Will handle day-to-day operations of Medicaid reform plan

BUFFALO, NY – March 18, 2015 – Millennium Collaborative Care today named Al Hammonds, chief operating officer of the Community Health Center of Buffalo, as MCC’s executive director.

He joins former Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Anthony J. Billittier IV, MCC’s medical director, on MCC’s leadership team.

Millennium is a Performing Provider System [PPS] involving ECMC and more than 3,800 other hospital and health-provider partners in Western New York. Millennium is the lead partner in Erie County for the state’s Delivery System Reform Incentive Payments [DSRIP] program. Each region of the state is required to create a series of projects aimed at improving patient care and saving costs in the Medicaid population over the next five years. DSRIP’s five-year goal is to reduce avoidable admissions and emergency room visits by 25 percent statewide.  The total Medicaid population for the Millennium PPS is over 230,000 Medicaid patients in Western New York.  Medicaid is the federal health care system for the poor and disabled that is administered by the states and counties.

“Al is the perfect person for this challenging position. He has the ideal mix of health care experience, community credibility and political experience,” said Richard C. Cleland, ECMC president, chief operating officer and interim CEO. “Medicaid reform, improved patient care, community health and overall savings are goals of this effort and Al is positioned to make it happen.”

Mr. Hammonds previously served as Chief Operating Officer at the Community Health Center of Buffalo, a federally qualified health center that provides primary care, dental and behavioral health services.  Hammonds’ responsibilities there included ensuring business growth through directing and managing all of the day-to-day operations of the health center, delivered in accordance with compliance requirements and organizational strategy. CHCB serves approximately 15,000 patients, many of them from the Medicaid population, in three locations, Buffalo, Niagara Falls, and Lockport.

“As I’ve moved through my career, I’ve been involved in helping the community and developing systems that work effectively,” Hammonds said. “I look forward to continuing these efforts with Millennium Collaborative Care, helping our partners create the best DSRIP provider in the state.”

Prior to CHCB, Hammonds was the University at Buffalo’s assistant director of outreach for the Office of Economic Development. There he focused on economic engagement and development in New York State for the university, through external affairs activities. He also had a business development and outreach role to generate revenue in traditional manufacturing, administrative, transactional, and service-based operations and organizations.

Hammonds previously served as Deputy Erie County Executive and was also a senior project director at the Center for Industrial Effectiveness at the University at Buffalo. In this capacity, he worked with companies to improve their administrative efficiency performance, consistently delivering hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings. A certified Six Sigma Black Belt practitioner, Hammonds also served as an adjunct professor for the Empire State College FORUM Management Program.  Hammonds graduated from Purdue University with a degree in industrial management and industrial engineering. He also graduated from the UCLA/Johnson & Johnson Health Care Executive Management Program.

Hammonds started his career at Delphi Automotive Systems, helping to drive lean manufacturing and continuous improvement.

Millennium, locally chaired by ECMC, also includes Kaleida Health, Niagara/Orleans PPS providers, Southern Tier PPS providers, along with over 3,800 provider partners.

In 2011-12, there was an average of 3,709 avoidable admissions annually among Western New York Medicaid patients, which translates to a current avoidable admission rate of 1,625 per 100,000 people in the Medicaid population. A 25 percent reduction would be 927 fewer avoidable Medicaid readmissions, resulting in a target rate of 2,782 of 228,223 patients or 1,218 per 100,000.


On April 14, 2014 Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced that New York finalized terms and conditions with the U.S. government for a groundbreaking waiver that will allow the state to reinvest $8 billion in federal savings generated by Medicaid Redesign Team reforms. The DSRIP program is designed to stabilize the state’s healthcare safety-net system and re-align the state’s delivery system. The overarching goal of DSRIP is to help New York and its health care providers achieve the triple aim of improved population health, improved quality care, and controlled costs.


The program’s ultimate objective is to reduce avoidable hospital admissions by 25 percent over the next five years. A secondary and equally important objective is to preserve and transform New York’s fragile health care safety net to ensure all Medicaid beneficiaries have access to vital services. To accomplish these objectives, the state’s DSRIP program encompasses a variety of projects designed to engage a wide array of providers working in collaboration. Successful execution of DSRIP-funded projects requires community-focused plans where population health and health care costs are addressed by hospital[s] working together with other healthcare organizations such as Federal Qualified Health Centers [FQHCs], physician practices, Health Homes [HHs], and Skilled Nursing Facilities


Add Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

ECMC logo

The Erie County Medical Center Corporation (ECMCC) is the parent organization of Millennium Collaborative Care

Millennium Collaborative Care

1461 Kensington Ave
Buffalo, NY, 14215

t:  716-898-5389

© Millennium Collaborative Care.