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Industry leaders see increased cooperation as part of the formula for a better health care experience in Western New York

Buffalo Business First | August 23, 2019

Deepening financial constraints and increased demand for services are prompting the players in the health care industry to take collaborative and creative approaches to continue to successfully meet their missions to provide for patients.

Some of their methods, which are markedly collaborative, are noteworthy for an industry that in the past engaged in muscling out the competition.

And some are creative because the players are looking well beyond their walls for ways to uniquely meet the needs of patients. Ridesharing, anyone? How about a doctor visit via a video call?

Nine of the area’s largest and most significant providers participating in a recent roundtable discussion at Business First laid out how they are confronting the problems before them.

For Mark Sullivan, Catholic Health president and CEO, their collective work is the means that will get the region to the preferred end. Its not just about getting reimbursed, he said, it’s about providing better solutions at other alternative levels of care through different modalities and different technologies.

“We need to be more creative and innovative, so it’s important that we are focusing on not just delivering care,” Sullivan said, “but solving the health crisis in Western New York. Wanting to provide more care may not be the only solution. It’s about providing better health.”

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Child birth death rates remain high for African-American women

WKBW Channel 7 News | August 23, 2019

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — The United States has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world and it's much higher for African-American mothers.

7 Eyewitness News senior reporter Eileen Buckley finds out how racial disparities are leading to maternal mortality.

“African-American mothers – in the nation - die at a three to four times greater rate than our Caucasian sisters do,” said Diann Holt, director, Baby Café on Buffalo’s east side.

Baby Café provides moms with important birth planning information.

“We're losing mothers at such an alarming rate – that it bothers me – it truly does bother me,” Holt declared.

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A call to action as poor health outcomes for many blacks persist

The Buffalo News | August 14, 2019

A black person can expect to live five years less in Erie County than someone who is white, and nearly seven years less than the New York State average.

The mortality rate for a black child in the county is more than twice as high as for a child who is white – and that black child is almost five times more likely to live in poverty.

Almost half of black children in Erie County do.

A teenage black girl is five times more likely to get pregnant, a black baby twice as likely to be born with a low birth weight, and an elderly black person almost twice as likely to be admitted for a hospital stay that could have been avoided with better preventative care.

“This is a crisis,” the Rev. George F. Nicholas said. “We want to change the narrative. We need to figure out a way to integrate the African American community into the resurgence of this region.”

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Downtown health fair helps western New Yorkers live better

WIVB Channel 4 News | July 29, 2019

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Doctors are helping locals live a healthier life.

G-Health Enterprises took over parts of downtown Buffalo for an annual health fair.

The idea is to break down the barriers that stop people from seeing health care professionals.

Doctors say it’s all about making the region healthier.

“It’s a way to touch different types of data,” G-Health Enterprises CEO Dr. Raul Vazquez said. “So, we look at the data out here in the real world as sometimes inside an office, or in the hospital, and this might give us an insight into what should be different with healthcare.”

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Major effort underway to get WNYers tested for Hepatitis C

WBFO 88.7 | July 29, 2019

Several million Americans and thousands of Western New Yorkers are infected with the Hepatitis C virus. Many don't know they are infected and don't know there is a cure.

Dr. Raul Vazquez runs Urban Family Practice on Buffalo's West Side and sees a range of patients.

"The thing about Hepatitis C is you don't know you have it and it's picked up based on sort of history that clues you to it or some lab findings," Vazquez said.

Hep C is an unusual health problem because most people don't know they have it, even when there is a quick and simple blood test to detect it. If they don't know they have it, they won't have a talk with their doctor about getting the pill which cures the disease in almost everyone. It also is a significant health problem because the long-term health impact can be lethal and it is expensive to the health care system.

"If these individuals develop cirrhosis, the long-term impact is that within five to 10 years later, 50% of them are going to develop some sort of complication and that could be cancer," Vazquez said.

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African American Health Disparities Task Force

Igniting Hope | June 18, 2019

(Buffalo, NY) The African American Health Disparities Task Forcehas announced“Igniting Hope 2019: “Building A Culture of Health & Ending African American Health Disparities” will take place Fri., Aug. 17 and Sat., Aug. 18, 2019 at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo at 955 Main St., Buffalo. The Conference is free and open to all community members. (Registration is requested.)

“For too long, African American communities in Buffalo and elsewhere have endured the consequences of health disparities. The University at Buffalo and its partners are committed to reversing this trend and helping to ensure that race is no longer a predictive factor in someone’s overall health and life expectancy,” said Michael Cain, MD, Vice President for Health Sciences and Dean of the Jacobs School.

“GBUACO (Greater Buffalo United Accountable Care Organization) is taking the lead on addressing the social determinants of health (housing, food and transportation) throughout Buffalo within these African American communities,” saidRaul Vazquez, MD, CEO and President, G-Health Enterprises. “By targeting these three major concerns our care coordination model can provide a 20% savings in the overwhelming Medicaid budget of $60 billion for six million people across New York State.”

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GBUACO and YourCare Sign New 3-Year Agreement

Buffalo Business First | April 3, 2019

YourCare Health Plan has renewed its contract with the Greater Buffalo United Accountable Care Organization, a value-based payment plan based in Buffalo.

The deal comes three years after the two organizations first partnered, following GBUACO’s creation as one of the first ACOs in New York’s program that rewards physicians and providers for cutting costs and improving care and outcomes for Medicaid recipients.

The organization, an affiliate of the Greater Buffalo United Accountable Healthcare Network (GBUAHN), also includes participation by providers at Erie County Medical Center, Kaleida Health, Jericho Road Community Health Center and the Greater Buffalo Independent Physicians Association.

GBUAHN, based in Buffalo, also operates a state-designated health home program that coordinates care for thousands of local individuals with Medicaid who have two or more chronic health conditions, a serious mental or behavioral health condition and/or HIV/AIDS.

That’s the same market served by YourCare, owned by Rochester-based Monroe Health Plan, which serves about 47,000 residents in metropolitan Buffalo and Rochester. The new contract will continue care for 9,000 members covered through the ACO, and allow room for more.

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WGRZ Channel 2 News | February 18, 2019

GBUAHN is one of two New York State 5 star rated Medical Health Home companies and they are striving to transform health care in under served communities.

GBUAHN is one of two New York State 5 star rated Medical Health Home companies and they are striving to transform health care in under served communities. To find out more about all the services they provide head over to their website at You can also give them a call at 247-5282 to speak to their compassionate and caring staff about any health care questions you might have.

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Danny’s Story

NY Health Home Coalition | January 2019

Last year, a vehicle struck Danny, an uninsured 21-year old, in a hit and run auto-pedestrian accident. As a direct result of the accident, Danny was in the hospital for eight months due to his severe injuries. After his hospitalization, Danny was in need of physical therapy otherwise he would forever remain wheelchair-bound. Unfortunately, his lack of health insurance made it difficult. His mother, Debby, reached out to several providers hoping someone would take her son without coverage; however, none of them would take Danny.

Debby one day learned of the Greater Buffalo United Accountable Healthcare Network (GBUAHN) Health Home from a ...

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