The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus has built out from its core mission of restoring health to become a platform for community wellness. The goal is to become a model for healthy living across the region and support other, similar efforts.

News staff reporter Scott Scanlon wrote about the nonprofit’s efforts and how it has won more than $7 million in grants to make significant changes at the campus.

That includes changing attitudes among faculty and staff so that they incorporate exercise into their daily commutes to and from work. Walking to a bus or Metro Rail stop is a good way to get some exercise and avoid the problem of where to park.

Another possibility promoted by Jonathan McNeice, who is helping to plan the healthful transformation: take Metro Rail part of the way and bike the rest.

The nonprofit also helped secure $8.4 million in federal, state and local funding to upgrade Ellicott Street so that people can enjoy going outdoors. It is a marvelous transformation of an urban street into a linear park with bicycle lanes, wider sidewalks, benches and improved lighting. And then there’s the nearly $7 million more allocated for the Allen Street section that will connect Allentown to the UB Medical School and the rest of the campus. Pocket parks can be found throughout the neighborhood.

Besides get-fit and stay-fit opportunities, which include bike sharing, indoor bike storage, fitness festivals and the hundred or so health-related startup businesses on the campus, there’s the food.
Healthy eating is paramount in the lives of everyone, but nutritious food was often not readily available to neighborhood residents.

To change that, McNeice, Grassroots Gardens, the Massachusetts Avenue Project and the Mulberry Street and Friends Block Club started a community garden and began hosting a weekly farm market at the Moot Community Center.

The Medical Campus is becoming a welcoming and inclusive place for people to get and stay healthy, a most heartening development.

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