WNYICC Receives National Recognition for Social and Health Care Collaborations

By President Nora OBrien-Suric, PhD

Congratulations to our grantee partner, the Western New York Integrated Care Collaborative, for receiving The John A. Hartford Foundation Business Innovation Award from the Aging and Disability Business Institute!

Each year, The John A. Hartford Foundation Business Innovation Award recognizes community-based organizations that are improving health outcomes and quality of life for older adults and/or persons with disabilities in their communities. Award recipients demonstrate the pursuit of bold, transformative initiatives designed to integrate health care and community-based services and increase their sustainability.

WNYICC is a Community Care Hub with 25 health plan contracts designed to deliver programs to 15 counties in New York by their more than 40 network members. WNYICC partners with Independent Health to address health-related social needs through interventions such as meals, medical nutrition therapy, diabetes prevention and diabetes self-management programs, Healthy IDEAS and coaching programs.

Their coaching programs (Community Health Coaching, Falls Prevention and Caregiver Support), include program-specific assessments, referrals to evidence-based programs, care coordination, and billing and coding to pay for these programs. Integrating members’ clinical care with social care is a priority of WNYICC’s programs.

The Health Foundation is proud to have provided funding and other support that helped establish and grow WNYICC into the influential organization they are today.

In 2012, we launched our Ready or Not initiative to help local organizations build capacity to meet changing demands and expectations in the evolving health care marketplace. Ready or Not participants included several aging network providers in Erie and Niagara counties. In the same time period, the U.S. Administration for Community Living (ACL) announced a request for proposals from their Business Acumen Learning Collaborative. A group of community partners that would eventually become the Western New York Integrated Care Collaborative was one of nine national partnerships to receive targeted technical assistance from the ACL.

After being officially formed in 2016, WNYICC has seen remarkable growth in membership and impact. In 2022, they had 25 executed contracts with health plans to deliver service care programs to their members. WNYICC also recently participated in two national learning opportunities: the ACL’s Community Care Hub Learning Coalition and National Council on Aging Financial Acumen Learning Collaborative.

WNYICC’s success is a clear indication that this model of integrating social care organizations with health systems is more relevant than ever in today’s health care landscape, especially considering new approaches like New York State’s proposed Medicaid 1115 Waiver Amendment.

WNYICC’s 2022 Annual Report tells the story of their impact in more detail. Read their report here. 

Congratulations to our partners at WNYICC on this well-deserved recognition of their impact on community health care and their visionary approach to collaboration!