DSRIP Update Meeting

On August 1st, Chautauqua County Health Network hosted a regional DSRIP update meeting at SUNY JCC in Fredonia. 52 individuals were in attendance from different community partners in the region to present updates on their work being done for DSRIP. The New York State (NYS) Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) Program´s purpose is to fundamentally restructure the health care delivery system by reinvesting in the Medicaid program, with the primary goal of reducing avoidable hospital use by 25 percent by 2020. If we maintain our current reduction rates, the state will achieve a 33.14% reduction over baseline for potentially preventable readmission and 26.9% reduction for potentially preventable emergency room visits. Currently, we are in demonstration year three and measurement year four. Community partners provided handouts to showcase available resources and services throughout our county that align with our DSRIP objectives. Through collective impact, many different community partners have been collaborating to meet the goals for DSRIP.

MECO 2017

Sponsored by The Stan Lundine Health Care Professional Endowment Fund, one medical student recently completed the Medical Education Community Orientation (MECO), a summer externship program coordinated through The Chautauqua County Health Network. Kaitlyn Crossan shadowed at local hospitals and clinics with rotations that were customized to her fields of interest. Host sites of the program included Westfield Memorial Hospital, Brooks Memorial Hospital and TLC Health Network.

MECO provides students from Chautauqua County a unique educational experience not necessarily offered by medical school curriculum. The program emphasizes the study of patient-centered health care delivery in both clinical and nonclinical settings, as well as the relationship of the patient to the total health care system. Students are able to discover career options, gain first-hand experience in the medical profession, and build professional ties to our community.

Interested in orthopedics, Dunkirk native Kaitlyn Crossan is enrolled in medical school at LECOM. A graduate of SUNY Fredonia and entering her second year in medical school, Kaitlyn explained that “The program allowed me to learn more about the fields of medicine that I could potentially be in one day as well as the healthcare system within Chautauqua County. I wouldn’t have gained as much exposure into these careers this early in my medical education if it wasn’t for this program.”

The Medical Education Community Orientation (MECO) and Dental Education Community Orientation (DECO) programs are full time, six week paid externships. For more information regarding MECO, DECO, and other opportunities for local students, please contact Adam Puleo, CCHN Project Coordinator at (716) 338-0010. Information is also available online at www.cchn.net.

Million Hearts Event at Chautauqua Suites

On March 1st, the Million Hearts Cardiac Event was held at Chautauqua Suites in Mayville and presented by The Chautauqua County Health Network, Chautauqua Integrated Delivery System and Chautauqua Region Associated Medical Partners. The priority of Million Hearts is to improve cardiovascular health and care for all Americans, while saving a million hearts. Chautauqua County plays its part in Million Hearts through CHQ250, an initiative of the Chautauqua Health Action Team (CHAT) encouraging you to take action to be one of at least 250 strokes, heart attacks, or related deaths prevented in Chautauqua County in the coming year. The CHQ250 call to action include the ABCS; aspirin when appropriate, blood pressure control, cholesterol management, and smoking cessation.

G. Jay Bishop, M.D. presented The State of Hearts in Chautauqua County, an overview of statistics and facts detailing heart disease nationwide, in our county, and statistics showing improvement dealing with cardiovascular disease related issues within our county and state. . Following G. Jay Bishop’s presentation there were demonstrations and information provided on taking blood pressure, managing cholesterol, healthy guide to nutrition, self-management techniques like motivational interviewing, and smoking cessation and the New York State Smokers Quit line. Heart Champion Awards were given out following these presentations. To begin the awards ceremony Medicor received the Heart Stroke Recognition Program. Tri County Family Medicine Program, Inc. and Westfield Family Physicians, PC received the Million Hearts Champions. Lastly, UPMC Chautauqua WCA and The Resource Center received the Work-site Champions award.

The success of CHQ250 has been driven by the collaboration of the Chautauqua Health Action Team (CHAT) and partners throughout Chautauqua County. CHAT is comprised of local community and government agencies, employers, hospitals, and others working together to improve health outcomes in Chautauqua County. CHAT is organized through the Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services and has focused on multiple prevention initiatives in the county. While the trends are heading in the right direction for our county because of CHQ250 and collaborative efforts, there is a lot of work still to be done and we need the help of everyone to make a conscious effort to save our 250 hearts. If you’d like to learn more on how to prevent, recognize and treat cardiovascular disease visit www.heart.org for more information.

Healthcare Career Advantage - Talent Pipeline Development Program

The Workforce Investment Board, Sheldon Foundation and Chautauqua Region Community Foundation present the Healthcare Career Advantage, a Talent Pipeline Development Program. This is an internship program for young professionals interested in direct patient care careers. This program will support a group of young professionals to be placed in paid internships at health are organizations located in the Chautauqua region. 

Each intern's schedule will be determined by the host organization. The internship would last an estimated 6-8 weeks. In addition, you may be asked to work with the WIB on community projects that are meant to further interested students and young adults in healthcare careers locally.

