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September 19, 2016 - 3:26pm

Community Action of Orleans & Genesee will host a Flu Shot Clinic, courtesy of Rite Aid, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday Sept. 29. The facility is located at 5073 Clinton Street Road in Batavia

The shots are free with most insurance plans. Cost without any insurance is $32.99.

The Cancer Services Program will be there as well, giving out free “Fit Kits” -- colorectal screening kits -- and information on mammograms and all services of CSP. 

United Health Care will be here with information about health insurance programs. 

Call 343-7798 for more information.

July 26, 2016 - 3:27pm
posted by Billie Owens in health, genesee county, UMMC, news.

Press release:

Employees of community service agencies and professionals are wanted to provide their expertise to help our communities become healthier. 

The Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming County health departments, along with United Memorial Medical Center and Orleans Community Health are updating the Community Health Improvement Plan and Community Services Plans.

They invite you to participate in a conversation to help shape future efforts to imporve current health concerns. Bring your suggestions for how challenges can be met!

There will be a forum to discuss challenges and options from 9 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, Aug. 9, at the Genesee County Building #2 -- Foyer Conference Room, on West Main Street Road in the Town of Batavia.

Light refreshments will be provided.

To attend, please RSVP by Aug. 2 to:

[email protected]

July 13, 2016 - 11:52am
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news, health, business.

Press release:

The city of Batavia is proud to announce national recognition as one of the Healthiest Companies in America by Interactive Health, a national leader known for its personalized wellness solutions. The City is one of 154 "companies" across the country being recognized for helping employees make significant and sometimes life-saving changes to improve their health. This is the first year Batavia has won the award.

With the help of strategic and flexible wellness initiatives, the Healthiest Companies in America recipients have accomplished tremendous success, achieving participation rates in excess of 70 percent and a low-risk health score for their total population, based on rigorous and clinically sound health evaluations.

The City of Batavia reached full participation with all its collective bargaining units in 2014 and currently realizes a 97 percent participation rate among all eligible employees and spouses.

“Our Wellness Initiative has been part of the City’s strategic plan since 2013,” said City Manager Jason Molino. “We’ve seen outstanding results in a very short amount of time, and this translates to healthier City employees and dependent spouses and fewer dollars spent on healthcare costs.”

Participating City employees and their spouses are measured against an Interactive Health Index (IHI) designed to help members understand where they stand for future risk of coronary heart disease and diabetes. The index is composed of five modifiable risk factors: smoking, glucose, blood pressure, triglycerides and LDL cholesterol – all potential causes of serious health problems.

“Our wellness program is all about cost avoidance,” said Dawn Fairbanks, Human Resources specialist. "The unhealthiest of medical plan members cost an annual average of $21,766 per person, while the healthiest plan members cost only $310 per person.

"Our goal is to help each member identify their base line and introduce them to resources to help them improve on those numbers – essentially moving them from unhealthy towards healthy.”

The numbers speak for themselves. Last year, 86 City employees and spouses were asked to improve scores related to the IHI, and one year later, 51 of those have improved scores, while 25 have remained the same and only 10 have regressed.

Interactive Health’s workplace wellness programs transform companies and their employees by helping people understand how they can improve their health. Beginning with a thorough health evaluation to identify risk, individuals learn more about their health status through: rapid outreach by health coaches, connection to personal physicians and other resources, and a personalized course of action.

In addition, members who engage with the Interactive Health member website during their program have a 12-percent higher rate of achievement of personal health goals than those who do not take advantage of the online tools.

June 14, 2016 - 1:44pm

Press release:

Independent Living of the Genesee Region will be holding a series of FREE Chronic Disease Self-Management workshops for the community beginning June 20th.

Those who attend will be shown practical steps to gain control of their daily health concerns. Participants will learn about healthy eating, problem-solving, action plans, medications, weight management, physical activity, sleep, and relationship communication skills.

The workshop information is relevant for those experiencing chronic conditions such as: Arthritis, Asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD), Cystic Fibrosis, Diabetes, and Eating Disorders. The workshops are taking place from 1:30 to 4 p.m. at the Independent Living of the Genesee Region, 113 Main St., Suite 5, Batavia, over six Mondays, but skipping the Independence Day holiday. 

