Community Partners

The research of the Community Health Equity Research Institute is grounded in the principles of community-based participatory research, an approach that engages the community as partners to perform research that will benefit the community. Thus, our community partners play a pivotal role in our research. We partner with each of these community organizations, which are represented on our Board and/or Steering Committee.

Buffalo Center for Health Equity.

The Buffalo Center for Health Equity and the UB Community Health Equity Research Institute were both launched in 2019 as a result of the work and partnership of the African American Health Equity Task Force, which was founded in 2014. The focus of the Center is to eliminate race, economic, and geographic-based health inequities in Western New York by changing the social and economic conditions that cause illness and shorten lives among the sickest of the region.The Institute and the Center share leadership in our governance structures and collaborate extensively.

Population Health Collaborative.

The Population Health Collaborative has over 100 partners including healthcare providers, payers, community organizations, government agencies, academic institutions, and philanthropic organizations. The overall goal of the Collaborative is to improve population health in Western New York by connecting diverse groups and aligning resources and expertise. PHC hosts health data at the state, regional, county, and ZIP Code level, including data dashboards of health and quality of life indicators.

LISC Western NY.

Established in 1998, LISC Western New York (previously Buffalo LISC) is part of LISC National. LISC connects communities with resources based on the premise that government, foundations, and for-profit companies have capital; residents and local institutions understand the need; and LISC bridges the gap by offering the relationships and expertise to help community organizations attract resources that allow them to do their best work. LISC Western New York works regionally with partners to bring local neighborhood ideas to life; creating great places to live, work, and raise a family. Its strategic plan is based on a tiered geographic agenda that includes racial equity, neighborhood revitalization, affordable housing, commercial and community real estate development, inclusive neighborhood small business development, and family income and wealth-building goals.


NeuWater & Associates, LLC is a company focused on improving population health by focusing on the social determinants of health and community development. The social determinants of health are the conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live, and age, and the wider set of forces and systems shaping these conditions, including economic policies and systems, social norms, social policies, and political systems. NeuWater & Associates, LLC is focused on projects in the areas of improving access to healthy food, employment and industry development; youth and entrepreneurial development; health and wellness initiatives; and green community redevelopment.

Healthcare Education Project.

The Healthcare Education Project is a joint effort of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East and the Greater New York Hospital Association, which together represent 350,000 healthcare workers and over 250 non-for-profit hospitals, nursing homes, and home care providers. As a community-based advocacy organization, the Healthcare Education Project works to protect access to healthcare services, better understand healthcare issues facing the community, educate communities about the plight of the uninsured, and advocate for universal coverage for all Americans.


Located on Buffalo’s East Side, Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) provides healthcare to a large underserved population, including many who receive Medicaid. ECMC is home to Centers of Excellence in transplantation and kidney care, behavioral health and oncology and is a major teaching facility for the University at Buffalo. ECMC provided support to the African American Health Equity Task Force in its COVID-19 response efforts that mitigated some of the impact of the pandemic on underserved communities in the region.

Community Foundation.

Founded in 1919, the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo connects people, ideas, and resources to improve lives in Western New York. The Foundation helps individuals, families, and organizations in making their charitable goals a reality through deep knowledge of the Western New York community. To facilitate long-term transformative change in the region, the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo prioritizes its work using four broad goals, including education, racial equity, the environment, and arts and culture.


Founded in 1998, the New York State Area Health Education Center (AHEC) System is a state and federally funded workforce development initiative. AHEC works to increase the diversity of healthcare professionals by recruiting and training individuals of all races and ethnicities, with a special emphasis on underserved rural and urban communities.The AHEC System coordinates health careers exposure programs beginning with elementary school students, provides internships and clinical rotations for high school and college students, and offers continuing education programs for adults.


EPIC was founded in 1977 to support families, schools, and communities in helping children make responsible decisions, understand and respect authority, develop positive self-esteem, plan for the future, and succeed in life. EPIC partners with educators, community organizations, and funders to work together to support children and families. Programs include initiatives in parenting education, youth services, family engagement in education, and professional development. EPIC focuses primarily on parents, offering evidence-based curricula to foster positive change in parents’ abilities to impact their children’s development.

Front Seat Life.

Founded in 2015, Front Seat Life, LLC is dedicated to eliminating the stigma of addressing mental health and emotional well-being, with a focus on communities of color. Front Seat Life offers seminars, workshops, one-on-one coaching and other services to organizations and individual clients.