Oishei Foundation Gives $125,000 to Health-Care Coalition

Release Date: December 4, 2002

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Community Health Network of Western New York (CHN), a health-care coalition that will promote wellness and health education and in which the University at Buffalo Department of Family Medicine is a key player, has received a $125,000 grant from the John R. Oishei Foundation.

The Community Health Network of Western New York will serve as a regional agent to gather and disseminate community health information, sponsor regional health initiatives and to bring together players throughout the eight counties of the region. The one-year grant will help with infrastructure costs, including a review of the literature for best practices, building a board of directors, setting strategic directions and creating an operating plan.

"We want to increase public awareness on important issues, the community health network will serve as an umbrella organization for health-information sharing," said Laurene Tumiel, Ph.D., UB assistant professor of family medicine and a member of the network's executive committee.

Thomas C. Rosenthal, M.D., professor and chair of the UB Department of Family Medicine, said the network will be a "dynamic and always up-to-date reference for regional health care."

According to Rosenthal and Tumiel, the network will focus on improved access to high-quality health insurance and health-care services, with the goal of reducing the number of families that experience difficulties and delays or don't receive care for individual family members. The network also will promote healthy living through improved nutrition and physical activity as ways to reduce chronic disease associated with weight gain. In addition, it will promote responsible decision-making by youth in regards to sexual activity, tobacco and alcohol.

"A great deal of health care today is focused on prevention and is accomplished at the level of the community-based organization rather than the hospital," said Thomas E. Baker, executive director for the John R. Oishei Foundation. "The Community Health Network of Western New York recognizes these facts and attempts to incorporate them into more effective health-care planning and delivery."

The Community Health Network of Western New York is a collaborative project between UB's Department of Family Medicine, the Western New York Public Health Coalition, the Western New York Healthcare Association and an array of health systems and hospitals, community health centers, rural health networks, HMOs, schools and academic institutions and community partners.

The John R. Oishei Foundation, a major supporter of UB and its community-focused activities, has given or pledged more than $8.2 million to The Campaign for UB for programs ranging from the Toshiba Stroke Research Center to the Buffalo Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics.

The John R. Oishei Foundation is committed to enhancing the quality of life for Buffalo area residents by supporting medical research, health care, education and the cultural, social, civic and other charitable needs of the community. The Foundation was established in 1940 by John R. Oishei, founder of Trico Product Corp., one of the world's leading manufacturers of windshield wiper systems.

For information on how you can support the University at Buffalo, go to http://www.buffalo.edu/giving.