The actual dates are June 20th and 27th; July 11th, 18th and 25th; and Aug. 1st.

Registration priority is given to Medicaid recipients, but Medicaid eligibility is NOT required for attendance. Pre-registration IS required. You can receive more information, and sign up for the workshops by contacting Patricia McAllister at [email protected] or (585) 815-8501, ext. 402. Again, please be sure to RSVP if you are interested!

April 12, 2016 - 4:46pm
posted by Billie Owens in health, genesee county, news, STDs.

Press release from Kristine Voos, Public Health educator for Genesee County Health Department:

April is STD Awareness Month. Do you know your STD status? If not, you need to GYT!

The annual GYT: Get Yourself Tested campaign is under way during Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Awareness Month, with online and on-the-ground activities across the country. GYT is a national campaign designed to promote sexual health and address the disproportionately high rates of STDs among young people.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that approximately 19 million new STD infections occur each year in the United States with almost half of them occurring in young people 15-24 years of age. In fact, one in two sexually active young people in the United States will contract an STD by the time they’re 25 — and most won’t know it. This is why it is important to GYT at least annually and more often if you or your partner participate in risky behaviors.

This month the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments, along with community partners want you to know where to get tested locally. If you are sexually active, GYT is one of the most important things you can do to protect your health. Make sure you have open and honest conversations about your sexual history and STD testing with your doctor and ask whether you should be tested. If you are not comfortable talking with your regular health care provider about STDs, there are other locations that provide confidential testing.

STD Testing Locations -- Call for details

To make getting tested more convenient Planned Parenthood now has an online appointment scheduling system. Visit and enter your zip code to find the health center nearest to you.

 · WorkFit Medical, 178 Washington Ave., Batavia, (585) 343-0334

· Batavia Family Care Center, 16 Bank St. (UMMC Jerome Center), Batavia, (585) 815-6760

Some of the consequences of not receiving timely testing and treatment can include infertility, loss of pregnancy, pelvic inflammatory disease, compromised immune system, and damage to organs. It is also important to reduce your risk of contracting STDs through responsible behaviors.

· Abstinence: The most reliable way to avoid infection is to not have sex.

· Get Vaccinated: Vaccines are safe, effective, and recommended ways to prevent Hepatitis B and Human Papillomavirus (HPV). HPV vaccines for males and females can protect against some of the most common types of HPV. HPV vaccine is important because it protects against cancers caused by HPV infection. About 14 million people, including teens, become infected with HPV each year. HPV vaccines are recommended for youth starting at age 11 and adults through age 26. You should also get vaccinated for Hepatitis B if you were not vaccinated when you were younger.

· Reduce Number of Sexual Partners: Reducing your number of sex partners can decrease your risk for STDs. It is still important that you and your partner get tested, and that you share your test results with one another.

· Mutual Monogamy: This means that you agree to be sexually active with only one person, who has agreed to be sexually active only with you. Being in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner is one of the most reliable ways to avoid STDs. But you must both be certain you are not infected with STDs. It is important to have an open and honest conversation with your partner.

· Use Condoms: Correct and consistent use of a condom is highly effective in reducing STD transmission. Use a condom every time you have anal, vaginal, or oral sex. If you have latex allergies, synthetic non-latex condoms can be used. But it is important to note that these condoms have higher breakage rates than latex condoms. Natural membrane condoms are not recommended for STD prevention.Contact your local Health Department (Genesee: 344-2580, ext. 5555 / Orleans 589-3278) to receive free condoms.

· Sterile Needles and Syringes: Persons who inject drugs can substantially reduce their risk of getting and transmitting HIV, viral hepatitis and other blood-borne infections by using a sterile needle and syringe for every injection.

For information on STDs contact your primary care provider, local health department or other STD testing location. You can also access accurate information online via NYS Department of Health, CDC and Planned Parenthood.

March 1, 2016 - 1:32pm
posted by Billie Owens in health, colorectal cancer, news.

