NYSARH Newsletter

SummER 2023

Working to preserve and improve health and human services in rural New York State.

Rural Health Symposium: In-Person This Year!

NYSARH is pleased to announce that the Rural Health Symposium will be Thursday and Friday, September 14th and 15th at the Lake Ontario Event and Conference Center in Oswego.  Please join us to welcome Greg Olsen, Director of the NYS Office for Aging, sharing progress on the Master Plan for Aging in New York.

The Planning Committee has prioritized opportunities for networking after three years of pandemic limitations.  We have three terrific concurrent sessions Thursday and several Table Talks on Friday.  The NYSARH Annual Meeting and a Networking Reception will be Thursday afternoon.

The Policy Panel will address issues relating to Rural Substance Dependence with 

  • Linda Beers, Essex County Health Director
  • Brian Byrd, Foundation for Opioid Response
  • Jennifer Donadio, Friends of Recovery
  • Stacy Sigmond, Center for Rural Addiction.

The Keynote address will feature Dwain Harris, CEO of the National Area Health Education Centers, will speak about solutions to address the challenges facing the rural healthcare workforce.   


NYSARH Launches New Communication Software

NYSARH received funding from the National Rural Health Association in 2022 to improve sustainability. The Membership Committee worked with a consultant to evaluate several possible pathways and eventually selected two.  The first was to redesign NYSARH membership levels.  The new levels were approved by the Board in January and went into effect in April. The second was to invest in an Association Management Software that will provide more options than the version NYSARH has used for the past five years.  The new software was approved by the Board in March and implemented in June.   The system NYSARH selected is called Wild Apricot.  It is owned by the software company Personify, so you may see their flowerish logo on future correspondence from NYSARH.

The new system will replace both PayPal [payment processing] and Campaign Monitor [mass emails].  If you have any automatic actions set up on these two platforms, they will expire during 2023.

Registration for the NYSARH/NERHA Webinar Series, the Rural Health Symposium in September and the New York National Rural Health Day Awards in November will be managed within the Wild Apricot platform.  Wild Apricot will also be NYSARH’s member and contact database and email distributor.

Please be assured that all current NYSARH members have been uploaded to the new platform.  If you have received this newsletter and are not yet a NYSARH member you may join HERE.  If you do not want to join, please tell us why HERE and subscribe to the newsletter HERE.

Colgate University’s Upstate Institute Fellow

This summer at NYSARH, Parna Shakouri is researching rural health disparities in New York State. Using the New York State Prevention Agenda Dashboard, Parna identified potential areas of disparity between New York’s urban and rural counties and narrowed her focus with guidance from the NYSARH Board of Directors. Her research is focused on behavioral and mental health indicators, specifically suicide rates and substance dependence. Following data analysis, the project will conclude with a policy brief that outlines potential paths for community and policy solutions to these health disparities. 

Parna is currently completing her studies in Anthropology and Global Public and Environmental Health at Colgate University. Her experience consists of non-profit organizational work in public health and independent interdisciplinary research focusing on behavior and policy in topics ranging from gun violence, the social construct of grief and loss, and the intersection of health with race, gender, and sexuality. Parna plans to continue her career through graduate studies in sociocultural anthropology and public health. Her work at NYSARH is through a fellowship with Colgate University’s Upstate Institute Summer Field School. 

The Upstate Institute Summer Field School connects students with nonprofits and municipalities throughout Central New York and the Adirondacks to conduct community-based research. Students are connected to research projects that are driven by community priorities, and work side by side with partners through the entire research process while utilizing their unique skills and interests. These fellowships often last for ten weeks over the summer and allow the organization to build capacity in some way. Students receive research stipends for their work from the university and invaluable real-world experience through their time spent getting to know the organization and the community they serve.

Improve health and well-being for all with Healthy People 2030

Since 1980, the Healthy People initiative has set goals and measurable objectives to improve health and well-being in the United States. The initiative’s fifth edition, Healthy People 2030, builds on knowledge gained over the past 4 decades to address current and emerging public health priorities and challenges.

