Led by director Nancy M. Bennett, M.D., M.S., professor of Medicine and Public Health Sciences and co-director of the URMC Clinical & Translational Science Institute, the Center for Community Health & Prevention brings together community partners and programs and promotes best practices to improve the overall health of the community.
“This is an important change that clearly articulates our consistent focus and the future direction of our work,” Bennett said. “If you consider the broad variety of programs and initiatives our team coordinates, the ultimate goal of each is to prevent disease.”
Staff members support this goal in many ways, all through the lens of creating transformation to help people live healthier lives, no matter what barriers exist. Some examples of the Center’s work:
- Experts at the Healthy Living Center work with individuals to improve nutrition and increase physical activity to decrease risk for cardiovascular disease and cancer.
- Family, Food and Fun offers programs in public housing facilities to help families stay physically active, make nutritious food choices and live healthy lifestyles. Healthy Living Livingston takes similar programs to the surrounding counties in collaboration with the Wilmot Cancer Institute.
- The Monroe County Cancer Services Program saves lives by providing education and free cancer screenings for individuals who are uninsured or underinsured.
- The Emerging Infections Program participates in national studies addressing the impact of the HPV vaccine, the prevention of healthcare associated infections, and influenza and respiratory syncytial virus surveillance.
- The Center leads community-wide efforts to conduct the Community Health Needs Assessment and to develop joint health care system improvement plans to address priority health issues.
- The Teen Health and Success Partnership enrolls urban youth in a comprehensive program, which provides wellness education, life skills training, and employment opportunities to ensure long-term academic success.
Along with the modification to its name, the Center is transitioning to a new, updated branding look.
What is not changing is the Center’s broad mission: To join forces with the community to promote health equity; improve health through research, education, services and policy; and establish local and national models for prevention and community engagement. Since its inception more than a decade ago, when URMC made community health its fourth core mission, the Center has never wavered in its overarching goal of preventing health problems before they start, Bennett said.