You can find the link to the application at www.chautauquaworks.com under the WIB tab followed by the Healthcare Career Advantage Internship tab. The PDF is available in the last paragraph of the article.

You may mail this application and your resume or submit through email:

 Workforce Investment Board                                                                                                  c/o Jody Cheney                                                                                                                      4 E. 3rd St.                                                                                                              Jamestown, NY 14701                                                            jcheney@chautauquaworks.com 



Persell Produce Patch Open House Grows on Community

Blooming flowers and thriving plants filled the raised beds at Persell Middle School on Wednesday night as Persell Middle School students showed off their green thumbs.

From carrots and herbs to flowers and strawberries, the members of the Garden Club were eager to show off their growing produce and plant life at the Persell's Produce Patch Garden Open House.

Parents, community members and others were given a tour of the garden site and were given samples of the fresh radishes the students had grown.

Seedlings were also given out in honor of the event, as the club hoped to inspire others to join in the gardening fun.

Annika Putney, Persell Middle School teacher and gardening co-chair, said the students really enjoy the new garden and were proud to show off their hard work.

Putney said there are approximately 20 students involved in the garden club this year, but the hope is that the gardening facility and outdoor classroom space will be utilized by students in all different classes next year.

"The hope is that teachers will incorporate it into their curriculum next year," she said, adding the experience has been invigorating thus far. 

"Everything from our garden was started from seed except for the strawberries. We're very excited about this, and we're excited to see what happens with this in the next few years."

The garden came about due to grant funding and donations, and has led to enjoyable and enriching experiences for the students and teachers alike, Putney said.

Devyn Agett, teacher and gardening co-chair, said there are many other projects in the works.

She said the group hopes to be composting and utilizing rain barrels in the near future.

"Our goal is also to have every teacher include (the garden) in one lesson," Agett said. "We also want to make the mulched area into an outdoor learning area."

Students and their parents milled around the area, pointing out what they had helped plant.

The garden included strawberries, herbs, potatoes, tomatoes and other varieties.

Putney said volunteers are needed to help maintain the garden over the summer months when the gardens are open. The produce patch will be open on Mondays from 4-7 p.m. and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to noon during the summer.

Volunteers are needed to help pull weeds, replant seeds and harvest fruits and vegetables, she added. Those who volunteer will also be welcome to take something home at the end of the day, Putney said.

For more information on the garden, visit Facebook.com/PersellSchoolGarden.

Grants were given by Lowe's Toolbox For Education and the Whole Kids Foundation.

Community and business sponsors for the project are Everyday's True Value; Mike's Nursery; Brigiotta's; Jamestown Police Department; Chautauqua County Health Network; Wegmans; Farm Fresh; Chipotle; High Mowing Organic Seeds; Peaceful Valley Seeds; Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co.; and the Persell PTA. There were also many individual donors who contributed to the project.

Persell Project Benefits From Community Support

Persell Middle School's Community Garden is well on its way to providing an outdoor, hands-on experience to deliver life-long learning and enrichment in students' lives thanks to the generosity of the local community. The Persell Garden Club recently received a $3,000 Lowe's Toolbox for Education Grant and a $2,000 Whole Kids Foundation Grant from Whole Foods. These funds, in addition to the $600 advisors, Annika Putney and Devyn Agett, raised through a website and numerous donations from local businesses and organizations, will not only promote a healthier lifestyle but will also allow students the opportunity to work with community members, learn to nurture plants they have vested interest in, foster patience, and raise an awareness of nature. This project will be an opportunity for families to be engaged in their child's life in school.

"Many of our students have never had the chance to work in a garden or eat produce fresh from the earth. A school garden will give our population a chance to do this and hopefully instill an interest in healthy choices," said Mrs. Putney and Miss Agett. "The research also speaks for itself. Integrating a school garden into the school's curriculum has astounding effects on academic achievement, enthusiasm for school, critical thinking skills, and test scores. Plus, teaching our children the benefits of fresh fruits and vegetables will also have long term effects on their health and well-being."

Persell teachers, parents, Master Gardeners, community members, and Lowe's volunteers came together to build the garden. The garden includes: five raised beds, five herb and flower planters, and a shed. Next year, students will begin collecting rainwater in rain barrels to water the garden and learn how to compost scraps from the cafeteria, and they hope add raspberry/blueberry bushes. The Persell garden will be open two days per week this summer for students, staff, families and the local community to work.

"I joined the Garden Club because one day I was outside at the garden helping my teacher and realized I liked working in the garden," said Persell fifth Grader, Orlando McBride. "I wanted to join a club, so I joined Garden Club. I also hope to help my grandma who likes to garden."

"We are so grateful to all our donors but we have really created a special relationship with Lowe's of Warren and Kelsey Bromm who has been their project lead. We are so grateful to their help in getting the garden started at Persell," said Mrs. Putney and Miss Agett.

