Community Action recognized with innovation award for Axis of Care program

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 2 October 2022 at 8:19 pm

Provided photo: Renee Hungerford, director of Community Action of Orleans and Genesee, is shown accepting an Innovation Award from the New York State Community Action Association, presented at the annual Professional Development Conference at the Hyatt Regency in Rochester on Sept. 29.

ROCHESTER – Renee Hungerford, director of Community Action of Orleans and Genesee, and Community Action have been chosen as the recipient of the 2022 Innovation Award for their work with the Axis of Care Pilot.

Axis of Care was developed by Hungerford to increase access to healthcare for the homeless and housing for insecure families across Orleans County. The award is given by the New York State Community Action Association’s Membership Development Committee and was presented Sept. 29 at the 2022 Annual Professional Development Conference at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Rochester.

“I want to express my congratulations to Renee and the agency on their exemplary work that led to this award,” said Charles Barbay, project manager with New York State Community Action Association, in a letter to Hungerford.

The award is presented to a Community Action agency’s current project, program or initiative that demonstrated an innovative and effective response to a community challenge, addressing a need in the community, according to Barbay.

“I am honored that NYSCAA has chosen us as the recipient of the Innovation Award for our Axis of Care program,” Hungerford said. “This program is a one-year pilot, funded by the Finger Lakes Performing Providers Association, with the goal of demonstrating the critical role that community-based organizations like Community Action of Orleans and Genesee play in healthcare and wellness.

“The program will demonstrate how health outcomes can be improved with lowered costs by addressing social determinants of health, along with connecting individuals to healthcare services,” she said. “This program was developed primarily to help individuals in need, but is also intended to demonstrate why community-based organizations are a vital part of healthcare delivery and why we deserve a seat at the table in value-based contracting and SDOH service insurance reimbursement.”

Hungerford co-presented about the program with their partners at Continual Care Solutions, the creator of ImPowr. In addition, Melinda Chaffee and Hungerford were honored to be asked to participate in a recorded panel discussion about Community Action. This recording will be available at NYSCAA Learns in the near future.