April 2016
A monthly newsletter to keep you informed.

        Growing our Community Health Services
The Rural Health Network of SCNY is excited to announce the opening of a Delaware County office for the Community Health Services division at UHS Delaware Valley Hospital in Walton, N.Y.  This will be the second office location for Community Health Services which will continue to operate at the home office in Whitney Point, N.Y.  The UHS Delaware Valley Hospital office opened in late March 2016.  

Community residents, health care providers, and caregivers can contact us toll free at 1-888-603-5973 during the work week, Mon - Fri 8 AM - 4:30 PM. Initially, the Delaware County office will be staffed Tuesday through Thursday mornings. Our goal is to increase services to Delaware County and to offer on-site health care access assistance for Delaware residents who may have questions about health insurance, prescription costs, covered benefits, transportation, food resources, healthy lifestyles and chronic disease education and assistance programs. 

Thank you to Dotti Kruppo, Community Relations Director at UHS Delaware Valley Hospital, for facilitating this new partnership.  UHS Delaware Valley Hospital is generously providing office space, connectivity and other essential office support services.  Together, UHS Delaware Valley Hospital and the Rural Health Network will help improve access for Delaware County residents to a wide array of health services. 
You're Invited to a Rural Poverty Simulation
  Good News
We're excited to share that we've received a $3,000 Community Health Award from Excellus BlueCross BlueShield for Rural Health Connections, a partnership between Rural Health Service Corps and Mothers and Babies Perinatal Network. Five AmeriCorps members are currently working on this project which provides outreach and health literacy education to uninsured and underinsured individuals in Broome, Chemung, Delaware, Otsego, and Tioga counties.  The project reached 1,774 people in its first year and is expected to impact at least 1,400 rural residents in 2016. Funding for Rural Health Connections is also provided by AmeriCorps, Mission & Ministry, Inc., and The George A. and Margaret Mee Charitable Foundation.
Providing a Connection to Care

Dick and Ila Finch

Richard (Dick) Finch and his wife, Ila Mae, reside in Oxford. Dick is a lifelong resident; he was born and raised there. Ila moved there in 1940, with her mother, and met Dick in 1950. The rest is history -- they have been married for over 65 years. Dick worked for 38 years at Norwich Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Proctor & Gamble in 1982) before retiring in 1988. He doesn't look his 87 years of age.

A routine medical screening in late October revealed something of concern, and before he knew it, Dick was facing surgery and the need for ongoing medical treatment. Dick said, "I joked that it felt like I was going to a medical appointment every day. Be careful what you joke about--now I really am." That's because Dick was facing multiple trips to and from Wilson Medical Center in Johnson City for treatment. Dick and Ila were anticipating five trips a week (weekdays) which translate to 350+ miles per week for 5-7 weeks, equalling at least 1700 extra miles for The Finches. "That's going to require a lot of driving, and a lot of gas!" said Dick. "Luckily gas is cheaper than it has been in the past several months-- even years-- but we live on a fixed income; the cost is significant to our budget."

Click here to read about how Connection to Care assisted Dick and Ila Finch.
Summer Meals Program Assessment Highlights
During Summer 2015, 3,322 children received free summer meals in Broome County. Participation in the Summer Food Service Program, which provides free summer meals to K through 12 students, increased by 51 percent from 2013 to 2015. This data comes from a newly released assessment from the Food & Health Network (FaHN). Working with the Broome County Child Hunger Task Force and other community partners, FaHN conducted the assessment to measure the effectiveness of the collaborative effort to increase Summer Food Service Program participation.  Assessment results will help to determine strategies for increasing participation in Summer 2016. One assessment finding is that offering programming in conjunction with summer food increases participation.  Therefore, in 2016, there will be more activities offered through parks programs. For any organizations running a youth program during the summer who do not serve food but would like to, please contact Mark Bordeau, Senior Food Service Director for Broome-Tioga BOCES, at mbordeau@btboces.org.

FaHN is working with the Broome County Child Hunger Task Force to plan Child Hunger Awareness Week, held June 6-10, to raise awareness about the issue and promote programs that address child hunger.

Visit the FaHN website to read the full summer meals report.
Population Health Update
On April 5th, the Southern Tier Health Action Priorities Network/ Population Health Improvement Program (HAPN/PHIP) presented the results of their five-county population health assessment to over 100 health and human services providers from across the region. The event was held at the DoubleTree Hotel in Binghamton, N.Y.
The assessment, which included results from 238 interviews and focus groups involving 130 community members, was conducted to develop a better understanding on how to improve health across the region.  Those who participated in interviews and focus groups also identified priority population health issues and challenges.  The assessment was conducted between June 2015 and February 2016 and included information collected for Broome, Chenango, Delaware, Tioga and Tompkins counties. 
Rural Health Network's Population Health Coordinators, Emily Hotchkiss and Mary Maruscak conducted interviews and focus groups in Broome, Delaware and Tioga Counties and were presenters at the HAPN/PHIP assessment presentation on April 5th.

Click here to read more about HAPN/PHIP's event and upcoming work.

Celebrating Rural Health Service Corps Members

On April 13th, 26 Rural Health Service Corps AmeriCorps members were honored at a volunteer recognition ceremony hosted by the United Way of Broome County. In addition to celebrating the achievements of RHSC AmeriCorps members, the event recognized volunteer contributions across South Central New York, and included organizations such as Girl Scouts, Action for Older Persons, Binghamton University, Mental Health Association of the Southern Tier, Habitat for Humanity, and more. Before the ceremony, AmeriCorps and community members were able to attend United Way's Volunteer Conference, which covered topics such as creating a personal brand, the legalities of volunteering, and recruiting and engaging volunteers.

For more information about Rural Health Service Corps positions, view our part-time spring/summer openings or full-time positions that begin in the fall.  
Connect with Rural Health Network of SCNY

Advancing the health and well-being of rural people and communities.

Rural Health Network of South Central New York | 2663 Main St | Whitney Point | NY | 13862