What do health care professionals do after graduating from our Health Leadership Fellows program? Many carry on the projects they started as fellows, or start new projects with other fellows to improve care for seniors and children.
The Fellows Action Network (FAN) was formed by graduates of the first Fellows classes, and provides a forum for community health leaders to work collaboratively across western and central New York on critical health issues.
Many graduates say their time as fellows created a culture of collaboration from the top down. They graduate from the program more aware of the region’s shared health care needs and how their various organizations’ mission intersect. They’re eager to keep working together.
The Fellows Action Network is comprised of alumni of the Health Leadership Fellows program as well as graduates of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Ladders to Leadership program. These alumni are the lifeblood of the FAN. Some of the graduates have returned to serve as team advisers for current Fellows classes; others have developed projects through their interactions as alumni in the network.
FAN also keeps track of how relationships cultivated through the Fellows program have resulted in collaborations, and how those collaborations have improved health outcomes.
Many of the collaborative projects initially begun and funded through the Health Leadership Fellows program have expanded their scope and impact through FAN. These projects include:
- A health care worker interview tool designed to hire and retain a better qualified workforce serving older adults with disabilities in central New York.
- “Ask Me 3,” a health literacy effort that teaches children what questions to ask their healthcare professional in 12 Buffalo public schools.
- A pictorial tool for “Prescription 4 Health,” an inter-organizational effort to assist primary doctors and pharmacists communicating with patients about their medications.
- Town Square for Aging in Amherst, New York, an ambitious joint project between two organizations headed by Fellows graduates to help older adults remain safely at home for as long as possible and reduce their dependence on hospitals, nursing homes and specialized long-term care facilities.
- The Trauma-Informed Community Initiative of WNY Coalition, a group of volunteers working to develop and implement a Greater Buffalo Trauma-Informed System of Care Community Plan