Funded projects include elder mistreatment prevention; an intercounty doula partnership program; and the continued establishment of statewide age-friendly health systems.
In the last quarter of 2021, the Health Foundation for Western and Central New York awarded grants totaling $1,034,981 to organizations across western and central New York for projects that are enhancing the health of their communities. These programs include:
Ardent Solutions – One Caring Adult ($8,120)
Ardent Solutions will spearhead an effort in Allegany County to develop and print informational card packets that contain simple steps to help a child at risk of experiencing difficult situations and/or traumatic circumstances. The packets will be available to faith-based organizations, youth-serving organizations, parents, schools, health care providers, and other organizations with volunteer units focused on youth well-being.
Cayuga Community Health Network – Doula Partnership of Cayuga, Cortland, and Madison Counties Pilot Program ($125,000)
This grant will support a partnership between Cayuga Community Health Center, Seven Valleys Health Coalition in Cortland, and Madison County Rural Health Council to develop a new doula collaboration serving rural communities where growing challenges faced by pregnant people are well-documented.
Over the period of one year, the three rural health networks will work on forming community partnerships with providers that serve pregnant people; develop a universal referral process; create and utilize a focused marketing strategy; and build a doula workforce. In addition, the rural health networks will investigate doula pay amounts and structures and explore the development of a continuum of care. The Doula Partnership of CCM will specifically target low-income, migrant farmworker, Amish, Mennonite, and incarcerated/formerly incarcerated women to help eliminate health disparities among at-risk populations.
Children’s Consortium – Circle of Security Parenting Support ($10,000)
The Syracuse-based Children’s Consortium provides programs and services, including home and center-based services, that empower families to reach their full potential. This program aims to reconnect parents and families, strengthen important attachment bonds, and give families tools which will propel them in a positive direction for the future.
Community Service Society of New York – Reaching the Five Percent: Outreach and Enrollment Year 2 ($325,000)
In 2018, the Health Foundation commissioned a report to learn more about the uninsured in the 16 counties of western and central New York. The report, entitled Reaching the Five Percent, found that the uninsured fell into three categories: noncitizens, individuals that do not qualify for insurance subsidies, and the largest portion who were eligible but uninsured. To build on these findings, the Health Foundation funded the development of the Reaching the Five Percent: Outreach and Enrollment program in 2021. The program, led by Community Service Society of New York (CSS), focuses on reaching eligible-but-uninsured individuals through enhanced outreach and navigator programs.
In 2022, this funding will enable CSS to continue this work by facilitating a learning collaborative for outreach specialists and developing advocacy campaigns to generate support for regulatory changes based on successes from year one. At the end of year two, CSS will share findings from the program to recommend state and federal adoption of successful outreach and engagement techniques.
Education Development Center – Building Capacity to Address Elder Mistreatment ($26,000)
The Health Foundation has supported a series of initiatives in Niagara County to build capacity for health system stakeholders to identify and address elder mistreatment. This includes Eastern Niagara Hospital’s (ENH) involvement in a national feasibility trial of the Elder Mistreatment Emergency Department care model, an initiative created and funded by The John A. Hartford Foundation. In 2021, the Education Development Center (EDC), a global nonprofit that supports efforts to improve education, promote health, and expand economic opportunity, convened representatives from ENH and Niagara County community agencies to discuss the results of ENH’s trial and a collaborative way forward.
Funding for this project will allow the EDC to lead a community-based approach to addressing elder mistreatment in Niagara County. The project will entail community resource mapping, including clarifying the role of Adult Protective Services and the criteria for referral, assessment, and provision of APS services. A resulting resource map will then be used by health system and community stakeholders to define optimal patient pathways from initial screening and identification to safe hospital discharge with support in the community.
Elmcrest Children’s Center – Northside Early Education Center Outreach ($44,000)
This grant supports Elmcrest Children’s Center as they employ an Outreach Coordinator to build relationships with residents of Syracuse’s Northside community – a designated childcare desert – and promote the services and resources available through the Northside Early Education Center (NEEC). Elmcrest personnel will work with other community-based organizations to ensure NEEC participants receive screening for developmental milestones, including social emotional milestones, and referral to additional services as necessary. This project will serve refugees, immigrants, people living in poverty, and other under-served groups.