Press release:

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month and the Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming County Health departments are urging everyone to talk to their doctor about screening and testing options for colorectal cancer (also called colon cancer).

Friday, March 4th is Dress in Blue DayTM to raise awareness and show support to loved ones or in memory of those who have died from colorectal cancer.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with recommended screening, the number of people who die from colorectal cancer could be reduced by at least 60 percent.1

“When colorectal cancer is found and treated early, it can often be cured,” said Dr. Gregory Collins, commissioner of the Wyoming County Health Department.

In some cases, screening can actually prevent the development of colorectal cancer by finding polyps (abnormal growths) so they can be removed before they become cancerous. Yet colorectal cancer remains the second leading cause of cancer death in New York State. Each year, more than 10,000 New Yorkers develop colorectal cancer and more than 3,500 die as a result.

“Colorectal cancer may not cause symptoms, especially at first, which is why regular screening is needed to catch the disease in its earliest stages,” said Paul Pettit, Public Health director for Genesee and Orleans County Health departments.

“We want people to know there is more than one screening test for colorectal cancer and screening is easier than ever. The important thing to remember is to talk to your doctor, decide which screening test is right for you, and get screened. For anyone without a doctor or without insurance, the Cancer Services Program (CSP) of Genesee and Orleans and the Cancer Services Program of Livingston and Wyoming can help.”

All men and women age 50 and older should get screened for colorectal cancer. Although this disease can occur at any age, most people who develop colorectal cancer are over age 50. Anyone with a personal or family history of colorectal polyps (abnormal growths in the colon or rectum), colorectal cancer, or a personal history of inflammatory bowel disease, is at higher risk for developing colorectal cancer. These folks should talk to their doctors about when to begin screening and how often they should be tested.

The CSP of Genesee /Orleans County ( 585-344-5497 or 585-798-9542) and Livingston / Wyoming (800-588-8670 or 585-786-8890) are part of the New York State Department of Health’s Cancer Services Program, which offers colorectal, breast and cervical cancer screening to eligible uninsured individuals in every county in the state.

To find a local Cancer Services Program near you, visit or call 1-866-442-CANCER (2262). For individuals insured through Medicaid, Medicare, and commercial health plans, including those participating in the New York State of Health, colorectal cancer screening is covered with no cost to the patient.

To learn more about screening options, visit

For information about cancer screening or health department services contact,


February 22, 2016 - 3:13pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news, multiple sclerosis, health.

Press release:

A workshop geared specifically for those suffering with multiple sclerosis will focus on physical therapy, exercise, and yoga as tools to manage symptoms, gain strength and balance, and improve quality of life. MS, Yoga & You will be held from 1 - 4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 27, at Summit Physical Therapy in Batavia.

Gretchen Hawley, DPT has additional certification in treating patients with multiple sclerosis. She lives and works in Boston and is one of only two MS cerfitied physical therapists in Boston. Patricia Hawley is a registered yoga teacher at Blue Pearl Yoga in Batavia. Together they will present information on how exercise and physical therapy can benefit MS as well as give instruction in simple yoga poses that may alleviate symptoms such as fatigue, muscle weakness, spasticity, and incontinence.

“My MS patients who follow an exercise regimen and are consistent with their physical therapy program have a marked improvement over those who rely on medication alone,” says Gretchen Hawley. “And neurologists agree that those dealing with MS can improve their quality of life with the addition of exercise.”

“Many people think that you have to be very flexible to begin a yoga practice,” according to Patricia Hawley “but often the people who benefit the most from yoga are those who have limited mobility. It’s all about going slow and choosing the right class for your needs.”

Participants are encouraged to bring their own yoga mat but it is not necessary; mats will be available at the workshop.

The event will be held at Summit Physical Therapy, 99 Med Tech Drive, #104, Batavia. Cost for the workshop is $35 and seating is limited to 25 people. Anyone interested may register at or by calling 585.813.8623

November 4, 2015 - 1:19pm

On Wednesday, Nov. 18, Wilmot Cancer Institute Batavia will host a free community health talk titled “Advances in Lung Cancer.”