An interdisciplinary team of subject matter experts developed national health objectives and targets for the next 10 years. These objectives focus on the most high-impact public health issues, and reflect an increased focus on the social determinants of health — how the conditions where people live, work, and play affect their health and well-being.

By using Healthy People 2030 in your work, you can help improve health nationwide! Objectives are organized into intuitive topics so you can easily find data that’s relevant to your work. And Healthy People 2030 provides evidence-based resources and tools you can use to set strategies for reaching Healthy People targets in your community, state, or organization. NYSARH has been designated as a Healthy People 2030 Champion!

CMS Announces Multi-State Initiative to Strengthen Primary Care

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced a new primary care model called the Making Care Primary (MCP) Model. This model will be implemented and tested in eight states through the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation. The MCP Model aims to enhance the primary care infrastructure in the United States, particularly for safety net organizations and smaller or independent primary care providers. By expanding care management, care coordination, and community-based connections, the model seeks to improve patient care and outcomes.

NYSARH Member Spotlight: Universal Primary Care

Founded with a vision to bridge the gap between healthcare and technology, UPC Health has emerged as a pioneer in the field, leveraging cutting-edge advancements to create a seamless and patient-centric experience. Their team of dedicated professionals, including physicians, nurses, researchers, and technologists, work in unison to develop and implement progressive healthcare solutions that prioritize the needs of the communities they serve.

One of the core pillars of UPC is their commitment to accessibility. They believe that healthcare should be readily available to everyone, regardless of their socioeconomic status or geographical location. Through strategic partnerships and collaborations, UPC has been able to bring quality healthcare services to underserved areas, effectively breaking down barriers to access. By harnessing the power of telemedicine and digital health platforms, they have made significant strides in bridging the gap between patients and healthcare providers, ensuring that no one is left behind.

In addition to their focus on accessibility, UPC is at the forefront of innovation in healthcare. They actively engage in research and development initiatives, constantly exploring new technologies and methodologies to enhance patient care. By embracing artificial intelligence, data analytics, and machine learning, UPC is unlocking new possibilities in diagnostics, treatment plans, and preventive care. Their commitment to staying ahead of the curve and embracing emerging trends sets them apart as a trailblazer in the industry.

UPC passion for innovation, accessibility, and community empowerment is truly inspiring. Their unwavering commitment to revolutionizing healthcare is transforming lives and paving the way for a healthier and more inclusive future. We are honored to feature UPC in our member spotlight, recognizing their outstanding contributions to the field of healthcare and their tireless efforts to empower communities. 

Upcoming Events

Funding Opportunities

OMH Community Mental Health Loan Repayment Program (OMH CMHLRP) – Round Two

The FY 2022-23 Office of Mental Health Budget included $9 million annually to support a new program to support licensed community mental health programs in the recruitment and retention of psychiatrists and psychiatric nurse practitioners (NPs).

Following Round 1 of the OMH CMHLRP, which awarded $3.4M annually, a total of $5.6 million annually remains available to fund additional awards for the OMH CMHLRP during FY 2023-24, which is extended to include eligible psychiatric physician assistants (PAs)

Special and Urgent Needs (SUN) Fund

Adirondack Foundation’s Special and Urgent Needs Fund (SUN) is a responsive granting resource that can be deployed to assist Adirondack communities and nonprofits during times of crisis.  The fund can help an organization address short-term needs where a relatively small grant can assist with unanticipated, unbudgeted gaps in funding.   Applications are accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis. Typical grant range: $250-$2,500.

There is no deadline and organizations may apply anytime. Decisions will be made within two-three weeks of receiving the application.

Entergy Micro Grants

Grants for projects that effectively impact arts and culture, community improvement/enrichment, economic development, education and literacy, the environment, and healthy families.

HealthySteps June 2023 Expansion

The New York State (NYS) Office of Mental Health (OMH) announces the availability of funds to support the expanded implementation of HealthySteps (HS). It is anticipated that OMH will make up to 70 awards across the state, contingent upon availability of funding. This funding is specifically designated for new sites, with the goal to expand the capacity of pediatric and family medicine practices to implement HealthySteps, prioritizing practices in counties with the highest percentage of children in poverty.

