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New wellness grant to help seniors, caregivers, those with disabilities

The Western New York Integrated Care Collaborative has been awarded a 30-month, $342,000 grant from the Health Foundation for Western and Central New York to form an integrated care network of community-based organizations and Area Agencies on Aging in Western New York.

The collaborative is made up of member community-based organizations and aging agencies that provide home and community-based services and evidence-based programs that promote independence and healthy living. This network looks to produce better health outcomes and quality of life for older adults, people with disabilities and their caregivers.

Network members include Catholic Charities of Buffalo, Community Concern of WNY, the Dale Association, Erie County Department of Senior Services, the Health Association of Niagara County Inc. (HANCI), Healthy Community Alliance, Niagara County Office for the Aging, and P2 Collaborative of WNY.

Long term, the collaborative plans to develop service provider representation across all eight counties of Western New York.

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Ken Genewick, director of the Niagara County Office for the Aging and board president of the collaborative, said the fastest growing demographic in Western New York is people over age 75.

“Older adults tell us that they need help navigating the health care bureaucracy, help with transportation, managing pain and mobility challenges,” Genewick said. “Our goal as a network is to produce better health outcomes by working together to provide comprehensive, cost-effective, integrated care that promotes a higher quality of life for those we serve.

“We plan to do this through developing a regional approach to service delivery and partnering with health care organizations. A WNY regional accredited diabetes self-management program is one of the first programs we will roll out this fall.”

Nora OBrien-Suric, president of the Health Foundation for Western and Central New York, said the foundation is excited to support a collaborative that will expand the scale and scope of services available to help older adults lead a dignified, independent, high-quality life in their community.

"We believe (the collaborative) can become a model for the country,” OBrien-Suric said.

Recruitment is underway to hire a business development director. Those interested are encouraged to email by July 24.


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