This free presentation is open to the public and will be held from 6-7 p.m. at the Terry Hills Restaurant, 5122 Clinton Street Road, Batavia. Refreshments will be served.

It will feature Wilmot Cancer Institute Batavia’s radiation oncologist Kevin J. Mudd, M.D., and medical oncologist Nayana R. Kamath, M.D., of Interlakes Oncology and Hematology. Mudd and Kamath will discuss how you can reduce your risk for lung cancer, options for screening, and advances in treatment. Their presentation will conclude with a question-and-answer session.

About 140 people in Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties are diagnosed with lung cancer each year. Although incidence of lung cancer has been declining since the early 1990s, the disease remains the second most-common cancer in the United States.

To learn more about this presentation, please call (585) 276-5788.

October 30, 2015 - 11:08am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Wilmot Cancer Institute Batavia, batavia, health, business.


Photos provided by our news partner, WBTA.

Press release from UR Medicine:

Patients in Genesee and surrounding counties can now access a full range of cancer treatment services in one location at Wilmot Cancer Institute Batavia.

The office at 262 Bank St. is the former Batavia Radiation Oncology, which joined UR Medicine’s Wilmot Cancer Institute in 2014. With renovated and expanded space, the office features larger clinical examination rooms, and it has added medical oncology, hematology, and an infusion center.

Kevin J. Mudd, M.D., who has been Batavia’s radiation oncologist for more than 14 years, continues to see patients at Wilmot Cancer Institute Batavia. He is joined by Nayana Kamath, M.D., of Interlakes Oncology and Hematology, who provides the medical oncology and hematology services at the office.

“It’s exciting to continue providing high-quality, comprehensive cancer care here in this community and to see our services growing with our integration with URMC and Wilmot Cancer Institute,” Mudd said.

Services for patients who need medical oncology, hematology and chemotherapy/infusion began in July. The office’s new infusion center was designed with patient comfort in mind.

“Our new infusion center is bright and open,” Kamath said. “While that might not sound significant, it can make a real difference for patients who need to be here for three or four hours at a time. ”

As part of Wilmot Cancer Institute, the Batavia office provides access to clinical trials, which are available for a variety of cancers at different stages and help lead to the next generation of therapies, and to advanced diagnostic testing for certain cancers, which helps physicians to tailor treatments more precisely to a patient’s needs.

“Cancer care is more complex than it has ever been before, and it requires a coordinated team with expertise in many disciplines to identify the best course of treatment for each individual patient,” said Jonathan W. Friedberg, M.D., M.M.Sc., director of Wilmot Cancer Institute. “Our office here in Batavia brings Wilmot Cancer Institute’s precision medicine approach closer to home for patients and families who might otherwise have to travel an hour or more for care.” 


October 21, 2015 - 4:00pm
posted by Session Placeholder in health, UMMC.
Event Date and Time: 
October 27, 2015 -
4:00pm to 8:00pm

United Memorial Medical Center and the Cancer Services Partnership will provide free health screenings to Genesee County women between the ages of 40-64 with no insurance or high deductibles, on Tuesday, Oct. 27, from 4-8 p.m. at the Jerome Center, 16 Bank St., Batavia. Appointments are necessary for some of the screenings.

October 21, 2015 - 3:39pm
posted by Billie Owens in health, UMMC, Cancer Services Partnership.

Press release:

United Memorial Medical Center and the Cancer Services Partnership will provide free health screenings to Genesee County women between the ages of 40-64 with no insurance or high deductibles, on Tuesday, Oct. 27, from 4-8 p.m. at the Jerome Center, 16 Bank St., Batavia. Appointments are necessary for some of the screenings.

For women age 40-64, nurse midwife, Cecilia Stearns, MSN CNM will perform women’s health screenings, including pap smears, pelvic exams and clinical breast exams. Additional services available at the event include mammography, total cholesterol, blood pressure and take home colorectal cancer screening kits.

All screenings will be provided at no charge. Funds are available for follow-up care if necessary. Please call United Memorial’s Healthy Living Department to schedule an appointment at (585) 344-5331. Light refreshments, health information and free giveaways will also be available.

