergency room and inpatient care demonstrated that coordinated care could improve outcomes and ultimately impact the cost of care. A thorough analysis of visits that were specifically related to overdose and substance misuse showed that the engaged group had a reduction of 56.2% and 42.6% for ER and inpatient utilization, respectively.   

Dr. Brahim Ardolic, Executive Director of Staten Island University Hospital/Northwell said, ”Nearly 7,000 New Yorkers died from overdose in the past 12 months, over 150 from Staten Island alone; we need innovative programs to reverse this tragic trend. The Hotspotting Program that SIUH and other dedicated providers on SI are implementing, is the first comprehensive strategy that offers hope. With dedicated providers, peer advocates and innovative technology, Hotspotting is saving lives and we believe can do so elsewhere.” 

Former New York Congressman and The Secure Future Project Senior Advisor, Max Rose notes, “The opioid overdose epidemic is one of our nation’s greatest public health crises. The incredible work done in two years by the Hotspotting Program is a testament to the fact that this does not have to be the case. It is now imperative that managed care organizations and governments nationwide step up to scale this proven model.”  

Joseph Conte, PhD, Executive Director of the Staten Island PPS said, “With the latest CDC data showing that over 111,000 Americans, among them 6,849 NY residents, lost their lives to overdose in a 12-month period ending April 2023, it is time for a radical change in passive strategy to active pursuit of patient facing, CRPA led and technology enabled solution like the PPS Hotspotting Program– data doesn’t lie- the Hotspotting program saves lives and reduces overall OD rates for engaged community members.” 

Staten Island District Attorney, Michael E. McMahon adds, “From my first day as District Attorney, saving the lives of those battling addiction illness has been an essential mission of the men and women of my office. We are so proud of the innovative work we have done in conjunction with the NYPD, health professionals, treatment providers, and especially the Staten Island PPS. The Hotspotting Program is a common-sense, life-saving approach to saving those at serious risk of a fatal overdose, and we are thrilled that the hard work of our Alternatives to Incarceration Unit and the PPS team have paid such immense and immediate dividends in our quest to prevent overdoses in our communities.” 

Robert Kent, Esq. former General Counsel, White House of National Drug Control Policy and President of Kent Strategic Advisors, LLC noted “The Hotspotting Program is a game changer!  The first-year results are validation that when we invest our time and resources in helping those who are struggling with addiction; the results can change lives!  We must continue this important work and explore opportunities to expand its reach!” 



About the Hotspotting Program    

The program consists of four main components: Predictive analytics, a person-centered care management model, contingency management, and value-based outcomes. 

Consistent with the National Drug Control Strategy calling for evidence-based models of care, the program incorporates Contingency Management (CM) for Medication Assisted Treatment patients. CM uses the science of behavioral economics to help individuals develop and maintain healthy habits and care plan routines. It is a proven intervention that is effective in increasing treatment retention rates, improving treatment compliance, and reducing substance use in a cost-effective way.   

The program also focuses on value-based payments to providers to incentivize comprehensive and value-based care, as opposed to current fee-for-service models (outcomes vs. encounters). It focuses on reducing harm and promotes a continuum of care leading to sustained recovery while avoiding unnecessary hospitalizations.  

The Hotspotting Program is funded by a $3 million grant from a private foundation, The Secure Future Project, and $1.5 million from Staten Island PPS/Northwell Health.  


About Staten Island Performing Provider System 

The Staten Island Performing Provider System (SI PPS) is an integrated network of medical, behavioral, academic partners and social services agencies. Our founding goals included improving the quality of care, reducing costs and improving health outcomes for Staten Island’s Medicaid and uninsured populations. Originally formed under the DSRIP program, we continue enhancing and refining the transformative work with our partners to improve population health outcomes, address social determinants of health, grow our network and reduce health disparities. We are dedicated to improving health equity by holding conversations with our community, creating educational and workforce opportunities for youth, and bridging connections with non-traditional service providers to meet people where they are in the community.


Governor Hochul Announces $150 Million New York Forward Loan Fund 2 to Provide Flexible Loans to New York State Small Businesses

Governor Kathy Hochul announced the New York Forward Loan Fund 2 program for qualifying small businesses and nonprofits. After expanding criteria for qualifications and with even greater resources allocated for the program, the enhanced fund represents an even bolder commitment to New York State’s small businesses. Qualified recipients with fewer than 100 employees and less than $5 million in gross annual revenue can apply for loans up to $150,000 with affordable, fixed-rate interest rates. Part of New York’s broader State Small Business Credit Initiative efforts led by Empire State Development, the fund will be in place for the next eight years and will focus on helping small businesses and nonprofits, particularly those in low-income and historically underbanked communities and rural areas access flexible working capital to cover a wide range of expenses, from payroll and marketing to facility renovations. Additionally, free support services from experts will work with businesses throughout the life of the loan. Learn more here.

MicroGrant Opportunity Available for Staten Island Nonprofits!

A micro-grant opportunity designed to support direct service programming that addresses social determinants of health is currently available for a short time. This Request for Proposals (RFP), being made available through Staten Island Performing Provider System (SI PPS), aims to establish new partnerships with organizations across Staten Island, fostering greater collaboration and innovation in improving health outcomes for individuals in need, while providing resources for internal capacity building that will improve service provision to communities in need.

