Millennium Collaborative Care Working to ‘Engage’ Our Communities
By Catherine Lewis, Director of Community Based Initiatives
“Community Engagement” is a term that for Millennium Collaborative Care identifies ways to 1) reach and engage community members where they are; 2) use partnering opportunities to realize changes the community willingly accepts; and 3) adopt as their own.
It is not uncommon for best practices in one community not to fit another community – hence one size does not fit all – and sometimes does not fit any.
To help us get information from the community, we have – to date — set up four Medicaid “Voice of the Consumer” groups. One in each of the four sub-regions in the eight county Western New York area; i.e. Central area (Erie County); Northern (Niagara County); Eastern (Genesee, Orleans, & Wyoming Counties); and Southern Tier (Chautauqua, Cattaraugus & Allegany Counties).
We are evaluating the need for more groups because of the distance between counties especially our rural partners and communities. If so, that’s what we will do. It’s about “community conversations” and listening to those voices! These groups continue to provide input on gaps in services which informs the healthcare redesign of the 11 projects selected by Millennium Collaborative Care.
During our quarterly meetings the groups get updates on the projects and changes that will benefit them, their family and community.
We have held five consumer group sessions here in Erie County with the last quarterly on March 9.
On Feb. 29 — thanks to Sheila Kee, Chief Operating Officer of Niagara Falls Memorial Hospital — we actively engaged 19 people in a conversation that will be most helpful to our collaborating partners.
With the assistance of Charlotte Crawford, Chief Executive Officer of Lake Plains Community Network the Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming County areas community conversation is scheduled to begin in May.
Under the direction of Sharon J. Mathe, Executive Director of Healthy Community Alliance, Inc.and Michael C. Pease, Chief Executive Officer of The Chautauqua Center, the Southern Tier consisting of Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany counties group sessions are scheduled for June/July 2016 coordinated by Susan Sosinski, RN, BSN.
Cassadaga Valley Middle/High School students believe in their community!
The Cassadaga Valley Middle/High School was recently the site of the first of six “Community Conversations” the Millennium Collaborative Care Community Engagement Team supported including facilitating group discussions and serving on Chautauqua County’s 2016-2018 Prevention Agenda Planning Committee.
The event entitled “What Would Make Our Community Healthier?” was organized with comprehensive assistance from Ann Morse Abdella, Executive Director of Chautauqua County Health Network/Integrated Delivery System/Region Associated Medical Partners took place on March 31.
Please visit our website https://www.millenniumcc.org/ and follow Millennium Collaborative Care on Twitter @MillenniumCCPPS for updates on community engagement activities in the eight county area of Western New York.