Health Initiatives

Keys to Health

The Population Health Collaborative's data website Keys to Health is your "one-stop shopping" for all your data needs.  This website houses health data at the state, regional, county and zip-code level.  Platform tools and features include data dashboards of health and quality of life indicators, indicator comparisons across geographies and sub-populations, Nielsen Claritas demographic profiles, socio-needs index to identify areas of greatest socioeconomic need, promising practices database of best and evidence-based programs and, resource library to house important community resources. 

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Self-Measured Blood Pressure Monitoring Program

Patient self-management of chronic hypertension has been shown to encourage lifestyle changes that mediate risks related to high blood pressure. Self-management of hypertension includes education around proper nutrition, physical activity and medication adherence.  Evidence has shown that self-measured blood pressure programs (SMBP)are effective in lowering blood pressure by enhancing the environmental awareness of risks in real-time. We are working with health systems across WNY to distribute automated blood pressure cuffs (Omron-300 series) to encourage those most at-risk patients to track their blood pressure on a regular basis. The goal of the SMBP program is not only a call-to-action for patients to actively manage their own care, but to simultaneously engage health care practitioners in a team-based model for hypertension control. These efforts are supported by partner organizations like the American Heart Association and our region’s Performing Provider Systems (PPS), Millennium Collaborative Care and Community Partners of WNY.

National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP)

The National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP) is an evidence-based program that focuses on lifestyle change to prevent type 2 diabetes. Through partnership with the Quality & Technical Assistance of NY (QTAC-NY), lifestyle change programs are identified in target areas, and participants from priority populations can be enrolled into workshops. In addition to scaling up existing NDPP programs across the region, PHC also actively recruits new organizations interested in becoming facilitators of the NDPP and supports the training of certified lifestyle coaches to deliver workshops to target populations. Through the support of Local IMPACT, 45 lifestyle coaches have been trained in WNY with additional trainings anticipated through 2018. In complementary efforts, and through partnership with local self-insured employers, the NDPP can be delivered on-site within a workplace to employees at high risk for diabetes. 

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Complete Streets

Through the support of Local IMPACT, we are working with partners in several key communities across WNY to monitor the development and implementation of transportation and community plans that are considered pedestrian friendly and promote walking. Recognizing that chronic diseases are most preventable through modifiable risk behaviors, such as rate of physical activity, promoting walking can lead to positive change that effectively improves health.  Supporting urban design and land-use policies through “complete streets” work allows us to assist in community engagement for developing and implementing plans that support walking at a community level.  Under Local IMPACT, and in partnership with local municipalities and expert organization GoBike Buffalo, we will seek to advise on complete streets policies in all 8 Western New York counties.

Healthy Retail

In an effort to increase access to healthier options in communities that are designated as food deserts, we are working with small retail venues to stock a variety of high quality and affordable healthy foods and beverages. We are building relationships with corner stores across Western New York, using a team of key community partners to increase availability, improve pricing, placement and promotion of healthier foods and drinks. The reach of this healthy retail work has been aided through signature partnership with the Healthy Corner Store Initiative in Buffalo, and Creating Healthy Schools and Communities (CHSC) teams in Niagara, Cattaraugus and Chautauqua Counties.  Using Local IMPACT funds, we have been able to provide 8 stores in WNY equipment, signage and marketing/educational materials.

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Motivational Interviewing (MI)

This is a directive, client-centered counseling style for eliciting behavior change by helping clients to explore and resolve ambivalence.  The MI approach can be applied to multiple behavior changes to improve an individual's health.  The Population Health Collaborative partners with Buffalo State College to provide in-depth training sessions on MI to build capacity within a service provider and/or organization, enhance the provider/client relationship and improve overall health outcomes.    

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA)

This is an 8-hour course that gives people the skills to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. The evidence behind the program demonstrates that it builds mental health literacy, helping the public identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illness.  

Mental Health First Aid is intended for all people and organizations in any sector that make up the fabric of a community.  Professionals who regularly interact with a lot of people (such as police officers, human resource directors, and primary care workers), school and college leadership, faith communities, friends and family of individuals with mental illness or addiction, or anyone interested in learning more about mental illness and addiction are encouraged to partake in the training.  The Population Health Collaborative supports MHFA training and can provide resources for organizations looking to host a training at their site.

The Western New York Healthy Communities Coalition (WNYHCC)

This coalition was created to advance population health improvement strategies with a focus on nutrition and active living through policy, education, and accessibility to support the reduction of chronic disease.

The purpose of the WNYHCC is to: (1) address health behaviors across the region among different sectors and populations; (2) identify regional themes around active living and healthy eating that can be adopted and promoted; (3) identify effective programs existing in various communities that warrant replication; and (4) develop new program ideas to support the identified themes. This coalition aligns its mission with the New York State Prevention Agenda focus area to "reduce obesity in children and adults" to support the reduction of chronic diseases.  The Population Health Collaborative is the lead agency for the WNYHCC. 

Quality to the End of Life

In 2015, a large group of healthcare, community and other leaders convened to create what is now called “Decide WNY,” a coalition that will bring together a large and diverse set of stakeholders to help ensure that more people discuss their values and wishes, document them and have them honored by healthcare professionals. 

Decide WNY is in the process of identifying, training people to join a speakers’ bureau, and we expect that these trained presenters and facilitators will reach out to target audiences to encourage and document more meaningful conversations.  The coalition has also created a website that can serve as a clearinghouse and home for sharing information and best practices from all the groups involved in this important work. 

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Practice Facilitation

Local IMPACT has provided the opportunity for staff of local health care systems to attend the University of Buffalo’s Practice Facilitation Program. This 13-week long program helps a health system build capacity for continuous quality improvement through the assessment of practice systems and processes, and the redesign of workflow to support meaningful change.  Practice facilitators work to implement new evidence-based practices and interventions to support positive patient outcomes, while increasing the opportunity for incentive programs through electronic health record (EHR) tracking improvement, and overall process improvement.  During the training program, participants choose a fieldwork project concentrated on the improved identification and care of patients with hypertension and/or prediabetes. Quarterly convenings are held for all completers of the Practice Facilitation program, to allow for continued technical assistance and support.

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