October 1, 2015 - 1:41pm
posted by Billie Owens in Announcements, business, health, podiatry.

Batavia Foot Care Center, offering podiatric medicine and surgery, is celebrating its relocation to 3922 W. Main Street Road with a free, public open house featuring hors d'oeuvres and refreshments.

It will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 14. The new location is across the road from Toyota of Batavia.

The staff is excited about the expansion into a warm, spacious modern podiatry office with services including a diabetic show program, digital X-ryas and up-to-date treatments and products.

Also, the center announces the retirement of Dr. Gina Teresi. She founded Batavia Foot Care Center 30 years ago with the motto "Always Put the Patient First!"

They are pleased to introduce Dr. Zerah Ali as a new provider on their team beginning Oct. 12. He is a graduate of Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine. He did his residency at the Staten Island University Hospital and most recently practiced podiatry in Syracuse. He is accepting new patients.

Questions? Contact 344-1677.

Visit at

August 14, 2015 - 2:42pm

Independent Living of the Genesee Region will host a free six-session workshop on Living Well with Type 2 Diabetes on Mondays beginning Sept. 14 at the Mental Health Association at 25 Liberty St., Batavia.

The workshops will be held from 1:30 to 4 p.m. on Sept. 14, 21, 28 and Oct. 5, 14 and 19.

To register, call Pat at 815-8501, ext. 402.

The program will cover these topics:

  • Decision making & problem solving skills;
  • Developing & maintaining a safe, long-term physical activity program;
  • Preventing complications;
  • Dealing with anger, depression & difficult emotions;
  • Communicating effectively with family, friends and health professionals;
  • Using prescribed medication appropriately;
  • Healthy eating;
  • Monitoring;
  • Skin & foot care;
  • Planning for future health care.
July 31, 2015 - 5:09pm
posted by Traci Turner in batavia, health, UMMC, Oak Orchard Health, breastfeeding.


Dozens of families attended the first local synchronized breastfeeding event at the Jerome Center this morning.

The Big Latch On was hosted by the United Memorial Medical Center and Oak Orchard Health WIC program to commemorate World Breastfeeding Week, Aug. 1-7. The week is celebrated in 120 countries. The first Big Latch On took place in Aotearoa, New Zealand, in 2005 and was held in Portland, Ore., in 2010.

Today's Big Latch On was the first local breastfeeding event in Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming counties. Thirty-one nursing moms and a few dads with their children attended the event to show their support for breastfeeding. Families were entered into a raffle for a Vera Bradley diaper bag and other giveaways. The City of Batavia Fire Department also offered free car seat safety checks.

Maria Dentino, Oak Orchard Health WIC breastfeeding coordinator, gave out recognition awards to businesses that support breastfeeding families. The workplaces that received awards were Genesee County Court, Lucky Ducky Daycare, Lifetime Assistance, Wegmans in Brockport, Target in Greece, and the Greater Rochester International Airport. All of the recipients were nominated by local women.

"The goal is to celebrate Global Breast Feeding Week and raise awareness for the health benefits of breastfeeding," said Colleen Flynn, director of community relations at UMMC.

Breastfeeding has many health benefits some of which include reducing the risk of infant morbidity and mortality, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

In addition to the event, UMMC's Baby Cafe is celebrating its one year anniversary. The educational support program for nursing moms and their children is held every Tuesday at 1 p.m. Moms can ask lactation counselors questions and socialize with other moms. So far, 80 moms and their children have attended the program.







July 31, 2015 - 5:07pm
posted by Traci Turner in Le Roy, health, 58 On Main.


A nutrition and wellness consultant from Le Roy offers advice on how to accomplish wellness goals and live healthier in her new book "90 Days to Holistic Wellness: Balancing Your Body, Mind, Heart and Soul."

Tracy Martorana, author and owner of Holisitc Wellness with Tracy, transformed her life by implementing a series of small changes into her daily routine and decided to write her first book to help people develop healthier and happier lifestyles in three months.

Martorana's book guides readers along a week-by-week program. Each week Matorana gives advice on a wellness topic and offers one small change readers can make to improve their lives. In order to be healthy, she believes people need to develop a balance in their lives so she focuses on a variety of topics including nutrition, meditation, exercising and journaling.

