Eye on WNY: Health Professions Hub Brings Specialized Services to Buffalo’s West Side

dyouville mural.

Health Professions Hub photo courtesy of D'Youville College.

Published October 12, 2021


Buffalo’s diverse West Side community faces complex barriers to health, including limited access to healthcare, social supports and living wage employment, which results in widespread poverty and poor health outcomes. To address these challenges, D’Youville College opened its Health Professions Hub in June 2021.

The Hub brings together students and health professionals from over 10 different academic disciplines to provide specialized social and clinical services to individuals and families from surrounding West Side neighborhoods. It also serves as an educational and training facility for students entering the healthcare workforce.

“This co-produced, dynamic space was created as a response to community requests for job training, healthcare, healthy food, and a space to convene and collaborate as a community,” says Renee Cadzow,  PhD, Chair and Associate Professor, Health Administration and Public Health, D'Youville College, and CTSI Special Populations Task Leader, Research Assistant Professor, Volunteer, Department of Pediatrics, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. “It also addresses the critical need to train our future health professionals to be culturally responsive to the communities they serve.”

The Hub is comprised of seven components:

  • Sisters Health Center — D'Youville is operated by Catholic Health and provides primary care for neighborhood residents.
  • Vital Pharmacy is a full-service pharmacy that brings access and education to the community through the use of technology like individually packaged daily pill packs and home delivery.
  • D’Lish Demonstration Kitchen offers free cooking classes and demonstrations of medically tailored meals to improve nutrition and healthy eating. It is also available for use by community partners interested in running cooking classes or demonstrations.
  • Thrive Rehabilitation & Wellness Center provides physical therapy, occupational therapy, and chiropractic care.
  • The Hive is a collaborative workspace that brings students, faculty, staff, and community members together to ideate and collaborate.
  • Interprofessional Simulation Center is an educational space for health professions students to learn and practice working in clinical and administrative teams in an environment that mirrors professional settings.
  • Center for Health Equity and Innovation serves as a think tank and conference venue for healthcare thought leaders.

“The Hub fills the need for primary healthcare and rehabilitation support and provides a shared space for community to gather and share approaches to improve their health,” Cadzow says. “Providers who learn and practice their clinical skills here will provide better, more tailored care to the region’s patients. This will be demonstrated by improved physical, mental, and financial health of the surrounding community.”

For more information about the Health Professions Hub and its services, visit dyc.edu/health-professsions-hub.aspx.