Community Health Capacity

To improve the health of underserved populations in western and central New York, we must bolster the community organizations and health care systems they depend on. We understand the strength and long-term sustainability of our community partners is essential to achieving our vision.

The Foundation has been funding community health capacity since its inception, though it didn’t become a formal focus area until 2009. This work is aligned with our other focus areas, improving the health of older adults and young children impacted by poverty, and is designed to provide the resources, tools, strategies and training to enhance the capacity of organizations to improve health outcomes in our community.

Our long-term goal that community-based organizations and health systems are collaborative and sustainable is supporting by two midterm goals:

– Community-based organizations are financially sustainable, strong and working collaboratively with health and other systems.
– Communities and health systems are working collaboratively to become age-friendly.

Our programs in this focus area typically support leadership development, community health planning, organizational development and community education.

  • Challenge: Building bridges between social care organizations and health care systems: Social determinants of health, and the organizations that provide related services, are a critically important factor in health outcomes. Helping community-based organizations collaborate with traditional health systems will enhance the long-term sustainability of those organizations and improve the lives of the people they serve.
  • Challenge: Need to collaborate: The health challenges in our region can’t be tackled by any one organization acting alone. Working in silos leads to gaps, duplication of services and missed opportunities. Leaders at local non-profits must work collaboratively.


Health Leadership Fellows

Develop Strong

To build a network of skilled leaders who work collaboratively, the Foundation created the Health Leadership Fellows program and supports the Fellows Action Network.


Build Organizational

By providing financial and expert assistance, we help health care and social service providers strengthen their core competencies and ensure their financial sustainability.


Below are our programs related to community health capacity:



Collaborative Leaders, Collaborative Projects

Approximately 400 leaders have taken part in the Health Leadership Fellows program and become part of the Fellows Action Network, working collaboratively to address critical health issues.


Expertise and Resources for Long-Term Planning

Since 2012, we’ve provided more than 20 organizations with the financial and expert assistance to strengthen their infrastructure so they can respond strategically to the changing fiscal and regulatory environment.