This RFA, part of New York State’s historic investment to strengthen the mental health system and drastically reduce the number of individuals with unmet mental health needs throughout the state, clearly demonstrates OHM’s ongoing commitment to the health and well-being of the youngest New Yorkers. The goal is to ultimately promote an intentional focus on prevention activities by identifying and implementing evidence-based programs and data-informed strategies.


We would like to thank each member who works diligently to make NYSARH the state’s strongest proponent for rural healthcare.


Organization-based Members

  • A2 Associates
  • Adirondack Health
  • Adirondack Rural Health Network
  • Ardent Solutions
  • Association on Aging in New York, Inc
  • Bassett Hospitals
  • Care Compass Network
  • Catskill Hudson Area Health Education Center
  • Cayuga County Community Health Network, Inc.
  • Chautauqua County Health Network
  • Chenango Health Network, Inc
  • Clinton County Health Department
  • Coalition of New York State
  • Alzheimer’s Association Chapters
  • Common Ground Health
  • Community Foundation for South Central NY
  • Finger Lakes IPA, Inc
  • Fort Drum Regional Health Planning Organization
  • Foundation for Community Health
  • Genesee County Health Department
  • Genesee Valley Health Partnership
  • Greene County Rural Health Network
  • Healthy Community Alliance, Inc.
  • Human Services Coalition of Tompkins County
  • HWNY
  • Inclusive Alliance IPA Inc
  • Ira Davenport Memorial Hospital/ArnotHealth
  • Jones Memorial Hospital
  • Kinney Drugs
  • Lake Plains Community Care Network
  • Le Moyne College Department of Physician Assistant Studies
  • M.S. Hall & Associates, LLC
  • Madison County Rural Health Council Inc
  • North Country Family Health Center, Inc.
  • North Country Healthy Heart Network
  • North Country Prenatal Perinatal Council, Inc.
  • Northern AHEC
  • NYS Association for Rural Health
  • Oswego County Opportunities
  • Pivital Public Health Partnership
  • Planned Parenthood of Central and Western New York
  • President and Chief Executive Officer
  • Rural Health Education Network of Schoharie, Otsego, Montgomery
  • Rural Health Network of SCNY
  • Seven Valleys Health Coalition
  • Southern Tier Health Care System, Inc.
  • St. Lawrence County Health Initiative, Inc.
  • STCHCN – Universal Primary Care
  • SUNY Upstate Medical University College of Nursing
  • The Chautauqua Center
  • The Compliance Team, Inc.
  • The Healthcare Consortium
  • Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood
  • Upstate Family Health Center, Inc.
  • UR-St. James Hospital
  • Wayen County Rural Health Network

Individual Members

  • Alex Brooks

  • Bea Haces

  • Brad West

  • Carol Roeder

  • Carrie Roseamelia

  • Christine Veschusio

  • David Yens

  • Douglas Wildermuth

  • James Skiff

  • Janice Shirley

  • Janiya Donson

  • Joan Carl

  • John Salo

  • Karin Pantel

  • Kimberly Bank

  • Lenn Johns

  • Mandy Qualls

  • Marela Fiacco 

  • Nancy McGraw

  • Nicole Rouhana

  • Rajiv Pant

  • Sara Bollinger

  • Steven Kroll

  • Tara Jewett

Student Members

  • Abigail Mosenthin

  • Amanda Fries

  • Caitlyn Knapp

  • Dominick Forlenza

  • Edneraldine Simon

  • Elana Sitnik

  • Ella James

  • Gregory Forlenza

  • Jennifer Bliss

  • Kyle Sasso

  • Lee Ann Hubbert

  • Lovina John

  • Maria Scorzelli Webb

  • Mary Chesna

Become a Member

We invite you to join us through advocacy and by advancing initiatives that support a commitment to improving healthcare quality and access.