"I only ask my readers to make one change a week so it's not overwhelming," Martorana said. "For each small change, I offer several options so they can adjust the change to meet their daily lifestyles."

In addition to offering advice, she provides readers with tools for setting their own wellness goals and tracking their changes. The weekly sections also build upon the previous ones so the 12 small changes add up to a significant change.

"I chose 90 days because it's a long enough time for my readers to experience a decent return," Martorana said. "The goal is to have readers start to feel healthier and notice the benefits so they are inspired to continue practicing the changes after 90 days."

Martorana will be having her first book launch party from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at 58 On Main in Le Roy on Wednesday, Aug. 19. She will be signing books in exchange for a small donation to Grace's Kitchen, an organization that offers a free dinner to the community every Tuesday. There will be books for sale, giveaways and refreshments.

July 24, 2015 - 3:39pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, health, breastfeeding.

Press release:

Local health care organizations United Memorial Medical Center and Oak Orchard Health will be hosting an event for breastfeeding mothers that will attempt to break international records as well as raise awareness on the important health benefits of breastfeeding.

Pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers and their babies are invited to attend the event that will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Jerome Center in Batavia on Friday, July 31.

It's part of the international "Global Big Latch On," a synchronized breastfeeding event that will include thousands of breastfeeding women and their babies/children across the world.

In addition to the count, the Latch On event at the Jerome Center will also have refreshments, giveaways, face painting, car seat check, and drawing for a Vera Bradley diaper bag. Please arrive early to register!

The Global Big Latch On was organized by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action as part of World Breastfeeding Week to raise awareness on the important health benefits of breastfeeding. Breastfeeding contributes to the normal growth and development of babies/children, and babies/children who are not breastfed are at increased risk of infant morbidity and mortality, adult obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and premenopausal breast cancer and ovarian cancer.

The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months of a baby's life to optimize these benefits, continuing to breastfeed for two years and as long thereafter as is mutually desired by a woman and her child. World Breastfeeding Week will take place Aug. 1-7.

July 23, 2015 - 3:49pm
posted by Billie Owens in diabetes, Independent Living, Announcements, health.

Independent Living of the Genesee Region will host a free six-session workshop on Living Well with Type 2 Diabetes on Mondays beginning Sept. 14 at the Mental Health Association at 25 Liberty St., Batavia.

The workshops will be held from 1:30 to 4 p.m. on Sept. 14, 21, 28 and Oct. 5, 14 and 19.

To register, call Pat at 815-8501, ext. 402.

The program will cover these topics:

  • Decision making & problem solving skills;
  • Developing & maintaining a safe, long-term physical activity program;
  • Preventing complications
  • Dealing with anger, depression & difficult emotions;
  • Communicating effectively with family, friends and health professionals;
  • Using prescribed medication appropriately;
  • Healthy eating;
  • Monitoring;
  • Skin & foot care;
  • Planning for future health care.
March 25, 2015 - 2:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in health, county health.

Press release:

The 6th annual County Health Rankings have been released by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The County Health Rankings rank the overall health of nearly every county in all 50 states. This allows each county to see how healthy their community is compared to other counties within their state based on 30 factors measured, including education, transportation, housing, violent crimes, jobs, diet and exercise.

The County Health Rankings are a snapshot of the impact that the measured factors have on the health of each county. The rankings for New York State are out of the 62 counties. There are five main categories and the factors that make up each category are measured and ranked.

• Health Outcomes (Today’s Health): which includes length of life, premature death, sickness, mental health and low birth weight;
• Health Factors (Tomorrow’s Health): including health behaviors: adult smoking, adult obesity, food environment index, physical inactivity, access to exercise opportunities, excessive drinking, alcohol-impaired driving deaths, sexually transmitted disease and teen births;
• Clinical Care: including uninsured, primary care physicians, dentists, mental health providers, preventable hospital stays, diabetic screening, and mammography screening;
• Social and Economic Factors: including high school graduation, some college, unemployment, children in poverty, inadequate social support, children in single-parent households, violent crime and injury deaths; and
• Physical Environment: including air pollution, drinking water violations, severe housing problems, driving alone to work, and long commute – driving alone.

