Sunday, September 27, 2009

Area hospitals to use report to help guide their future plans

The Olean Times Herald reported that a recent report on what consumers think about health care in Western New York is seen by local hospital administrators as a valuable tool.

The report, "Reaching for Excellence: Community Vision and Voices for Western New York Health Care," polled more than 1,700 people from throughout eight Western New York counties. The report reflects what people want in the future from the health-care system and critical needs that currently are not being addressed.

Timothy J. Finan, president and CEO of Olean General Hospital, and Eva Benedict, president and CEO of Jones Memorial Hospital in Wellsville, both said the report will be a significant part of their future planning on how to make a more patient-centered health-care experience.

The report is a collaborative effort of the Community Health Foundation of Western and Central New York, the John R. Oishei Foundation, The P2 Collaborative and The University of Buffalo Regional Institute. It is the first to conduct such an intensive, widespread and continuing process for engaging and amplifying the consumer perspective, said Ann F. Monroe, president and CEO of the Community Health Foundation.

The report identified five critical areas that consumers felt needed to be addressed: Making a human connection, losing the hassle factor, helping patients understand, making healthy choices and increasing access to care.

Mr. Finan called the report significant and said that it amplified what Olean General knew intuitively about people's perception of the health-care system. The report will help administrators at Olean General and Bradford Regional Medical Center develop a strategic plan as the hospitals soon come together under the Upper Allegheny Health System, he said.

"As we embark upon a strategic plan for the new Upper Allegheny Health System this will be very important information that will factor into the process," he said.

Ms. Benedict said that Jones Memorial will use the information for its own strategic planning.

"We certainly welcome and need that consumer input and their perceptions to help us guide where go in the future," she said.

The report is the result of two years of information gathering. Nearly 115 meetings were held to discuss the future of Western New York health care. Read more here.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Health Care Forum Set for Thurs and Friday

The Buffalo News reported about the People’s Pharmacy, Joe and Terry Graedon, who offer health information on home remedies, prescription drugs and saving money.

Their health advice column runs Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays in the Life & Arts section of The Buffalo News, and their radio show is aired nationally on public radio.

“People think of us as the ‘Pill People,’ said Joe Graedon during a recent phone interview. “We are either talking about prescription or over-the-counter drugs, dietary supplements, herbs, home remedies. We’re talking about stuff—that for the most part—you swallow or smear.”

It may come as a surprise, then, to hear the Graedons speak off-topic Friday, when they present the keynote address during the P2 Collaborative Conference at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center.

“The real question here is: ‘How do you motivate yourself to make those lifestyle changes?’” said Joe Graedon.

With more than 200 member and partner organizations, the P2 Collaborative brings together health care providers, patients and insurers. The initiative— dedicated to improving the health of people in Western New York— is funded by sources including the John R. Oishei Foundation, the New York State Department of Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Read more here.

Seminar at a glance
When: 7:30 a. m. to 6 p. m. Thursday and 7:30 a. m. to 2 p. m. Friday
Where: Buffalo Niagara Convention Center
What:Spend two days with national health experts learning how to improve health care in Western New York.
Keynote Luncheon Address: “Taking Charge of Your Health” with Joe and Terry Graedon from “People’s Pharmacy” at noon Friday. Cost $50. To register, visit:
Event Schedule: For information and fees, visit