August 2016

A monthly newsletter to keep you informed.

    Rural Broome Counts 
Housing Supplement

This year the Rural Broome Counts team is pleased to announce the release of the
Rural Broome Counts Housing Supplement, which examines the barriers and opportunities that surround rural housing. The report comes as the culmination of the second year of the Rural Broome Counts Project, following the initial needs and assets assessment in 2015. The Rural Broome Counts Housing Supplement strives to provide a comprehensive source of data to support the local community in advocating for a better rural Broome County. In addition to the Housing Supplement, the team has also prepared a report on Rural Household Budgets, a Housing Resource Guide for Rural Municipalities, and an Executive Summary on Housing.

Help direct the future of Rural Broome Counts by completing this brief survey.
Mobility Management SCNY Introduces New Staff
Emily Blakeslee

Mobility Management of South Central New York (MMSCNY) is pleased to welcome Emily
 Blakeslee in the new position of Seniors and Disabilities Specialist. Emily grew up in Halsey Valley, a small farming community located within Spencer, New York. Emily earned her Bachelors in Science degree from Binghamton University in Human Development. While attending school, Emily worked with people having developmental disabilities and following graduation accepted a full-time position as a pre-vocational counselor for those with special needs. Emily has over three years experience working directly and indirectly with individuals with developmental disabilities, as well as seniors. Emily recognizes the transportation need within rural communities and she believes that with her previous experience supporting those with special needs and her rural upbringing, she can best serve as the current Mobility Management Seniors and Disabilities Specialist at Rural Health Network. Emily enjoys living life colorfully and is excited to bring her energy to the team at MMSCNY.  She is based at our GetThere Call Center and works with our MMSCNY team to help improve access to employment, health care, and other essential services.  

For more information about MMSCNY services,

visit our website.  

Save the Date!
Getting There - A Conference on Bridging the Transportation and Health Care Gap is scheduled for Wednesday, October 26th, 2016 from 7:45 AM to 4:30 PM at the Binghamton Doubletree. 

Access to transportation is a cornerstone of health, aging in place and community life.  The conference will include keynote speakers, panel presentations, opportunities to share challenges and best practices and to provide input on a Transportation Resource Guide which will be developed and made available to conference attendees and healthcare providers in 2017.

This conference is designed for health practitioners, transportation providers and community leaders.  In addition, the conference will have relevance for philanthropic organizations, elected officials, governmental service providers and health insurance companies. The targeted counties include Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Cortland, Delaware, Herkimer, Schuyler, Madison, Otsego, Schoharie, Steuben, Tioga and Tompkins.

Watch for more details and registration information by mid-September.  
Director's Message - Can You Have Healthy Rural Individuals Without Viable Rural Communities?

"When you visit or drive through many of New York's rural villages and small cities, the loss of Main Street retail and service businesses is painfully obvious. In some communities, the sight of abandoned brick buildings signals the loss of local schools through consolidation. The absence of doctor's offices and grocery stores also indicates the extent to which a rural population center lacks critical services to support the health and well-being of residents, especially those who do not drive." (Page 120, Rural Broome Counts July 2015 Report).

The de-population and economic decline of rural places has been taking place since the industrial revolution and is a global phenomenon. With this in mind, the Viability Indicator section of the Rural Broome Counts Report was included to establish baseline information on the economic, social, and civic infrastructure of four rural Broome County village centers and their corresponding school districts and townships. Rural Health Network of South Central New York will periodically revisit these communities and report on how the indicators are trending. We will be able to show both losses and gains and be in a better position to consider how what is happening at the community level impacts health and well-being.

The Viability Indicator project is a tangible way Rural Health Network of South Central New York can support the small rural communities of Broome County and the region. Organizing, presenting, and tracking viability indicators at the community level will contribute to better decision making, targeted advocacy, and, ideally, celebration as our rural communities strengthen and prosper.  

Click to read the full article.  

Jack Salo
Executive Director, RHNSCNY 

Alumni Spotlight
Typically, our AmeriCorps members leave their host sites after a year or two of service, but in the case of Rural Health Service Corps alumna, Natalie Hughes, VINES been lucky enough to continue their association with her: not as a member, but as a site supervisor. As an AmeriCorps member, Natalie served as the Community Food Systems Associate. She worked to promote gardening and healthy eating and to educate low-income residents and youth. In her time there, she was able to not only learn more about the community, but also to make the connections she needed to advance in the food and agriculture world.

"I went into AmeriCorps service asking the same question that many recent graduates ask themselves: 'what should I do with my life?' and left my service with a strong set of skills and experience in a new field." Natalie said. "Looking back, I'm glad that I took advantage of opportunities that piqued my interest, even if, at the time, I didn't know where they would take me."

Four years later, Natalie still works for VINES as the Community Garden and Youth Program Manager. She manages a network of nine Binghamton community gardens and coordinates VINES's youth programming - both summer teen employment at their urban farms and garden education programs for children. She is also a part-time hiking instructor at Binghamton University.

For more information about Rural Health Service Corps and the positions currently available, please visit:

Introducing New AmeriCorps VISTA Members
Photo courtesy of Corporation for National and Community Service
Caroline Russo and Amber Brown each began a year of AmeriCorps VISTA service at the end of July. Caroline is serving as a Rural Poverty Educator with the Rural Health Network of SCNY. Amber is serving as a Family Engagement Coordinator with the Promise Zone.  

Amber (left) and Caroline (right) are shown here with Congressman Richard Hanna, who visited the AmeriCorps VISTA pre-service orientation to thank Amber, Caroline, and 96 other AmeriCorps VISTA members about to begin their year of service.  
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