BUFFALO, N.Y. – The Health Foundation of Western and
Central New York has chosen University at Buffalo School of Social
Work faculty member Susan A. Green to take part in its Health
Leadership Fellows Program, recognizing her influence in community
health and investing in her expanding role addressing the health of
elders and children living in poverty.
Green, a clinical associate professor specializing in children
and families, will receive up to $15,000 over the next 18 months
for professional development. She will be among 42 diverse, highly
skilled leaders from health-related and safety-net organizations
throughout Western and Central New York to take part in the
The Health Leadership Fellows aim to strengthen the health care
system, promote education and advocacy, and encourage positive
individual behavior changes. Their mission is to continue the focus
of the Health Foundation in addressing the needs of the vulnerable
aged and young.
Green has been especially active in teaching and training others
on the impact of trauma and adverse childhood experiences
throughout a person’s life.
“The outcomes of childhood experience — such as
obesity, diabetes, drug and alcohol abuse, missed work, cancer,
heart disease — have all been linked with early childhood
experiences,” says Green.
“Does A equal B? No. But as we learn more about what the
interplay may be among emotional and physical health issues, it
will inform our approaches to treatment differently. It begins to
give us a possible overall understanding of what may influence
Designed to improve critical skills of leaders in health and
human service organizations, the 18-month Health Leadership Fellows
Program offers participants individual leadership development,
academic and team support, executive coaching, opportunities to
increase a network of leaders, and an opportunity for collective
leadership and change. In addition to four to five retreats
spanning two to three days each, fellows will meet monthly and work
in small teams to develop a collaborative inter-organizational
“Working collaboratively through the Health Leadership
Fellows Program, these promising leaders can share best practices
and develop new and innovative ways to improve the health of the
people in our communities, particularly the frail elderly and
children living in communities of poverty,” says Health
Foundation President Ann F. Monroe.
Green has been with UB’s School of Social Work since 2001
and teaches several classes throughout the curriculum. She is
co-director of the Institute on Trauma and Trauma-Informed Care
within the Buffalo Center for Social Research at the UB School of
Social Work, which began in Fall 2012.
“I feel thankful to have this opportunity to work among
already established leaders in our community and take whatever
improvements we can to the next step,” she says.
Green works and volunteers with various community agencies and
projects in the Western New York community. A therapist certified
in several trauma therapies, she has published articles on trauma
and trauma-informed care, and presents locally, nationally and
internationally on trauma and trauma-informed care.
In 2004, Green established the DREAM (Developing Relationships
through Empowerment, Advocacy and Motivation) program, a
community-based program that aims to make a concrete, hands-on
difference in people’s lives. Starting with a bi-weekly
educational enrichment program at Gerard Place on Buffalo’s
East Side that featured basketball and life-lessons mentoring, the
DREAM program has since expanded to include five neighborhood
agencies, including the Vive La Casa shelter for refugees and the
Lutheran Church Home.
The DREAM program has served some of Buffalo’s most
vulnerable populations — from the young-young to the frail
elderly — while at the same time providing valuable training
for UB’s social work students, Green notes. More than 20 MSW
students have served as team leaders.