  • This opportunity, including full RFP and application templates can be found at this link.
  • FAQs are available on the website, and by PDF here.
  • Recording about this RFP and how to apply is available here:

If you have any questions or trouble accessing any of these materials, feel free to email our Director of Programs & Development, Michelle Bascome, at


Community Health Center of Richmond Received a $500,000 Grant from Empire BlueCross BlueShield Foundation to Advance Maternal Health Outcomes

A $500,000 grant from Empire BlueCross BlueShield Foundation will help narrow the maternal health inequity gap across Staten Island and surrounding communities.

To celebrate the start of Black Maternal Health Week, Empire BlueCross BlueShield Foundation today presented a $500,000 grant to the Community Health Center of Richmond, Inc. (“CHCR”) to improve maternal and child health outcomes in the borough of Richmond County, Staten Island, New York. The grant will support CHCR’s ongoing work to sustain healthy
pregnancies, reduce preterm births, and foster strong parenting by improving access to culturally competent, quality prenatal and postpartum care.

“High quality, culturally competent maternal healthcare not only ensures the health and wellbeing of moms and babies, but also serves as a vital public health resource that lifts up and supports entire families, communities and health systems across New York,” said Mark Levy, MD, President, Empire BlueCross BlueShield HealthPlus. “This latest partnership between Empire and CHCR is going to help build a brighter, healthier future for mothers and babies throughout the state.”

CHCR will utilize grant funds to:
1. Expand maternal health education for patients during their third trimester, including childbirth education, birthing plans and empowering women to speak with their caregivers.
2. Expand postpartum follow-up and create more opportunities to connect families with resources.
3. Implement group prenatal care model, Centering Pregnancy, and expand cohorts across CHCR’s locations.
4. Support Staten Island Perinatal Network for Better Birth Outcomes as it transitions from a coalition to an independent sustainable not-for-profit corporation.
5. Grow innovative partnerships with select chapters of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. (one of the nation’s oldest Black fraternities) to increase breastfeeding education and awareness across the communities of each alumni chapter.

According to the New York Department of Health, the maternal mortality rate in New York was 18.9 per 100,000 live births, and women with less than a high school education are almost three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than women with at least a college degree. Additionally, Black women are almost four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women.

CHCR and Empire celebrated the grant announcement with a check presentation ceremony at CHCR’s health center located at 135 Canal Street, 3rd Floor, Staten Island, New York, that featured remarks from CHCR CEO, Dr. Henry Thompson, Empire BlueCross BlueShield HealthPlus President Dr. Mark Levy, medical experts and borough representatives, including Drs. Anthony Ferreri, Joseph Conte, and Ginny Mantello.

The parent foundation of Empire BlueCross BlueShield has committed nearly $30 million in grants through 2024 to make significant progress on improving maternal and child health outcomes across the country.

[Press Release] Staten Island PPS Receives Grant From Altman Foundation To Promote Workforce Development Outcomes Through Registered Apprenticeship Programs


Staten Island PPS Receives Grant From Altman Foundation To Promote Workforce Development Outcomes Through Registered Apprenticeship Programs

Staten Island PPS received $250,000 over 2 years to support the efforts to train 350+ community members in four apprenticeship titles

Staten Island, NY, December 2022 – Staten Island PPS received a grant from the Altman Foundation for $250,000 to further support the efforts from SI PPS to fill workforce gaps brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and will streamline the process from training to employment.

“The award from the Altman Foundation will support the PPS in its goal to provide pathways to gainful employment for those affected by the opportunity gap created by disparities” said Joseph Conte, PhD, the Executive Director of the PPS. “With related grants, the PPS seeks to create a pipeline of qualified candidates to fill workforce shortages throughout New York in entry level jobs in healthcare, specifically Community Health Workers (CHW), Certified Recovery Peer Advocates (CRPA), Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), and Home Health Aides (HHA). This grant will also support recruitment, cultivation, maintenance, and expansion of Staten Island PPS’s network of healthcare and service providers who are committed to hosting and providing paid on-the-job training.”

“The PPS is playing a vital role in attracting funding for training and employment to the members of the community who have been affected by the opportunity gap,” added Brahim Ardolic, MD executive director at SIUH. “Many don’t get a fair chance to even believe they can achieve something, let alone the resources necessary to reach for it. This has nothing to do with a person’s abilities and everything to do with the opportunities available to them. This work levels the playing field. We are going to see thousands of lives changed in Staten Island and beyond.”

“Our team is extremely grateful for this support from the Altman Foundation” added Mary Han, Director of Workforce. “This will allow us to dedicate a resource on engaging youth from underserved communities and follow them through their training and employment journey.”

[In The News] Executive Director, Joseph Conte, Is Among City & State’s Staten Island Power 100


Staten Island PPS is excited to share our Executive Director, Joseph Conte, has been selected as one of Staten Island’s Power 100 from City & State.

“City & State’s Staten Island Power 100 – researched and written by City & State staff along with freelance journalist Aaron Short – recognizes these key politicians, as well as the most influential local leaders in business, labor, nonprofits, advocacy, education and other arenas intersecting with New York politics and government.”


Read the full article here.