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Western New York Health Care Gets One Million Dollar Grant

June 6, 2008

Williamsville, NY - A $1 million grant has been awarded to a Western New York health collaborative to improve the quality of medical care for patients in rural communities. The funding comes on the heels of a recent study showing staggering disparities in the quality of healthcare, depending on a person's race and where they live.

The Dartmouth study was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which is now giving a total of $300 million to 14 communities nationwide to help narrow the healthcare divide. New York's grantee is the P2 Collaborative in Williamsville, where Executive Director Shelley Hirshberg says one goal will be to better inform patients about their healthcare choices.

"We're going to use the power of the public media to reach and influence people about partnering with their doctors, their role in managing the chronic condition and how daily choices affect their health. We'll motivate consumers to undertand their risk or actual condition, and how their behavioral choices can determine personal health status."

Hirshberg adds some of the money will be allocated to rural health networks, to hire community-based staff members that can assist doctors, hospitals and patients in preventive care, as well as streamlined care for chronic conditions.

Tony Gatto/Chris Thomas, Public News Service - NY