Our Focus Areas
Vulnerable Older Adults
Community Health Capacity
Children Impacted by Poverty

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Current Projects
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Contact Us
Main Office
Larkin at Exchange
726 Exchange Street
Suite 518
Buffalo, NY 14210-1485
ph: (716) 852-3030
fx: (716) 852-3131
Syracuse Office
431 E. Fayette Street
Suite 250
Syracuse, NY 13202
ph: (315) 671-0057
fx: (315) 218-7314
Our Priorities and Approach to Funding
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Living, Learning, Lasting, Leading

The Health Foundation for Western and Central New York is committed to improving the health and health care of the people and communities in our regions.

The Foundation’s decision to focus primarily on frail elders and young children living in poverty has kept us in touch with the people living in our communities and the impact of our funding decisions on them. Further, our added focus on growing health capacity within these communities, and concentrating our resources on 16 specific counties, maximizes this impact.

We collaborate with community partners to strengthen the health care system, bolster community supports, promote education and advocacy, and encourage individual behavior change. We emphasize the importance of learning from our individual and collective experiences and that what we've learned is strengthened by, and contributes to national best practices.

The impact, collaborations and best practices we’ve created are most valuable if they are sustainable or replicable. We promote quality and performance improvement in the organizations and programs that we fund so they are built to last.

Finally, leadership and collaboration are key to achieving overall change in our communities. Our foundation's goals cannot be met without the full participation of community leaders, non-profits and providers, and our investment in their capacity to lead important change will broaden, deepen and magnify the financial investments we make. We are, absolutely, all in this together.
Here are the eight principles that guide our work:

  • Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity
  • Our commitment is to the most vulnerable and to those in poverty, with an emphasis on children and older adults
  • Our work is focused on interventions that target the individuals and communities in need throughout the 16 counties in western and central New York
  • We are part of a community, contributing our efforts in partnership with others, responding to urgent community needs as they arise and disseminating what we’ve learned to others
  • We utilize innovative and creative approaches to optimize outcomes
  • We emphasize a rigorous, data-driven approach that ensures we thoroughly explore opportunities before investing deeply in them, and that we continue to measure the impact of those investments
  • We invest in practical progress through continuous learning, quality improvement and fostering sustainability
  • We support strong and effective advocacy and policy change that benefit our target populations 
Our Focus Areas

Vulnerable Older Adults

We have long been focused on improving the quality of care for older adults in our communities. Recently we have begun to see that, as important as that work is, we need to make a greater investment in deferring the consequences of frailty and postponing its onset. To do this, we need to both increase the opportunities and supports for people to remain more independent and we must reduce the triggers of decline such as falls, poor transitions of care and ineffective management of multiple medications.

Young Children Impacted by Poverty

Young children impacted by poverty are our priority because they are one of the most vulnerable groups of people in the regions we serve. The concentration and culture of poverty impacts individual families, children and community institutions that serve them, such as schools and recreation programs. The Health Foundation is focused on children birth to five because of their particularly high vulnerability and because of the importance of the early learning experiences and significant developmental milestones to be achieved during these years.

Growing Community Health Capacity

The Health Foundation recognizes that the health and health care of older adults and children impacted by poverty cannot improve without bolstering the communities within which they live and the health care systems which serve them. Programs funded through this focus area are designed to create a positive learning climate which fosters improved learning skills and capacity of individuals, and stronger, more effective and innovative organizations. They strive to increase and sustain collaborative activity, and foster communities and systems that embrace continuous learning.
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