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About HITE

The Health Information Tool for Empowerment is an online directory offering information on more than 5,000 health and social services available to low-income, uninsured, and underinsured individuals in the Greater New York area. HITE helps people connect to vital community services quickly and easily. The directory offers information on community services throughout all of New York City and Long Island in the following categories: Dental & Optical, Financial Assistance, Health Care & Medicine, Immigrant Support, Mental Health & Substance Abuse, School, Youth & Family Services, Social Services, Transportation, and Wellness & Prevention.

HITE is a program of the not-for-profit Foundation affiliate of the Greater New York Hospital Association (GNYHA).

Who Uses HITE

Anyone can use HITE—it is free and open to the general public. However, it is used most by staff at community organizations serving patients and clients in need, such as hospitals, health centers, not-for-profit organizations, child welfare agencies, schools, and libraries. HITE helps people navigate New York's many health and social service resources and make faster and more accurate linkages to services. HITE may be especially helpful in the following areas:

  • Information & referral
  • Case management
  • Patient navigation
  • Benefits assistance
  • Community outreach

Advisory Group

HITE has an Advisory Group to offer periodic feedback on website improvements, program planning, and outreach. Agencies currently and formerly represented in the HITE Advisory Group include:

  • Andrew Romay New Immigrant Center, The English-Speaking Union
  • Administration for Children's Services
  • Bronx-Lebanon Hospital
  • The Educational Alliance
  • Health Leads
  • Hospital for Special Surgery
  • Jewish Board of Family Children's Services (JBFCS)
  • Jewish Child Care Association (JCCA)
  • The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
  • Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center
  • New York State Department of Labor
  • North Shore–LIJ Health System
  • Queens Library
  • Turnaround for Children
  • West Side Campaign Against Hunger
  • White Plains Hospital
  • YAI/National Institute for People with Disabilities/Premier HealthCare

HITE and Community Health Efforts

As direct access to housing, food, education, and other social services plays an increasingly important role in community health and healthcare transformation, HITE may serve as a tool for hospitals, not-for-profits, and other organizations as they continue to address these needs in the operation of new programs, initiatives, and models of care. In New York State, access to community resources and collaboration among health and social service providers is a cornerstone of patient-centered medical care, health home care management, the Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) Program, the Prevention Agenda for the Healthiest State, and other efforts to improve community and population health. HITE's resource directory can help organizations to connect patients and clients to local services, as well as to complete community needs assessments, identify local partners, and other activities to meet program requirements, streamline operations, and improve care for New York's neediest residents.

For more information on the above programs and how HITE can help with their community and population health goals, please contact us.

Practical Applications: Using HITE in Everyday Work

HITE is a useful tool for a wide range of organizations, such as hospitals, health centers, not-for-profit organizations, managed care companies, and public agencies. Here are a few of the ways in which HITE can aid an organization's work:

  • Request a HITE presentation. HITE offers presentations for organizations that work with individuals and families in need. Presentations are tailored to each group's needs.
  • Share the HITE User Guide and brochure with colleagues who may find it helpful. The User Guide, which offers search instructions and tips, may be especially helpful while training new staff.
  • Link to HITE on a website or internal communications system for easy access by staff, patients, clients, or people in the community.
  • Tell HITE about upcoming service provider networking meetings that offer opportunities to exchange resource information and learn more about local services.
  • Use myHITE to track frequently used resources and search results, create new categories, and make notes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to pay to use HITE?

No. HITE is free and available to the public through the Internet or as an app. All that is needed is an internet connection on a computer or iOS device. It's also free for organizations to be listed on the website. HITE does not intend to "advertise" organizations; its mission is to be a "one-stop shop" for people seeking information on local health and social services.

How often is the information in HITE updated?

To ensure that HITE users have accurate information, each listing is updated at least once a year directly with the staff of the listed program or organization. The last date of update is at the bottom of each HITE resource listing. Programs and organizations listed in HITE may request changes at any time throughout the year.

Where does HITE resource information come from?

Many resources were identified and added to HITE's database during its initial launch and pilot testing in 2005, with assistance from HITE's community partners and contacts through its parent organization, the Greater New York Hospital Association (GNYHA). Much of this information came from surveys, existing paper directories, and publicly available information. Over the years, HITE has added new resources through regular communication with currently listed organizations, participation in community partnerships and provider networks, topic-based research projects, and inquiries to HITE's Suggest a Resource page. HITE welcomes new resource information at any time.

Can I call or e-mail HITE for help getting a job, housing, financial assistance, or other services?

HITE staff are not trained caseworkers or referral providers and do not provide any direct assistance in accessing services. Instead, HITE identifies available community resources, confirms their information, and incorporates them into an online database for people to access freely. HITE staff can help teach people how to use the site's search criteria to locate resources, but are unable to provide more comprehensive assistance.

Does HITE offer ratings or reviews of resources?

HITE does not offer ratings or reviews of community services. HITE staff compiles and maintains resource information that users may read and then contact organizations they believe are best suited to meet their needs. The primary criterion to be included in the HITE resource database is the ability to offer services to people in need, including low-income, uninsured, or underinsured individuals and families. While the HITE staff is limited in its ability to thoroughly assess quality of services and care, which may be difficult to define and standardize, users are welcome to submit feedback that may call for the addition or removal of resource information. HITE users are encouraged to contact HITE staff with any issues pertaining to the information listed on the website.

Why does HITE have a log-in screen?

HITE's log-in screen is for people who would like to save resources, such as individual listings or entire searches. This is an optional, free feature called "myHITE", and accounts may be set up by filling out a short registration form.

I work at a health or social service organization. Can I Share HITE with clients and patients?

Yes. HITE is open to, and frequently used by, people in the general public. However, many services (such as housing) require referrals or have complicated intake and application procedures, making it difficult for clients and patients to navigate independently. For this reason, HITE is effective as a tool for professionals working alongside clients and patients. HITE's outreach efforts are primarily geared toward health and social service professionals because they most often need to access resource information. If a client or patient needs to find a service with that a provider's staff is not familiar with, staff could consider using HITE to find an organization that specializes in navigating this service (for instance, if a client needs housing, use HITE to find an organization offering housing placement or housing-related legal assistance).

In general, HITE can still be an excellent tool for clients or patients seeking services with little or no referral process, such as free and low-cost exercise, recreation, education programs, childcare, senior centers, food pantries, and other community services. Clients and patients may be directed to HITE staff for assistance with navigating the website; however, HITE staff are not able to offer direct assistance, such as providing referrals, counseling, or casework.

How can I learn more about HITE?

HITE staff are also available to give presentations on using HITE to health and social service agencies staff. Another way to learn more is to sign up to receive updates through HITE's quarterly newsletter or follow HITE on Twitter, @hite_site, for more free and low-cost resources and events in New York City and Long Island.