July 2016

A monthly newsletter to keep you informed.

2015 Impact Report Published

We're pleased to share our 2015 Impact Report, which highlights some of our notable accomplishments during 2015. Please take a moment to read about the ways Rural Health Network of South Central New York is advancing the health and well-being of rural people and communities.  
Mobility Management SCNY Growing in 2016

Mobility Management of South Central New York (MMSCNY) has expanded services in 2016.  In comparing January through June of 2016 with the same time period in 2015, call volume at the GetThere Call Center has increased by 20%, the number of information sessions presented by MMSCNY staff has increased by 64%, and the number of individuals receiving travel training increased by nearly ten times as many as the prior year.  

We are continuing to expand services in the coming months. The addition of a Seniors and Disabilities Specialist to our call center staff will increase our capacity to provide information and referral, case management, and educational services.  A monthly newsletter will be introduced later this month and we are working with a variety of partners representing health care, human services, local funders, and transportation to plan a Transportation and Health Forum for late October. More information about these and other MMSCNY activities will be shared in the coming months. Learn more about our mobility management services here.
Regional Summer Meals Assessment Now Available

The Food & Health Network is proud to announce the release of Closing the Gap on Childhood Food Insecurity, a new assessment that celebrates success and identifies opportunities for expansion of the Summer Food Service Program in the eight-county FaHN region. 
Closing the Gap includes poverty and food insecurity data, as well as feedback from summer meal sponsors and site supervisors, which are critical to building regional connections, creating successful programming, and obtaining funding. 
Director's Message

As I reflect on my over 30 years of health and human service work in the region, I often find myself saying that not much has changed about transportation need.  When I began working in the field of health and human services in the mid-1980s, transportation was cited as the highest need or a high priority need in meetings and forums on issues associated with poverty, health care access, and employment. Most recently, the results of a year-long, five county population health improvement project to gather information on health needs and health disparities identified transportation as one of the single most significant needs/disparity in the region. (Southern Tier Population Health Improvement Program, 2016) Not much has changed and while we have some basic data such as the number of carless households by zip code through the census, we collect little if any information on rural transportation need and associated impacts on health, employment and the ability of seniors to maintain independence.

Much of our region has a sparse population spread across large geographic areas; significant numbers of low income individuals/families; increasing numbers of older people struggling to "age in place" while aging out of driving, and historic trends centralizing retail, services and employment in larger population centers. Over my lifetime, I have watched as many rural village centers throughout the region have lost retailers, including grocery stores and pharmacies, health care services and/or employers. While we may retain or restore some essential services in rural communities that help mitigate the need for affordable transportation, it is clear that for most rural people, most of the time, they will be travelling long distances to access essential goods, services and employment.

Clearly there is an important role for mobility and affordable transportation services to ensure that transportation disadvantaged residents in our region can live healthy, safe, and productive lives. Mobility Management of South Central New York (MMSCNY), a program of the Rural Health Network of South Central New York (RHNSCNY) was established in 2011 to maximize the transportation resources that exist and to work collaboratively, across sectors to improve mobility and affordable transportation services.

Beginning this summer MMSCNY will publish their own e-newsletter to keep the community informed on this important issue and work. If you are interested in receiving the MMSCNY newsletter please sign up

Jack Salo
Executive Director, RHNSCNY 

Alumni Spotlight
Jennifer Strange (center, in dark pink jacket) shown with fellow AmeriCorps and VISTA members at the 2015 I Love My Park Days

As a 2014-2015 AmeriCorps member, Jennifer Strange served as the Volunteer Engagement Specialist at the United Way of Broome County. She was responsible for connecting community members with volunteer opportunities at a variety of nonprofit organizations in the area. She also had the opportunity to plan and coordinate volunteer service events for her fellow AmeriCorps/VISTA members and the public. On her service with AmeriCorps, Jennifer said, "My favorite part of my service term was getting to connect with and learn from a variety of different people, both from local agencies and organizations and those interested in general volunteer opportunities."

After her term with Rural Health Service Corps, Jennifer was hired by the United Way of Broome County as the CA$H Coalition/Income Initiatives Manager. Her primary focus is on helping to expand the anti-poverty initiative that the organization has recently undertaken. "My service term helped me to realize the incredible value that the United Way of Broome County adds to this community," Jennifer said. "The staff members here are very dedicated to the work they do and are truly motivated to make a real impact in the community."

For more information about Rural Health Service Corps and the positions currently available, please visit: ruralhealthnetwork.org/americorps

Staff Approaching Master Trainer Certification
RHNSCNY Community Health Services division has two staff approaching Master Trainer certification for delivering Chronic Disease Self Management Programs. Donna Wickham, current Peer Leader, and Mary Maruscak participated in a four and a half day training, led by Stanford University and NYS Quality Training & Assistance Center from SUNY Albany, at Delaware Valley Hospital in Walton in early June. Upon completion of one to two 6-week workshop series for adults with chronic health conditions, Donna and Mary will attain full certification as Master Trainers and will educate more Peer Leaders to add to our growing regional cadre of trainers! These classes support consumers in utilizing a variety of tools to be their own health advocate, communicate effectively with providers, make healthy lifestyle choices, and achieve self management goals, which translates into reduced hospitalizations and emergency room visits. 

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