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Niagara Honor Roll

The 2016 Niagara Area Foundation Council named Michael A. Piette, Esq., chair. Other officers: Vice chair, Patricia George, Esq.; secretary, Janice Nichols; and treasurer, Bruce Elliott. Other members of the Foundation Council include: Michael Gold, Melissa Morinello, Mary Ann Oliver, Esq., and Charles Wright.

The Niagara Area Foundation is a geographic division of the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo and is comprised of dedicated volunteers who are committed to improving the lives of the residents of Niagara County by working to identify and address the critical needs in the community.

In 2015, the Niagara Area Foundation awarded more than $55,000 in grants to nine Niagara County nonprofit organizations that support positive youth development. To date, more than $1 million has been awarded through the Niagara Area Foundation to nonprofits that support a mission to connect people, ideas and resources to improve lives in Niagara County.


The National Council for Behavioral Health released a report demonstrating the effectiveness of “Get Well Stay Well,” the integrated primary care/behavioral health program that Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center operates at the Summit Family Care Center on Williams Road in Wheatfield. This cutting-edge program integrates depression treatment into primary care, offering adults seamless and convenient access to behavioral health counseling and treatment.

The National Council’s report indicates that 2,283 adults, including 1,443 adults age 55 or older, have been screened for depression at Memorial’s Summit Family Care Center.

“Results show substantially improved behavioral health outcomes for patients participating in Get Well Stay Well. Eighty-four percent of participating adults showed improvement in depression scores and 76 percent of adults recorded reduced anxiety levels,” said Joseph A. Ruffolo, president and CEO of Niagara Falls Memorial.

He added, “Memorial’s integrated care program is also resulting in improved physical health. Blood pressure readings improved for 74 percent of patients and blood sugar levels among diabetics were reduced. Forty-seven percent of participants also recorded healthy weight loss.”

The Get Well Stay Well project’s impressive outcomes were recognized by the National Council on Behavioral Health during its annual conference, held recently in Las Vegas. During the conference, Niagara Falls Memorial received the council’s Inspiring Hope award for its innovative integrated behavioral health/primary care services. 

Persons interested in receiving integrated services should contact the Summit Family Care Center at 298-5243.


Sheriff James R. Voutour, in conjunction with the New York State Sheriffs’ Association, presented the 2016 NYS Sheriffs’ Association Institute Annual Scholarship to Christie Lilienthal, a criminal justice student at Niagara County Community College. Christie currently maintains a 3.65 GPA and plans to continue her education in criminal justice at a four-year institution. She plans to work in federal or local law enforcement upon completing her educational studies. In addition to being an outstanding student academically, she also performs volunteer work in her community.


U.S. Army Pvt. Justin M. Calixle has graduated from basic infantry training at Fort Jackson, S.C.

During the nine weeks of training, Pvt. Calixle studied the Army mission, history, tradition and core values, physical fitness, and received instruction and practice in basic combat skills, military weapons, chemical warfare and bayonet training, drill and ceremony, marching, rifle marksmanship, armed and unarmed combat, map reading, field tactics, military courtesy, military justice system, basic first aid, foot marches, and field training exercises.

Calixle is the son of Bobby Jean White of Niagara Falls, and brother of Jaquisha Miller of Columbia, S.C.