January 19, 2021

Bringing Integrative Health to Patients During the Time of COVID

As part of its work to help health care organizations practice whole person care, Samueli Foundation’s Integrative Health Programs team began working with Alan Roth, DO, chairman of the department of family medicine at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center (JHMC) in Queens, New York, in 2019. Dr. Roth was featured in the Time: 2020 Guardians of the Year article.

JHMC is a safety net hospital, which serves a racially and ethnically diverse, medically underserved population of over 1.2 million people in Queens and Eastern Brooklyn. Wayne Jonas, MD, led a team working to implement a set of resources called the HOPE Note tools to add integrative health care to routine office visits.

The HOPE note is a patient-guided process designed to identify the patient’s values and goals in their life and for healing. Dr. Jonas trained Dr. Roth’s team to provide the evidence and support to help his patients meet those goals. Additionally, an interdisciplinary team implemented process changes, added to their electronic medical record system, and created a menu of integrative health services offered within JHMC and in the community.

Because of his strong leadership and passion, he and his devoted team have made substantial progress to improve the care of their patients in family medicine, internal medicine, and psychiatry. And this is even despite and for the pandemic, which has had a heavy hand on the people of Queens, one of the hardest-hit areas in the country.

Dr. Roth and the Integrative Health Program team continues this effort into 2021 and works to improve the care of all patients, including those with the so-called “long-hauler” syndrome, individuals with continued problems after recovery from COVID. Read more in the LA Times story: ‘We know this is real’: New clinics aid COVID-19 ‘long-haulers’.