Buffalo, NY – Neighborhood Health Center of WNY is pleased to announce funding received in the amount of $150,000 from The John R. Oishei Foundation for a new initiative that is aimed at dismantling the digital divide and ensuring post-pandemic vital healthcare access. As the nation and region enters into a new phase of the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), this new initiative will launch a TeleHealth Kit distribution program for 200 Health Center patients to equip them with the necessary items needed to conduct a meaningful TeleHealth visit.
As health equity stays at the forefront of the Health Center’s pandemic response, this new initiative will directly support the need to ensure access to high-risk patients and build that technical bridge between the patient and their provider.
“We remain extremely thankful to The John R. Oishei Foundation for this funding that will ensure our TeleHealth option remains center stage as a critical care strategy for many of our patients,” said Joanne Haefner, Chief Executive Officer for Neighborhood Health Center. “TeleHealth has become vital in ensuring access to care for many of our patients, and this new initiative will allow us to better connect with our patients during (and beyond) this current public health crisis.”
In 2020 alone, Neighborhood Health Center provided more than 17,000 TeleHealth visits to patients in need of continued care throughout last year’s COVID-19 outbreak. Even with the increase in virtual visits, a digital divide with some patients was evident and exposed deep health inequalities among those who do not have access to technology or vital health equipment. This new TeleHealth Kit initiative will link high-risk patients with low digital literacy to Neighborhood Health Center community health workers who will provide guidance and support when using technology for virtual visits. The program will also provide ‘TeleHealth Kits’ to 200 patients that includes a pulse oximeter, blood pressure cuff, scale and other vital sign equipment necessary for TeleHealth appointments.
“The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated both our dependence on technology and has catalyzed a shift in healthcare delivery. We are pleased to support Neighborhood Health Center in making telemedicine a part of their offerings to bring greater access to healthcare for at-risk patients,” commented Esther Annan, Program Officer for The John R. Oishei Foundation.
Neighborhood Health Center has been the region’s leading primary care safety-net provider for more than 30 years and provides high-quality medical, dental, pharmacy, nutritional and behavioral health services to all Western New Yorkers, regardless of ability to pay.
Neighborhood Health Center is currently the primary care home to more than 25,000 Western New Yorkers.
About Neighborhood Health Center of WNY, Inc.
Neighborhood Health Center of WNY, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) healthcare organization and the oldest and largest Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in Western New York. Neighborhood Health Center’s mission of impactful healthcare provided by kind people so Western New Yorkers can achieve their dreams and goals is the driving force toward achieving high-quality and individualized care for all. Established in 1987, Neighborhood Health Center provides high-quality and compassionate care to individuals and families, regardless of ability to pay, and focuses on monitoring quality care to improve health outcomes by working toward health equity within the diverse populations of Western New York. To learn more about the mission and services of Neighborhood Health Center, please visit www.nhcwny.org.
About The John R. Oishei Foundation
The John R. Oishei Foundation enhances the economic vitality and quality of life for the Buffalo Niagara region through grantmaking, leadership and network building. For more information about The John R. Oishei Foundation, visit www.oishei.org.