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[April 8, 2013]


STAR Health Center Gets Top Rating for Patient-Centered Care

The Special Treatment and Research (STAR) Health Center at SUNY Downstate Medical Center has received Level 3 recognition by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) as a patient-centered medical home (PCMH). Level 3 designation is the highest achievable recognition for a medical group, awarded only to programs that pass a rigorous review process.

Under the leadership of Distinguished Service Professor Jack DeHovitz, MD, MPH, the STAR Health Center has been providing clinical care and support services for HIV-positive adults since 1991. These services include many that are part of a successful patient-centered medical home, which NCQA describes as a model of care that strengthens the physician-patient relationship by replacing episodic care with coordinated care and a long-term healing relationship.

Among the medical home features that NCQA scores in determining recognition are enhanced access and continuity, planning and management of care, and provision of self-care support and community resources. The STAR Health Center excels at offering services considered critical to the patient-centered medical home concept such as personalized clinical care, social services and case management, behavioral health services, patient education, and nutritional counseling.
"The STAR Health Center's care model embodies the core medical home principles of expanded access and service coordination, support for patients' self-management of chronic conditions, and the use of electronic health records and quality metrics to manage our population's health,” says Dr. DeHovitz. “The NCQA medical home recognition is a welcome affirmation that our work at STAR reflects the best practices in primary care and supports the federal and state health reform goals of improving quality of care and the patient experience, while lowering costs, especially for the most medically complex populations."

NCQA is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving healthcare quality. It accredits and certifies a wide range of healthcare organizations and also recognizes clinicians and practices in key areas of performance. In attaining Level 3 recognition, the STAR Health Center received 94.75 out of a possible 100 points.

The STAR Health Center provides rapid HIV testing, medical examinations, prenatal care, patient education, hepatitis C screening and treatment, mental health services, nutritional counseling, substance use counseling, treatment adherence counseling, social work and psychiatry services, specialized domestic violence/trauma counseling for women, and family-centered case management.  Specialized gynecological care is given to HIV-positive women. The Center’s treatment adherence services include:  adherence education; adherence counseling; group education sessions; adherence support groups; and same-day medication adherence focused medical visits.


SUNY Downstate Medical Center, founded in 1860, was the first medical school in the United States to bring teaching out of the lecture hall and to the patient’s bedside. A center of innovation and excellence in research and clinical service delivery, SUNY Downstate Medical Center comprises a College of Medicine, Colleges of Nursing and Health Related Professions, a School of Graduate Studies, a School of Public Health, University Hospital of Brooklyn, and an Advanced Biotechnology Park and Biotechnology Incubator.

SUNY Downstate ranks ninth nationally in the number of alumni who are on the faculty of American medical schools. More physicians practicing in New York City have graduated from SUNY Downstate than from any other medical school. To learn more about SUNY Downstate, visit