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Can social impact design influence the health of a community? Announcing a DSI Symposium, Monday February 1st

Watch the Symposium HERE

How can social impact design influence the health of a community? Join DSI and symposium panelists Cyrus Vance Jr., Manhattan District Attorney; Dr. Prabhjot Singh, Director of the Arnhold Global Health Institute; Clyde Williams, community leader and public servant; Rob Carmona, co-founder of Strive; and Carmen Quinones, Harlem resident and tenants’ activist on Monday, February 1. Healthcare professionals, designers, community leaders, Harlem residents, and data scientists will gather at the SVA Beatrice Theater, to discuss what it takes to improve the culture of health in Harlem.

Monday’s symposium is part of a larger initiative, Harlem First: Mapping the Health of a Community, organized by DSI in collaboration with the Arnhold Institute for Global Health, the PopTech Institute, and Strive.

We know that being healthy depends on more than seeing and being treated by a doctor. Many other factors in a neighborhood, from crime, to food availability, to housing conditions, have an effect.

Community mapping is a process through which citizens in the community participate in the collection of their own data – recording what they view as forces that influence health – as well as the creation of solutions. DSI students and Harlem residents have been mapping an East Harlem neighborhood, looking at factors that are beyond the traditional purview of the medical profession, such as crime, homelessness, open space, poverty, availability of healthy food, and gentrification. See their findings at the Harlem First exhibition at the SVA Gramercy Gallery, 209 East 23rd Street.

This initiative is a unique opportunity to bring residents together with designers, community leaders, data scientists and healthcare professionals to co-create a new future of health.

Through the lens of our speakers’ experiences, the symposium will offer a platform to discuss what influences the health of Harlem, the work and the existing and emerging policy (functional and dysfunctional) that shape the current situation and future directions, and insights that have grown out of the Harlem First project over the last several months. Our conversation will be led by symposium speakers and moderated by DSI’s Chair, Cheryl Heller, and there will be opportunity to join in.

We view this initial effort as the beginning of a process that we hope to take to other cities in the U.S. We do not expect to have all the answers, only to begin a conversation that involves all the people involved in health in this community in finding solutions.

You can join the conversation by attending the symposium on Monday, February 1, at the SVA Beatrice Theater, 333 West 23rd Street, from 6pm. Click here to RSVP.

If you can’t make it, we’ll be sharing excerpts from the discussion on the DSI website so watch this space.

Speaker biographies

Clyde Williams
Clyde Williams’ more than 20-year career in public service includes work for Presidents Clinton and Obama, the development of successful public-private sector partnerships in Harlem and nationally, and knowledge of Federal housing and food programs that affect urban communities. Beyond his professional activities, Clyde is on the Advisory Board of City Health Works, which focuses on healthcare support systems in Upper Manhattan. He also is a board member of the MAC AIDS Fund, and has worked to ensure continued funding for Harlem United’s Blocks Project, a program aimed at reducing HIV infection in Central and East Harlem. He lives in Harlem with his wife and two children.

Cyrus R. Vance, Jr.
Cyrus Vance Jr. was first inaugurated as the District Attorney of New York County on January 1, 2010, and was re-elected in 2013. Cyrus has enhanced the office’s expertise on an array of 21st century crimes, including identity theft, cybercrime, white-collar fraud, hate crimes, terrorism, domestic violence, human trafficking, and violent and gang-related crimes. In addition to serving as DA, Cyrus serves as co-chair of the New York State Permanent Commission on Sentencing.

Dr. Prabhjot Singh
Dr. Prabhjot Singh is Director of the Arnhold Institute for Global Health and Vice Chairman of Medicine for Population Health at the Mount Sinai Health System, as well as Special Advisor for Strategy and Design at the Peterson Center for Healthcare. He focuses on practical strategies for consumers, neighbors and healthcare practitioners to co-create the future of the healthcare sector. Prabhjot was the founding technical advisor of City Health Works, a Harlem-based social enterprise that trains and manages locally hired health coaches to improve the outcomes for high need patients. His practice transformation team at Mt. Sinai now builds on this experience. Prabhjot maintains a primary care practice in East Harlem and regularly advises local healthcare and economic development startups.

Rob Carmona
Rob Carmona is co-founder of Strive International. Prior to his tenure at Strive, Rob held a number of senior positions in the New York City nonprofit community, serving as the Assistant Director of Agency Relations at the Greater New York Fund/United Way, Senior Planner for the NYC Volunteer Corps, Director of Marketing for the Wildcat Service Corporation, and a Youth Counselor at Kings County Hospital.

Carmen Quinones
East Harlem-born Carmen Quinones is Tenants Association President for the Frederick Douglass Houses in Harlem. A tenant advocate for much of her 40 years at Douglass, Carmen’s successes include leading the fight to have asbestos removed from the former West Side High School, which was abandoned.

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