Consumer Engagement

Consumers are being asked to assume an increased role in their health and health care decision-making. From managing chronic health conditions to choosing high quality providers to making decisions about treatment options or insurance coverage, consumers need support to succeed in their new roles.  Consumer engagement is a crucial element in the progress of care management efforts that include increased provider collaborations.

CCHN supports a myriad of initiatives designed to promote consumer engagement and help community residents to be informed decision makers.

Patient Empowerment Program – My Health Counts

CCHN consultant Kerry Mihalko is trained as a Consumer Engagement Associate with the P2 Collaborative of WNY, Inc.  As such she is available to provide a variety of trainings for groups and community organizations wanting to be engaged patients and active partners in their care. The programs range from general information such as what to do before, during and after a doctor’s appointment, and where to find reliable and trustworthy medical information on the internet to understanding the components of health care billing. 

Health e3- Explore. Engage. Educate.

This program helps educate, empower and activate individuals who are eager to be more engaged and confident in understanding their health by guiding them through a series of workshops and providing easy tools and exercises to help them better manage their care.  Individuals progress through four 60 minute modules which include:

               Know the Members of Your Health Care Team

               The Doctor’s Visit

               Managing Your Health

               Staying Healthy

Living Healthy

Living Healthy is an evidence-based, chronic disease self-management program developed by Stanford University.  The initiative aims to increase the knowledge of people living with chronic conditions and teach them skills to better manage those conditions.  The program encourages those individuals who have the key facts about their health and are beginning to take action to take that extra step to fully engage in their health care.

Freedom from Smoking

Individuals interested in ending their addiction to nicotine and beginning a new smoke-free life can participate in a proven smoking cessation program developed by the American Lung Association.  Freedom From Smoking has been ranked the most effective smoking cessation program in a study by Fordham University Graduate School of Business.   The program is based on proven addiction and behavior change models.

Other resources for those wishing to quit smoking include:

Tri-County Tobacco Free Programs - contact Laurie Adams at

NYS Smokers' Quitline at 1-866-NY-QUITS (1-866-697-4887) or visit their website

Navigate - Guiding You Along Your Healthcare Journey

This program helps employees take a more active role in managing their health benefits.  Participants learn about the components of health care billing, payment and insurance coverage by participating in a four part training program led by Ms. Mihalko.

Consumer Engagement Advocates

Nationally there are a number of individuals and organizations focused on helping patients take a more active role in their health care.  Two individuals of special note are listed below:

e-Patient Dave

Richard Davies deBronkart Jr. widely known as e-Patient Dave, is a cancer patient and blogger who, in 2009, became a noted activist for healthcare transformation through participatory medicine and personal health data rights.  To learn more about his role in helping to transform patient engagement go to

Debra Ness

Debra L. Ness is an American advocate for social justice and the current president of the National Partnership for Women & Families. Ness’s career has centered on health and public policy, with a focus on the rights of women in the workplace and women, patients and consumers in the health care arena. Visit for more information.

Contact Us

For further information  about any of these programs to assist individuals and/or groups to be better informed health care consumers contact Kerry Mihalko at 716-665-0792 or e-mail her at

200 Harrison Street · 2nd Floor · Jamestown, NY 14701 · Phone (716) 338-0010 · Fax (716) 338-9740