HEALTHeLINK Announces the Award of a $10 Million Grant at RPCI

Monday, December 6, 2010

Grant from Department of Health to lead public health initiative; With Beacon Community Award funding in 2010 tops $26 million

HEALTHeLINK, the Western New York Clinical Information Exchange, has been awarded a $10 million “sole-source” grant from the New York State Department of Health to work with the Department on a statewide initiative to develop and implement a clinical data exchange related to population and public health targeting child health immunization, newborn screening, syndromic surveillance, and chronic disease with a specific focus on cancer. The announcement of the grant was delivered at a press conference held at RPCI on Monday, December 6.

“We are delighted that HEALTHeLINK has been selected to work with the Department of Health and create a clinical information model to enhance population and public health services in New York State,” said Daniel E. Porreca. “This award is yet another example of how the unprecedented level of collaboration among the health care entities in our community has positioned HEALTHeLINK as a trusted partner with New York State.”

“We at the Department of Health look forward to partnering with HEALTHeLINK on this very important statewide initiative. New York is leading the nation through its investment and policy direction supporting broad use of health information technology to improve health care and public health,” said Rachel Block, Deputy Commissioner of Information Technology at the New York State Department of Health.

“HEALTHeLINK participated in the initial design and testing of the public health information exchange model being developed by the Department, and as a result they are uniquely qualified to further develop and bring to full scale implementation a model to track, monitor, and report on public health information that can improve public health in Western New York and be replicated by other regional health information organizations (RHIOs) across the state,” continued Block.

The goal of the project is to decrease reporting burdens and promote sharing of clinical information and other public health related information at the point of care as well as advancing public health priorities in the evolving world of health information technology.

“With this designation Western New York again sets itself apart as a leader in health care advances,” said Congressman Brian Higgins. “By combining state and federal resources and bringing together our region’s long-standing medical expertise with today’s cutting edge technology we can deliver results that produce better outcomes for patients and set an example for the state and the nation.”

“From a public health perspective there is great value in having a clinical information exchange to report on a wide range of public health matters, particularly childhood immunizations and syndromic surveillance,” said Anthony J. Billittier, MD, Commissioner of Health, Erie County Department of Health and member of the HEALTHeLINK board of directors. “By having secure access to HEALTHeLINK, we are able to monitor our population’s health and utilize de-identified data for future health resource planning and disease prevention.”

For more information on HEALTHeLINK, visit www.wnyhealthelink.com.

About HEALTHeLINK

HEALTHeLINK, the Western New York Clinical Information Exchange, is a collaborative effort among various organizations to share clinical information in efficient and meaningful ways to improve the delivery of care, enhance clinical outcomes, and help control healthcare costs throughout the region. The not-for-profit organization was established through funding from The Catholic Health System, Erie County Medical Center Corporation, HealthNow New York (BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York), Independent Health Association, Kaleida Health, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Univera Healthcare and the Health Care Efficiency and Affordability Law for New Yorkers Capital Grant Program (HEAL NY) from New York State.

HEALTHeLINK also received one of the country’s largest grants as part of the United States Department of Health and Human Services’ Beacon Community Cooperative Agreement Program. HEALTHeLINK stakeholders include a broad representation of healthcare professionals and organizations throughout the eight-county Western New York region such as the Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH), State University of New York at Buffalo and the WNY R-AHEC (Rural Area Health Education Center).

Media Contact: 

Annie Deck-Miller, Senior Media Relations Manager
716-845-8593; annie.deck-miller@roswellpark.org