Growing Up Strong – HealthySteps Coordinated Project ($225,000)
This funding will support the Growing Up Strong: WNY HealthySteps Coordinated Project, a pilot program that seeks to strengthen the relationship between primary care and social services, increase the number of developmental screenings, and improve linkages to vital resources. Growing Up Strong will connect the safety net services of Jericho Road Community Health Center, three Neighborhood Health Center sites, Broadway Pediatrics, and Niagara Street Pediatrics with other child-focused programs and services. Pediatric care teams will be responsible for dissemination of HealthySteps program components, which include universal services, short-term supports, and comprehensive services for families most at risk.
HealthySteps is a national evidence-based project of Zero to Three that brings together the expertise of a child development expert (typically a licensed clinical social worker), known as a HealthySteps Specialist, and a pediatric primary care provider to achieve improved outcomes for children from birth to three years and their families. Working together, the HealthySteps Specialist and the pediatric provider aim to help families build skills that foster healthy child development and life-long wellbeing. Growing Up Strong is a project of the Independent Health Foundation and is also supported by the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, Farris Foundation, Garman Family Foundation, and the primary care centers themselves.
Healthcare Association of New York State – Building An Age-Friendly Health System: New York State Action Community ($189,411)
Older adults face challenges in accessing patient-centered care in health systems that are largely preventable, from overmedication to falls to treatable cognitive concerns. Age-Friendly Health Systems (AFHS), an initiative of The John A. Hartford Foundation and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), uses a set of four evidence-based elements – known as the 4Ms (Matters, Medication, Mentation, and Mobility) – to organize the care of older adults and improve care. The Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS) launched the first phase of the New York State Action Community in 2020, leading to 37 teams achieving Age-Friendly status across the state. The Health Foundation provided funding to support the first phase of this effort, along with funding partners the New York State Health Foundation and the Fan Fox & Leslie R. Samuels Foundation.
In Phase 2, HANYS aims to include a broader range of stakeholders and activities with the goal of further expanding the statewide AFHS movement to provide quality care that aligns with what matters to older adults and their families. The Health Foundation will continue its support with their previous funding partners, now including the New York Community Trust.
Healthy Community Alliance – Public Policy Advocacy Training ($5,200)
This grant will enable Healthy Community Alliance to offer a two-part training for nonprofit community-based organizations on policy and advocacy. The training will be geared toward organizations interested in learning more about the importance of nonprofit involvement in the public policy process and the benefits of developing an advocacy policy which will foster understanding of allowable public policy and lobbying activities.
The training project, in partnership with the Standards for Excellence Institute, will feature two one-hour webinars with a final session on the Standards for Excellence best practices for nonprofit governance and management. An additional program segment will be added in the two-part series related to New York specific lobbying/public ethics reporting and campaign finance rules. Possible partners for this third portion may be the New York Council on Nonprofits or Nonprofit New York.
Human Services Leadership Council of CNY – Operational Support ($10,000)
The Human Services Leadership Council of CNY will work to build the capacity of member organizations and other community-based organizations to partner with health care systems. A strong focus will be on improving diversity, equity and inclusion efforts and anti-racist practices in organizations.
InterFaith Works of Central New York – Afghan Evacuee Resettlement Support ($10,000)
This project will provide resettlement support for Afghan refugees in the central New York region. The Unmet Needs Fund, already established by InterFaith Works, will cover gaps arising from insufficient public assistance benefits and the inability of clients to immediately secure and sustain employment. The overall focus of the project is to avoid hunger and eviction crises among the refugee families by keeping them housing-stable and food-secure.
Westcott Community Center – Well-Being for Seniors Planning Phase ($10,000)
This program will allow the Westcott Community Center to explore ways to address the mental health of older adults who have been heavily impacted by COVID-19. Westcott will partner with different community centers in Syracuse to develop necessary support systems to address the pandemic-related mental health issues of older adults.
Western New York Nonprofit Support Group – Catchafire Renewal ($47,250)
Catchafire is a service that matches professionals who want to donate their time with nonprofit organizations who need their skills. In 2021, foundations participating in the Western New York Nonprofit Support Group (WNYNSG), including the Health Foundation, partnered with Catchafire to match professionals with nonprofits in western and central New York. As of October 2021, a total of 358 organizations registered for the program, and 150 organizations were matched with volunteers who assisted with a total of 625 help requests. Catchafire volunteers provided service valued at $1,954,150.
Based on this success, this Health Foundation grant will support the WNY Nonprofit Support Group’s continued partnership with Catchafire through 2022. A total of 82 previously sponsored organizations have been identified for renewal, with 12 new organizations to engage.