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HNFMMC hosts Community Health Conference

Representatives from more than 60 area service providers discuss ways to improve patient care.

courtesy of The Niagara Gazette
June 15, 2017

Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center has, in recent years, undertaken an effort to consolidate, streamline and better connect the numerous treatments and services it offers in an effort to stem social and economic factors that damage community health. 

On Wednesday, the hospital took part in a conference involving more than 60 local service organizations in an attempt to establish a similar network with shared goals among the providers. It's something the medical center's COO Sheila Kee called a "coalition of the willing," or more formally, "the Niagara Community Partnership Project."

About 140 attendees were present at the conference, held at the Four Points by Sheridan on Buffalo Avenue, to discuss the initiative. The broad goal is to improve the level of care coordination between health care providers and community agencies.

The keynote speaker was Paul Hogan, executive vice president of the John R. Oishei Foundation. The Buffalo-based foundation enhances the economic vitality and quality of life for the Buffalo Niagara region through grant-making, leadership and network building.

Kee said that means devising "ways we can work more effectively for vulnerable people in our community." At the medical center, the philosophy is called a "full circle of care."

"That circle of care has to expand greatly now to make sure that these community groups join us along the perimeter of the circle," Kee said.

Tammy Fox, a director of project management with Millennium Collaborative Care, said getting people to the right organizations for social or economic support will drive down unnecessary hospital visits by keeping a closer eye on, and coordinating, a larger scope of care.

PHOTO ABOVE: ​Michael Williams with the Buffalo Federation Neighborhood Center says a few words to his conference colleagues.