New Report from Health Foundation Highlights Disparities, Systemic Needs for Community Health in WNY’S Southern Tier

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February 11, 2022
Contact: Kerry Jones Waring | | 716-852-3030 ext. 107

Social Determinants of Health Play Significant Role in Outcomes

(BUFFALO, NY) The Health Foundation for Western and Central New York has issued a new report examining the state of community health in Allegany, Cattaraugus, and Chautauqua counties. The report, Community Health Needs and Opportunities in Western New York’s Southern Tier, finds that overarching systemic needs rooted in the social determinants of health exist throughout these counties and are major contributors to health outcomes in the region. Transportation access, health care workforce shortages, under-funded community services, and the impact of poverty are among the factors named as contributing to health disparities in the region.

Download the report as a PDF here.

The report also captures positive attributes in community health in the three counties, including a strong network of community-based organizations working to meet the needs of the people of the Southern Tier, innovative programs and initiatives to address issues such as trauma-informed care practices, and a commitment to collaboration among health care and community service providers that has been strengthened by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Based on research conducted by health care consultants Kate Ebersole and Sharon Mathe, the report features testimonials from some of the region’s community health leaders, capturing their perspective on the state of health care locally and how the pandemic has had an impact on their work and partnerships. Community Health Needs also includes a snapshot overview of the local network of health care services, as well as information and context about the socioeconomic and cultural make-up of the region.

“It is clear from this report that Allegany, Cattaraugus and Chautauqua counties have significant systems-level needs in addressing poverty, transportation, housing, and health care access, and are also home to inspiring and admirable partnerships among service providers that are making a real difference for the people they serve,” said Nora OBrien-Suric, PhD, President, Health Foundation for Western and Central New York. “We hope that the information in this report will inspire action and policy to address the critical needs of the people of the Southern Tier, and reinforce the truth that all people deserve to live in healthy, safe, supportive communities.”

About the Health Foundation for Western and Central New York: The Health Foundation is an independent private foundation that advocates for continuous improvement in health and health care for the people and communities of western and central New York. Our vision is a healthy central and western New York where racial and socioeconomic equity are prioritized so all people can reach their full potential and achieve equitable health outcomes. For more information, please visit