The garden will also include a teaching space with benches and tables. Mrs. Putney and Miss Agett plan to provide professional development workshops to help Persell teachers learn to incorporate the school garden into various curriculums.

Cassadaga Valley Community Conversation Focuses On Health, Wellness

SINCLAIRVILLE - When people share ideas and gather together in one interest, good things can happen.

More than 100 people gathered at Cassadaga Valley Central High School to discuss how to make their community a healthier place Thursday evening for the first Community Conversation in the area. The event was put on by the school district and Creating Healthy Schools and Communities in Chautauqua County, a five-year public health initiative to help reduce major risk factors in a variety school districts and communities in the area.

Area residents, business owners, leaders and organization members shared a healthy meal prior to the discussion, and then viewed a short presentation from Kate Ebersole, conversation facilitator for the evening.

Ebersole welcomed the attendees to the event with gusto.

"Welcome - this is a great turn out. Tonight is all about how we can make this community a better place to live, work and play," she said. "We want to hear your opinion and what you think of all of this."

She invited the crowd to take advantage of the numerous activities throughout the building, such as multiple bounce-houses, sports, arts and crafts and more.

"There are a lot of activities and I will let anybody choose where they'd like to go. However, we are encouraging the adults to stay here and not go bounce in the bounce houses," Ebersole said with a grin as she dismissed the students.

Afterward, everyone left gathered into groups of five or six to begin the discussion.

"Thank you for being here. This is a community conversation, and it is a part of looking at how we can create healthy schools and healthy communities in Chautauqua County," Ebersole said, adding she wanted to share some statistics with the crowd. "We're going to talk about the social determinates of health."

She showed a slide of health factors which impact one's life and overall health, which included health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic factors and physical environment.

"Only 20 percent of the quality of your life is based on the care you get at your doctor's office," Ebersole said. "Thirty percent is based on your health behaviors, 40 percent is based on your social and economic factors and 10 percent is based on your physical environment. However, in this county, we focus on that 20 percent you're healthy if you go to the doctor."

She said there was a lot more to it when it comes to being healthy.

Ebersole then shared some alarming statistics with the crowd.

She said 33 percent of students in new York state are overweight or obese, while in Chautauqua County, 36 percent are overweight or obese. In Cassadaga Valley alone, 40 percent of students are overweight or obese.

"Not a good statistic," Ebersole said. "It just points to the fact of where our health rankings are."

Our of 62 counties in New York state, she said Chautauqua County has been ranked at No. 59 as one of the unhealthiest counties in the state.

"Healthy eating and participating in physical activities will keep us healthier longer," Ebersole said, adding the community conversations will help incite change to the better. "How can we make your communities healthier?"

She said Chautauqua County also has some of the highest rates of cardiovascular disease and diabetes in the state.

"If we're going to do this, we want to hear your opinion," Ebersole said.
The participants broke into groups to discuss the issues at hand.

Overall, Ebersole said the Creating Healthy Schools and Communities grant is a great public health initiative, and will focus on six school districts and the surrounding areas. The districts include: Cassadaga Valley Central School District, Dunkirk City School District, Jamestown Public Schools District, Pine Valley Central School District, Ripley Central School District and Silver Creek Central School District.

She said other meetings will be held in the future in these districts to facilitate conversations within those communities, such as the upcoming meeting on May 17 with Pine Valley Central School District.

Ann Morse Abdella, Chautauqua County Health Network executive director, said she couldn't have been happier with the event.

"We're just tickled with the turn out," Abdella said. "The school district has really been a tremendous partner during this."

She said the initiative is looking forward to pulling the events together to come up with excellent outcomes.

For more information, visit www.cchn.net or find them on facebook under "Creating Healthy Schools and Communities".

Medical Education Community Outreach Program

The MECO program is a six-week paid experience reserved for first- and second-year medical students from Chautauqua County. The program offers a unique opportunity to rotate through and explore multiple disciplines in the medical field. Medical students can make requests of specific disciplines that they would like to explore before choosing the area they may choose to specialize. Download an application today by clicking the link below.

Invest In Fresh: A Plan for Promoting Healthy Food Retail in Jamestown

The Chautauqua County Health Network, in collaboration with the University at Buffalo Department of Urban and Regional Planning, present "Invest In Fresh, A Plan for Promoting Healthy Food Retail in Jamestown, New York."  

Residents of the city of Jamestown today face economic and health-related challenges, including having limited access to healthful and affordable foods within the city limits. Based on a broad vision for improved health, food access, and economic development, Invest In Fresh has three goals for Jamestown:  

  1. To assess the food retail environment;
  2. To analyze the potential of the city to support additional healthy food retail;
  3. To outline feasible strategies that can create or improve healthy food access and economic development in Jamestown. 

To read the Plan for Promoting Healthy Food Retail in Jamestown in its entirety, click here.