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Key health care agency gets rebranding

Key health care agency gets rebranding

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Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency, a key player in health care here and statewide, has changed its name to Common Ground Health.
The move, slated to be announced today, is part of a rebranding effort for the Rochester-based nonprofit that better reflects its mission to help the region come together on health issues, its leaders said. 
Common Ground Health brings together leaders from health care, education, business, government and other sectors to develop strategies for meeting the region’s health needs. 
From caring for the aging population to preventing lifestyle diseases, such as high blood pressure and obesity, the organization works with community health care leaders to meet a growing list of fundamental needs for the counties in and around Rochester and the Finger Lakes, as well as Chemung, Schuyler and Steuben counties. 
CEO Trilby de Jung said the new name does not change the agency’s mission. 
“The new name is a better description of what we have done, what we are now doing and we see ourselves doing in the future,” she said. 
The goal of the agency is for better care, smarter spending and healthier people, and having a unified voice helps get results, de Jung said. 
“Many of our health problems are too large and complex for any one organization to solve alone,” de Jung said. “We provide the community table and data analysis that allows decision-makers to tackle health challenges together.”
The organization also provides community health data online, including county specific health profiles and regional health measures. 
Among the agency’s goals this year are continuing with its efforts related to healthy weight initiatives, and assisting primary health care facilities in the region connect with other service providers, expanding their networks. 
Common Ground Health also is studying the health care workforce, looking for ways to get people in the region ready to meet the needs of health care issues locally. The workforce issue goes hand-in-hand with poverty issues the agency has been working to improve, as well, de Jung said. 
The collaboration model Common Ground Health uses has led to improved care, costs and outcomes for residents in the region, she said, adding it has made the Rochester and Finger Lakes region a statewide and national example of how medical providers and the community can work together to improve health. 
Some examples of its successes in the region include:
  •  Ranking third in the nation for lowest spending on private health care insurance;
  •  Giving 28,300 Rochester city students access to free water at school meals;
  •  Seeing an 11 percent improvement in high blood pressure control in Monroe County since 2010; and
  •  Receiving $33.5 million in clinical practice transformation funding for the Finger Lakes region. 
The regional planning concept was the idea of Marion Folsom, an Eastman Kodak Co. vice president who served as President Dwight Eisenhower’s secretary of health, education and welfare. He saw locally based planning as a way to help ensure access to care and hold down costs. 
In keeping with the plan’s Rochester origin, Common Ground Health was the first among local agencies in the state, founded in 1974.
The agency, which employs 41 people, has been lauded by Gov. Andrew Cuomo as the hub of a reviving regional health planning infrastructure.
In 2012, Common Ground Health, with the support of partners from across the community, was awarded the nation’s largest Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation grant. 
The three-year $26.6 million initiative has trained clinicians in 65 primary care practices across five counties in new approaches proven to enhance care and efficiency. 

The state also recognized the power of Common Ground Health’s collaborative approach to health planning, designating the nonprofit as the region’s Population Health Improvement Program and tapping the organization to help the 10 other state programs duplicate the model across New York. 

3/10/2017 (c) 2017 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email [email protected].