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Erie County Medical Center champions COVID-19 prevention efforts

Robust prevention strategies and virus education have been integral to slowing the spread of COVID-19, especially prior to the release of vaccines. In June 2020, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Erie County Medical Center developed an initiative to bolster prevention efforts in its community.

ECMC’s initiative supported efforts led by faith-based and community-based organizations with Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment Program funds to provide reliable, trustworthy information on the pandemic and broaden opportunities for COVID-19 testing in at-risk, poor communities in Western New York. The purpose was to eliminate myths connected to the pandemic, while simultaneously urging citizens to take necessary preventive measures, including masking, hand hygiene and social distancing, and to get tested for the virus as quickly as possible.

For this initiative, ECMC partnered with Community Health Center of Buffalo, ECMC Family Health Center, Evergreen Health, Jericho Road, Kaleida Health, Neighborhood Health Center, Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, Rapha Family Wellness Center, The Chautauqua Center and Urban Family Practice.

During the program, more than 25,000 calls were made to area residents. The call centers referred 135 people to behavioral healthcare at Endeavor Health Services, introduced 154 people to local primary care practices, enrolled 154 people in health insurance and helped 640 people get tested for COVID-19. Contactless food delivery was also provided to 3,635 families in their homes.

For more information, contact Peter K. Cutler, vice president, communications and external affairs, at pcutler@ecmc.edu or 716.898.6505.