In an effort to expand equitable health care throughout New York City, the Digital and Technology Partners (DTP) department at Mount Sinai Health System is collaborating with The New York Public Library (NYPL) to support access to health services through electronic information or technologies—better known as telehealth—and digital literacy skills.
The Library’s TechConnect department will hold free classes called “Take Charge with MyChart,” which teach participants how to find a new doctor, access existing medical records or test results, schedule or attend a virtual doctor’s appointment, and refill prescriptions online using MyMountSinai, Mount Sinai’s version of MyChart, a software system and app widely used by health care organizations.
“Over the past few years, it’s become clear that our commitment to our patients cannot stop at the doors of our buildings,” said Bruce Darrow, MD, PhD, Senior Vice President, Information Technology, and Deputy Chief Information Officer of the Mount Sinai Health System. “This program helps to address a digital divide in our community and we are grateful to NYPL and the New York City Office of Technology and Innovation for partnering with us on this important initiative.”
The two-hour course will be available online and in person at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library in midtown Manhattan, the Bronx Library Center in the Bronx, and Richmondtown Library and St. George Library Center on Staten Island. (Class times and locations can be found at nypl.org/events). The Library will also offer a Chromebook borrowing program for patrons with limited access, which will allow them to check out devices and use telehealth resources on their own time.
The telehealth class, which does not require attendees to already have a MyChart account, is a part of NYPL TechConnect that provides more than 100 beginner- to advanced-level technology classes to help adults develop computer skills. This work is part of the Library’s overall commitment to lifelong learning and education, led by the Merryl and James Tisch Director of Branch Libraries and Education, a position established with a gift from James Tisch, Co-Chairman of Mount Sinai Health System’s Boards of Trustees, and Merryl Tisch, Ed.D. That investment builds on, expands, and strengthens the Library’s robust work in the areas of digital equity, technology training, adult literacy, early literacy, and summer learning by developing innovative, cohesive programs.
“For over 125 years, The New York Public Library has offered vital resources that support the communities we serve,” said Brian Bannon, the Library’s Merryl and James Tisch Director of Branch Libraries and Education. “We are grateful for the opportunity to work with Mount
Sinai on this important project that creates new opportunities to educate and support our patrons with tools that can help advocate for themselves and those they love.”
“This administration’s commitment to bridging the digital divide through increased access to broadband, devices, and digital skills training ensures all New Yorkers can leverage technology to lead better lives,” said New York City Chief Technology Officer Matthew Fraser. “We are proud to partner with Mount Sinai and The New York Public Library on this vital program to enhance digital literacy and expand equitable health care across the city.”
“Telehealth is an amazingly valuable tool—but only for those who know how to access it,” said Eve Stotland, senior program officer with The New York Community Trust. “Many people lack the technological skills to use apps like MyChart with confidence. In particular, telehealth has seen lower adoption by Black, Latinx, and older New Yorkers. The New York Community Trust is proud to support The New York Public Library’s efforts to make sure that all New Yorkers know how to use MyChart and other telehealth programs, and to get the care they need to thrive.”
Major support for the development of this new telehealth initiative at The New York Public Library is provided by The New York Community Trust.
Mount Sinai Health System is supported by the New York State Health Foundation.
NYPL TechConnect is made possible thanks to the generous support of Arthur W. Koenig, Apple Education, Accenture, and by NYC Connected Communities, a program of the New York City Office of Technology and Innovation.
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