Orleans and Genesee honored for shared health efforts

Staff Reports Posted 19 November 2014 at 12:00 am

A partnership between Orleans and Genesee counties, where they share a Public Health director and other staff, has been recognized with the “Outstanding Rural Health Program Award” by the NY State Association for Rural Health.

Paul Pettit of Albion serves as public health director for the two counties. He is pictured at left with Donald Rowe (center), director of the Office of Public Health Practice at the University of Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions; and Kenneth Oakley, CEO of the Lake Plains Community Care Network.

The NY State Association for Rural Health recognizes individuals and organizations that have made a significant contribution to rural health. Recognized state-wide for the high quality of service that they represent in rural health, the NYSARH annual awards are selected by NYSARH’s Board of Directors, who are composed of representatives of all facets of the rural health care industry.

The Orleans and Genesee departments have been sharing a director and other staff since Jan. 1, 2013. The initiative is a collaborative effort of the Lake Plains Community Care Network, Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments, and the University of Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions.

The agencies have been studying and assessing the merits of sharing public health services over a two-year period. Coinciding with this pilot project, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, in partnership with the Kansas Health Institute, began a cross jurisdictional services study on shared public health services nation-wide. The Genesee and Orleans Counties Cross Jurisdictional Sharing Program is one of 16 sites selected by RWJF to be a part of this study.