The County Health Rankings are compiled from many different types of national data sources. The county with the lowest score (best health) gets a rank of #1 for that state and the county with the highest score (worst health) is assigned a rank corresponding to the number of total counties ranked in each state.

Results for Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties are as follows:

• Genesee County ranked 40th in overall Health Outcomes, 26th in overall Health Factors, 54th in Clinical Care, 11th in Social and Economic Factors, and 46th in Physical Environment.
• Orleans County ranked 47th in overall Health Outcomes, 59th in overall Health Factors, 62nd in Clinical Care, 50th in Social and Economic Factors, and 54th in Physical Environment.
• Wyoming County ranked 17th in overall Health Outcomes, 27th in overall Health Factors, 49th in Clinical Care, 19th in Social and Economic Factors, and 57th in Physical Environment.

Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming County health departments continue to implement their 2013-2017 Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) developed to address some of the issues noted in the County Health Rankings, as well as community residents’ concerns noted in the Community Health Assessment Survey conducted in 2013.

With the assistance of our local health systems and community organizations, Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties chose two priority areas from the New York State Department of Health Prevention Agenda to work toward improving. These priority areas are preventing chronic diseases and promoting mental health and preventing substance abuse.

“Staff from the departments are dedicated to implementing the Community Health Improvement Plan and these efforts will help to reflect improved standing in future County Health Rankings. This impact will take time to be seen as the data collection process and publishing takes time, on average three to five years,” said Paul Pettit, Public Health director for Genesee and Orleans counties. "The Health Departments continue to partner with community organizations, faith-based organizations businesses and community members to work toward decreasing obesity, diabetes, stroke, heart disease and nicotine-related illnesses, as well as developing and promoting a wide-ranging resource to help health care providers and community members have access to mental health services. 

"As you can see this is no small task that one organization can take on alone. We believe we can make an impact on the health of our communities if we work together. What are some things you can do to be healthier? How can you have an impact on the health of your neighborhood? Keep an eye out for some exciting opportunities as we move forward working together to become the healthiest region!"

To learn more about the NYS Prevention Agenda visit:

To get a detailed look at the 2015 County Health Rankings visit:

For information about health department services:• Genesee County Health Department call: 344-2580, ext. 5000, or visit the Web site at
• Orleans County Health Department call: 589-3278 or check out the Web site at:

You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter. Our user name for both is OrleansCoHealth. 
• Wyoming County Health Department call: 786-8890 or visit the Web site at:

February 18, 2015 - 3:43pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, health.

Press release:

The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, recognized today the City of Batavia’s Employee Wellness Program as part of the 2015 Bright Ideas program.

This year’s cohort includes 124 programs from all levels of government — school districts; county, city, state, and federal agencies; as well as public-private partnerships — that are at the forefront in innovative government action.

In 2009 Batavia made a complete shift in the way it looked at health insurance, and a wellness program was established to influence employee behavior and focus on preventative care. Employees and spouses who participate in the program and achieve or exceed identified results have the opportunity to earn credits to either reduce their health care contribution or lower their out of pocket deductible.

The employee and spouse, if both participate, can achieve a maximum of 25-percent discount on their health insurance premium, or pay as little as 5 percent for health insurance. The employee health care contribution is 30 percent of the plan's annual cost.

The following are the targeted goals for each factor based on standards established by the National Institute of Health and American Diabetes Association:

1. Health Risk Assessment – Need to complete (employee and spouse)

2. Fasting Glucose - <=99

3. LDL Cholesterol - <=99 mg/dL

4. Blood Pressure - <= 139/89

5. Nicotine Use – Non-use only

In addition, if a participant shows a 60-percent improvement in fasting glucose, LDL cholesterol or blood pressure over the prior year, he/she will receive credit for the category, as the improvement shows significant movement toward obtaining the category goal.

