Funded projects include health care services for immigrant and refugee populations in the city of Buffalo and western New York; micro-grants to address rural health disparities in WNY and CNY; food access and health and wellness programming for Buffalo residents; and early childhood resources for central New York families.
In the third quarter of 2022, the Health Foundation for Western & Central New York awarded grants totaling $1,060,163 to support projects to support health equity that bridge the gap in health care access and enhance the health of our communities. These programs include:
Conversations on Rural Health Disparities Microgrant Fund ($25,000)
In an effort to inspire conversation and creative thinking about how to make the most of assets to address persistent health disparities, the Health Foundation for Western and Central New York established the Conversations on Rural Health Disparities Microgrant Fund. The fund will support those interested in participating in dialogue, learning, and action planning pertaining to community health needs in rural communities.
Early Childhood Alliance – Help Me Grow Onondaga ($200,000)
Help Me Grow Onondaga is an initiative of the Early Childhood Alliance (ECA) for parents and caregivers that provides support by connecting them to community resources and services, educating families and the community about how children develop, and completing developmental screenings for children aged birth through five. With this funding, the Early Childhood Alliance will recruit, hire, and train a Program Manager for Data Analytics to help ensure data quality and integrity for the program. This will allow the ECA and its partners to fully integrate early childhood data into larger early childhood systems discussion across the county, New York State and nationally.
Education Development Center – Elder Mistreatment Capacity Building ($246,250)
The Health Foundation has supported a series of initiatives in Niagara County, led by the Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC), to improve rates of screening for elder mistreatment and enhance community-based services and options available to older adults after hospital discharge. These include Eastern Niagara Hospital’s (ENH) participation in a national feasibility trial of an elder mistreatment emergency care model, taking place from 2019 to 2020, and two countywide convenings of stakeholders from health systems and community agencies to build out a collaborative response to address the needs of older adult victims.
Building on this, EDC will partner with local organizations to initiate the final phase of work to build local sustainable capacity to address elder mistreatment in Niagara County. The initiative will consist of community resource mapping and engagement, staff education on elder mistreatment and cultural competency, building a public awareness campaign, and holding quarterly convenings to sustain collaboration and ensure a lasting “no wrong door” experience for older adult victims needing support.
Farm to Fork WBLK Sponsorship ($12,300)
These funds will support six months of health and wellness messaging for the Farm 2 Fork Wellness and Nutrition Campaign with WBLK.
Grassroots Gardens of Western New York ($35,000)
With this program, older adults will share their knowledge with other community members to provide a general understanding of health and wellness as it pertains to nutrition while ensuring access to healthy food options. This support will focus on the reduction of social isolation and depression among older adults, while establishing an advisory board of older adult residents in western New York.
Lakeshore Connections – Help Me Grow WNY Support ($19,468)
Help Me Grow WNY’s mission is to help children ages zero to five reach their full potential. These funds will support increased awareness of Help Me Grow WNY’s work and enhanced public communication around the importance of early intervention, helping to reach more families.
Lakeshore Connections – PEDALS Evaluation ($50,000)
This support will focus on the Positive Emotional Development and Learning Skills (PEDALS) evaluation led by Lakeshore Connections. The evaluation is being completed by RAND with the support of the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation. PEDALS was launched in 2012 bring training and resources for the development of healthy social-emotional skills in young children to early childhood teachers. Initially established in western New York in partnership with the Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation, it has since expanded to central New York, and to Southeast Michigan thanks to a partnership with the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation.
Local Initiatives Support Coalition – Soil Fund ($15,000)
Established by the Local Initiatives Support Coalition, the Soil Fund will distribute grants to Black-owned businesses and nonprofits on the East Side of Buffalo to advance their missions and raise awareness of their work.
Native American Community Services, Inc. – Capacity Building Support ($50,000)
The Health Foundation is partnering with other local funders to provide support for the delivery of culturally competent services to the Native American community in western and central New York. With that, Native American Community Services was provided with capacity building support as they continue to provide quality health and social services to Native American community members living in off-Nation territories throughout the region.
New York Funders Alliance – Impact HQ Bridge Funding ($19,361)
The development of this bridge funding will support the expansion of resources for nonprofit organizations in the nine-county western New York region, including Monroe County, in the areas of communication, technology, racial equity, and fund development.
New York State Caregiving and Respite Coalition – AmeriCorps Volunteer Respite Model ($150,000)
The New York State Caregiving Respite Coalition (NYSCRC) will partner with AmeriCorps on a three-year Senior Demonstration project for a six-county regional approach to build and strengthen respite support for caregivers across the age and disability spectrum in the Central and Southern Tier regions of NY state, including Oneida, Herkimer, Cortland, and Tompkins counties. NYSCRC will develop and train AmeriCorps Seniors to build and enhance community respite services in these counties. They will also partner with existing AmeriCorps Senior Corps programs in the remaining CNY counties to assist in program promotion and volunteer recruitment. The Foundation’s support represents a portion of the match for this federal project.
RISE – WNY Care Managers ($92,784)
These funds will support RISE’s efforts to close the health access gap for the western New York Community by adding two care managers to its staff. One will serve Burmese, Karen, and Congolese populations while the other serves Somali, Rohingya, and Burundi populations, expanding RISE’s reach to populations speaking over 29 languages. The care managers will support the refugee and immigrant community through access to specialty care practitioners, pharmacists, and mental health and substance abuse counselors, and provide access to other health care services.
WNY Safety Needs Assessment – Update 2022 ($145,000)
In our 2020 strategic plan, the Health Foundation committed to the continued work to support a strong safety net and capacity building of Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs). FQHC partners collectively represented by SNAPCAP and its IPA have been engaged over the past year to determine how best to work together to address capacity needs. Health center partners indicated an updated safety net needs assessment would provide a better understanding of their current capacity and the potential growth opportunities to increasing their work with older adults.
Previously completing comprehensive safety net needs assessments in 2008 and 2014, John Snow, Inc (JSI) will complete an updated assessment for early 2023. The assessment will provide valuable data pointing to strategies for improving the ability to serve older adult patients and reference data that will enable the Health Foundation and its partners to evaluate the effectiveness of their efforts since the 2014 assessment. Combined with the 2008 assessment, the Health Foundation will have a well-rounded and complete picture of the impact of its long-running body of work in support of the safety net.