Health Foundation Awards Over $1.7 Million in Funding for the Last Half of 2023

Young boy looking up while coloring with crayons

Funding decisions during the final half of this year included support for age-friendly health systems, a Buffalo nonprofit that works to address race-based health disparities, and a systematic process to help Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) in central New York better serve their communities.

What follows is a summary of all funded projects and programs for the third and fourth quarters of 2023.

Age-Friendly Health Systems: New York State Action Community 3.0 ($204,640)

The Health Foundation will continue to support Age-Friendly Health Systems (AFHS) in western and central New York through the two-year New York State Action Community 3.0. Hospitals, clinics, and care centers that adopt the AFHS approach use a set of four evidence-based elements to organize the care of older adults: What Matters (understanding what’s important to older adults), Medication (knowing if medications are unnecessary or potentially harmful), Mobility (creating individual mobility plans), and Mentation (addressing problems like dementia, delirium, and depression). When these “4Ms” are implemented together, older adults experience stronger health outcomes and a better quality of life.

New York State Action Community 3.0 will build upon two previous phases to spread and sustain AFHS sites across the state. Two main objectives will guide the efforts: (1) introduce AFHS to new providers to grow the community; and (2) support the work of existing sites and expand their reach across systems. Of the 50 new and returning sites that will participate in this initiative, 10 will operate in western and central New York.

Led by the Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS), New York State Action Community 3.0 is funded in partnership with the Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation and the New York Community Trust.

Buffalo Center for Health Equity – Continued Partnership Support ($359,964) 2024-2026

The African American Health Equity Task Force was formed in 2014 to explore race-based health disparities and dismantle the belief that poor health outcomes are driven by lifestyle choices instead of the social determinants of health. In 2020, the Health Foundation approved a three-year grant of $300,000 to support efforts to establish a new 501(c)(3), the Buffalo Center for Health Equity, and hire a dedicated staff to advance this work. The Buffalo Center for Health Equity has grown tremendously since 2020. What started as a volunteer-based collaboration in 2014 is now a 501(c)(3) and considered the go-to resource for information, insight, and advisement on matters of health equity for organizations and institutions in the City of Buffalo.

With our renewed, multiyear support, the Buffalo Center for Health Equity can continue to grow programs that address health disparities and improve the health of Buffalo’s Black community.

Central New York Safety Net Needs Assessment – 2024 Update ($60,000)

The Health Foundation’s commitment to partnering with safety net organizations to improve access and quality of care dates back to our founding. Over the past several years, we have been working with our Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) partners to determine their capacity needs. Our FQHC partners in both western and central New York suggested an updated safety net needs assessment to help them understand current capacity and leverage any potential opportunities to increase their work with older adults. A WNY version of the report was completed in 2023.

This grant will fund a formalized assessment and report for our FQHC partners in central New York. It will include an online version of the report that reflects automatic updates as source data is updated, as well as a recommendations brief.

Help Me Grow Oswego – 2024-2025 ($200,000)

The new funding will allow Integrated Community Planning of Oswego County, Inc. (ICP) to continue building out Help Me Grow in Oswego County. Help Me Grow helps children ages birth through five reach their full potential by connecting families with resources and services as well as information on child development. Because of this grant, Help Me Grow Oswego will be able to conduct initial planning and implementation to support families in this region.

Inclusive Alliance – A Central New York Community Care Hub ($180,000)

This funding will provide general operating support to Inclusive Alliance IPA Inc., a diverse group of human service providers focused on improving services for marginalized communities in central New York.

The goal is to strategically position Inclusive Alliance IPA as a community care hub and advance health equity by partnering with community-based organizations (CBO) that serve people routinely impacted by health disparities. The hub will expand the capacity of CBOs to deliver billable, evidence-based interventions, while providing group purchasing and combined resources. Through this innovative collaboration, the organizations and the communities they serve will have a seat at the table with health care providers—a major step forward for under-resourced groups that have been historically excluded from decision making.

Nonprofit Support Group – 2024-2025 ($330,450)

The Nonprofit Support Group (NSG) is a funder working group that was created in 2017 by the Health Foundation, the John R. Oishei Foundation, the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, the Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation, the ESL Charitable Foundation, and the Western New York Foundation. NSG helps create a thriving nonprofit ecosystem that promotes accessibility and equity for organizations and the people they serve. These funds will help support NSG’s goals for refining and scaling up efforts in 2024 and 2025.

Western New York Memory Café Collective ($300,000)

With this funding, the Health Foundation will join the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation in co-funding the development of the Western New York Memory Café Collective as a new component of Exhale, the Family Caregiver Initiative.

Memory cafés are unique joint enrichment and respite experiences for both caregivers and their loved ones living with memory loss. The focus is on activities that help attendees stay mentally and socially active, while also providing information and referrals to caregivers. In this second phase of Exhale, 15 arts and cultural organizations will have the opportunity to explore, plan, develop, and implement a memory café in their community. These organizations will attend a series of workshops to learn about memory cafés, build capacity, and develop the expertise to serve caregivers and older adults. Working with its community, each organization will develop, launch, and pilot a café. Participating organizations will also join a learning community and receive technical support for the café’s development, launch, and sustainability.

Small Grants ($98,095)

The following projects and programs were granted funding in the amount of $50,000 or under:

4th Annual Family Engagement Conference ($5,000)

Chronic Disease Self-Management Program ($15,000)

Grandparenting All Over Again. 2.0 ($11,000)

LLS Local Travel Assistance Initiative ($10,000)

Nonprofit Support Group Supplemental Grant ($15,995)

Reporting on the Gaps in the Syracuse Lead System ($10,000)

SDOH Health Equity Conference Support ($6,500)

Stop the Bleed Educators Program ($5,600)

Violence Prevention Program ($4,000)

WNY Older Adult Trauma Learning Collaborative Participant Support ($15,000)