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UMatter Schenectady Community Health Needs Assessment Announced

Ellis Medicine and Schenectady County Public Health Services Announce Findings of Innovative Survey to Determine Community Health Needs


Schenectady, N.Y. – The results of UMatter Schenectady, an unprecedented community health needs assessment in Schenectady, were publicly announced on Monday. More than 2,200 surveys were conducted and analyzed over the course of seven months to provide a clearer picture of the health issues facing Schenectady residents.

The first-of-its-kind community-based campaign in our region was launched in February 2013. It was modeled after a survey conducted by Sinai Urban Health Institute in Chicago, IL, which found great success in visiting residents door-to-door asking them to provide information on their health. The Schenectady Coalition for a Healthy Community, led by Ellis Medicine and Schenectady County Public Health Services, enlisted community health workers and student volunteers to visit each of Schenectady City’s neighborhoods to gather information and compile the data.

“The UMatter Schenectady initiative illustrates the effectiveness and success that are possible when community organizations collaborate to work on a common goal,” said James W. Connolly, president and CEO, Ellis Medicine. “The results of the survey help us to better identify and address our community’s healthcare needs so we can develop programs and services that are needed most.”

The UMatter Survey, along with data from other sources, found five main health priorities for Schenectady that need to be addressed:
• Asthma and Smoking
• Diabetes and Obesity
• Inappropriate Emergency Department Utilization
• Mental Health and Substance Abuse
• Adolescent Pregnancy

“Community Wellness at its best requires a holistic, collaborative approach,” said Joanne Cocozzoli, Public Health Director for Schenectady County. “We now have a more detailed look at our community’s collective healthcare needs so we can all work together to improve the health and quality of life of our residents.”

The survey was supported by grants from The Schenectady Foundation and Carlilian Foundation. The next steps of the UMatter Schenectady project include regular meetings by workgroups within the Schenectady Coalition for a Healthy Community to implement and monitor action plans to address the identified health priorities. The complete Community Health Needs Assessment and
Community Service Plan will be publicly available for download on November 16 on the websites of Ellis Medicine, Schenectady County Public Health Services and various coalition community partners.


About UMatter Schenectady
UMatter Schenectady is a community health needs assessment that was conducted in the City of Schenectady. Community Health Workers and college student volunteers went door-to-door in Schenectady to ask residents what their current state of health was and to determine their health needs. The goals of the UMatter Schenectady initiative are to decrease identified health disparities; decrease morbidity and mortality from preventable health conditions; and decrease the number of preventable visits to the emergency department and hospital admissions.

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All official communications regarding Ellis Medicine are arranged through the Communications Department. We look forward to working with members of the public and media organizations to provide accurate, up-to-date information about Ellis Medicine.


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