The City’s medical plan also has a case management program in place that works with members to help coordinate all necessary health resources to maintain a healthy quality of life. The overall goal of the City’s wellness program is to drive preventative utilization, reduce the number and severity of claims and reduce health care costs.

With respect to health care expenses, the City has seen impressive accomplishments in managing what are regularly considered “unmanageable costs." Since 2010, Batavia has enjoyed an annual increase in healthcare premiums of only about 4 percent -- compared to an average of double-digit increases nationally. Notably, the cost of the average family healthcare plan in 2014 was $15,927, this was a 5-percent decrease from 2013. Batavia’s health insurance premiums have experienced marginal annual increases in health care premiums when compared to most municipalities in New York State and across the nation, while premiums paid by employees have gone down.

Most importantly, Batavia employees, spouses and families have become more educated and participatory in their own health.

“The Bright Ideas program demonstrates that often seemingly intractable problems can be creatively and capably tackled by small groups of dedicated, civic-minded individuals,” said Stephen Goldsmith, director of the Innovations in Government Program at the Ash Center.

“As exemplified by this year’s Bright Ideas, making government work better doesn’t always require massive reforms and huge budgets. Indeed, we are seeing that, in many ways, an emphasis on efficiency and adaptability can have further-reaching effects than large-scale reforms.”

This is the fourth cohort recognized through the Bright Ideas program, an initiative of the broader Innovations in American Government Awards program. For consideration as a Bright Idea, programs must currently be in operation or in the process of launching and have sufficient operational resources. They must be administered by one or more governmental entities. Nonprofit, private sector and union initiatives are eligible if operating in partnership with a governmental organization.

Bright Ideas are showcased on the Ash Center’s Government Innovators Network, an online platform for practitioners and policymakers to share innovative public policy solutions.

About the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation:

The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation advances excellence in governance and strengthens democratic institutions worldwide. Through its research, education, international programs, and government innovations awards, the Center fosters creative and effective government problem solving and serves as a catalyst for addressing many of the most pressing needs of the world’s citizens. For more information, visit

February 18, 2015 - 3:14pm
posted by Billie Owens in genesee county, health.

Press release:

The Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming County health departments are encouraging residents to “Think Health.” Taking time to think about your health and taking positive health steps will lead to healthier outcomes. Learning something new every day is one way to “Think Health”…

New York State relies on local health departments to promote, protect, and improve the health of their residents. Currently the Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming County health departments, in partnership with local stakeholders, are distributing a survey to assess the public’s knowledge on the existence of and accessibility (ease of access / use) of mental health and substance abuse services locally.

This effort is directly related to the 2013-2017 Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) and will serve as a baseline measurement of the area’s knowledge and/or use of these services. This priority was included in the Community Health Improvement Plan after it was found that the tri-county area has higher suicide (15.7 crude, 15.6 age adjusted) rates than the NYS average (9 crude, 8.6 age adjusted) and depression / mental health issues / and stress ranked as top concerns for the public in 2013 as well.

The survey is available online and paper. Paper surveys can be found at the health departments, as well as participating libraries, human service agencies and events throughout the tri-county area.

You can access the Community Health Survey online at:

“Later in the year, a user-friendly online-based informational database focused on these services will be created and promoted in the tri-county area in hopes to increase awareness of what is available and make efforts to fill gaps in services locally,” said Paul Pettit, Public Health director for the Genesee and Orleans Counties health departments.

The survey can be taken by individuals living and/or working in Genesee, Orleans, and Wyoming counties. The survey is anonymous and is only 10 questions. Your honest thoughts and opinions are appreciated. All ages are encouraged to take it for themselves. If you are under the age of 18 years old, be sure to receive permission to take the survey from your parent(s) or guardian(s).

“This project is made possible through grant funds obtained from the NYS Health Foundation,” said Laura Paolucci, Public Health administrator for the Wyoming County Health Department. “This is a new territory for the public health sector and the more input from the community, the stronger the ‘building block’ of this project and those related will be.”

If you have any questions, would like to comment on the survey, and/or review the 2013-2017 Community Health Improvement Plan contact your local Health Department:

Genesee County Health Department call: 585-344-2580, ext. 5000, or visit their Web site at


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