Innovative Blood Pressure Initiative Expands to the Finger Lakes

By Dawn Bush To control high blood pressure, patients have been encouraged to “know your numbers.”  Now medical practices in the Finger Lakes are heeding that advice. Finger Lakes healthcare practices received their first high blood pressure “numbers”—a report showing the percentage of patients in each practice who are keeping their high blood pressure under control. High blood pressure contributes to one-half of heart disease deaths and is a leading cause of stroke and liver failure.  If blood pressure is not controlled through diet and exercise, it can generally be controlled with medication. “This is one condition we know how to fix. With the right medications, high blood pressure is relatively easy and inexpensive to keep in check,” explains Al Bradley, the agency’s senior program mana...

Rural Data for Action

The New England Rural Health RoundTable is a forum for promoting healthy rural communities and solutions to the unique health challenges facing rural New England.  In this month’s Spotlight New England Rural Health RoundTable is pleased to present their recently released Rural Data for Action Report. We are confident that this publication will serve as a valuable tool for community leaders, legislators, health care providers, administrators and others who work to address the complex issues related to improving and enhancing the region’s health care system. The Executive Summary and Full Report are both available for download.

Governor Signs Telehealth Bill into Law

Governor Cuomo signed into law last week, (A.9129-A (Russell)-S.7852 (Young), which requires insurers, including the State’s Medicaid program, to provide coverage for telehealth and telemedicine services. The Governor noted in his approval letter that these services are “increasingly useful for rural patients who might live far away from their doctors.” It is expected that the Legislature will amend the bill during the upcoming Legislative Session to address Gov. Cuomo’s concerns related to the coverage effective date of Jan. 1, 2015 and services not currently covered by insurance plans that are included in the new law. We will keep members updated as new information unfolds. Learn more.

Adopting Complete Streets in Herkimer County & Other Rural Communities

by Alison J. Swartz During a recent drive into work, I noticed a woman running on the side of the road dressed in a fluorescent yellow vest with reflectors on her back and arms, dressed with all the proper running gear. This particular road is seven miles long and is a very narrow town roadway with no shoulders. Its width allows two cars to meet and pass one another with the outer tires barely scuffing the edge where the pavement meets the gravel. I was especially alarmed when two cars ahead of me (traveling in opposite directions) met each other by this runner and forced her to run into the ditch, because neither car was willing to stop and wait a few seconds to allow one or the other to pass through. Three years ago, if I mentioned the words Complete Streets to mayors, town supervisors, ...

Happy National Rural Health Day!

A special message from the President of the Board of Directors for the New York State Association for Rural Health, Donald Rowe, PhD. About National Rural Health Day Rural communities are wonderful places to live and work, which is why nearly 62 million people – nearly one in five Americans – call them home. These small towns, farming communities and frontier areas are places where neighbors know each other, listen to each other, respect each other and work together to benefit the greater good. They are also some of the best places to start a business and test your “entrepreneurial spirit.” These communities provide the rest of the country with a wealth of services and commodities, and they are the economic engine that has helped the United State become the world economic power it is today...

NYS Prevention Agenda Update

We have the NYS Prevention Agenda February 2014 Update and the list of county-specific priorities. NYSARH Members: join local community coalitions and take action at the local level to support your community efforts; identify statewide actions that we can take to encourage actions by our members that promote Prevention Agenda related goals; share your stories with us so that we can keep NYSDOH informed about our activities at the local and state level. Visit the Prevention Agenda Dashboard at This dashboard contains updated data for many Prevention Agenda measures and shows the level of progress, or lack thereof, towards the Prevention Agenda goals. Data are available at the state and individual county level. The dashboard also has a fun...

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