The community of Buffalo is aware of the inequity that exists in the city. The University at Buffalo has been making strides in the right direction towards fixing that. Education is shown to have the biggest impact on regions affected by health problems. Teaching a community about the health dangers present in their community can help them learn how they can make personal changes in their lives to help mitigate the risks of their environment. Roswell Park has also been a core contributor to outreach in the Western New York area (WNY) with their offices in Buffalo, NY.
The University at Buffalo held a conference in order to help resolve community-wide concerns. Topics addressed included the opioid epidemic, heart disease, homelessness that results from the inequity in Buffalo. Organizations represented at the April 28th conference included the Erie County Department of Health, Buffalo Public Schools, Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, Community Health Center of Buffalo Inc., Food Bank of WNY, Independent Health, Jericho Road Community Health Center, local branches of the NAACP, Planned Parenthood and the Center for Hospice & Palliative Care. (“Buffalo’s Health Disparities Get Community Wake-Up Call”, 2018) One initiative that they developed is rewarding churches a thousand dollars every time they have shown progress that they have made in decreasing inequity in their community. Since then, barbershops have been bringing health care professionals to administer blood pressure and sugar tests, both used as indicators for heart disease and diabetes. In order to escape inequities caused by having lower paying jobs, you need to have equal access to those positions. All parties agreed that more research needs to be done in order to continue the battle against inequity.
The University at Buffalo research has come up with Patient Action Teams. These are systems in which those who join the groups are expected to spread information about health inequity to their community or primary care facilities. (“Health Disparities”, 2018) These teams help develop systems of care, train health professionals, increase preventative screenings, and design interventions to improve self-management.