HOPE Buffalo Launches Teen-Focused Referral Guide

Erie County, NY—The Erie County Department of Health (“ECDOH”) and HOPE Buffalo, a collaborative, community project that aims to reduce teen pregnancy in selected Erie County zip codes by 30% by the year 2020, today released a comprehensive teen Referral Guide that will help link youth to reproductive health, primary care, and support services. The Referral Guide will be disseminated to an extensive network of community leaders and healthcare providers.

“I am tremendously excited about this new Referral Guide as it will provide necessary information to Buffalo’s youth to help them make informed decisions so they can achieve their goals,” said Dr. Gale Burstein, Commissioner, Erie County Department of Health. “Our ultimate goal is to build a more equitable and healthy future for both City of Buffalo youth as individuals and for the County as a whole.”

Prior to inclusion in the Guide, organizations were assessed to confirm that they deliver services in a positive, youth-affirming, and open manner. Building a referral guide was an essential objective of HOPE Buffalo’s strategy to expand the referral and linkage system in the community. It is a tool to help not only young people in our community connect with community-based organizations and healthcare centers that support adolescent health and wellness, but also as a reference for adults who provide services to youth.

We listened to the community’s needs,” said HOPE Buffalo Project Director, Stan Martin. “Although other referral guides exist, we specifically wanted ours to cater to teens.”

In developing the Referral Guide, HOPE Buffalo and the Buffalo community are breaking down barriers and collaborating to build a network whose main goal is to help the teens in our community get the support they need to live their best and healthiest lives.

The Guide is available online at hopebuffalo.org. Printed versions will be distributed by HOPE Buffalo’s Community Action Team. For more information, contact Elizabeth Terranova, Project Coordinator, Teen Wellness, at 716.858.4977 or Elizabeth.Terranova@erie.gov.

For More Information:

Erie County Department of Health: Teen Wellness

HOPE Buffalo

PATCH Program

OAH Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program

National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy

The HOPE Buffalo project is supported through a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Adolescent Health to the Erie County Department of Health and CAI (Cicatelli Associates Inc.).

This publication was made possible by Grant number 5 TP1AH000106-02-00 from the HHS Office of Adolescent Health. Contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Department of Health and Human Services or the Office of Adolescent Health. 

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On Great American Smokeout Day (Nov. 16), the Center of Excellence for Health Systems Improvement at CAI Says Health Care Providers Are Key to Success in Quitting

Also in late November, Tobacco Companies Will Finally Run TV, Newspapers Ads Taking Full Responsibility of Their Lethal Products  

New York, N.Y. - Today, in observance of the Great American Smokeout, the Center of Excellence for Health Systems Improvement (COE for HSI) urges smokers throughout New York State to plan to quit smoking by contacting their health care providers, who will provide them the greatest chance for success in quitting. COE for HSI works with medical and behavioral health systems throughout New York State to establish system wide policies to screen for and treat tobacco dependence.  

“The Great American Smokeout Campaign supports our efforts to improve health systems by fully integrating tobacco screening and treatment into standard care delivery at healthcare organizations statewide,” stated COE for HSI Project Director, Michael Graziano. “We continue to believe that health care providers are one of the greatest supports to those who want to quit smoking.”

In addition to their current work as the COE for HSI, CAI served as the tobacco control training center for New York State for ten years —delivering customized trainings to Regional Grantees of the New York State Bureau of Tobacco Control. In a state where more than 28,000 adults die every year due to smoking, CAI trainings have helped New York achieve its goal of reducing the prevalence of cigarette use among adults and adolescents.

An added reason to celebrate the Great American Smokeout is that it takes place the same month as tobacco companies gear up to launch a court mandated ad campaign finally telling the truth about their deadly and addictive products after lying to the American public for decades about the dangers of smoking. The first ads will appear in dozens of major newspapers around the nation on Sunday, November 26 and the first television ads will appear a week later.

For more than 11 years, the tobacco companies have sought to weaken and delay the corrective ad campaign ordered by the court. These ads contain statements about the health dangers of smoking that stem from a landmark lawsuit filed by the U.S Justice Department in 1999 and a landmark judgment issued in 2006 by U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler. Judge Kessler found the tobacco companies guilty of civil racketeering laws and lying about the negative health effects of smoking and their marketing to children.


For more information on CAI’s products and services, please contact Michael Graziano, Project Director for Health Systems Improvement (HSI) at mgraziano@caiglobal.org or (212) 594-7741 X 226.


CDC funds new initiative to address youth sexually transmitted disease rate disparities in Erie County

Erie County, NY— In the face of national cuts to adolescent health funding, HOPE Buffalo, one of the Erie County Department of Health’s (ECDOH) and CAI’s teen pregnancy prevention projects, has been successful in securing a federal grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for almost $1 million over three years for the Community Approaches to Reducing STDs (CARS) initiative. This initiative aims to implement evidence-based strategies to reduce disparities in STD rates among African American and LGBTQI adolescents and young adults between the ages of 15 and 24.

Effective September 30, 2017, the CARS team began working as part of HOPE Buffalo’s Community Action Team (CAT) to engage community-members, stakeholders, and youth.  Adapting HOPE Buffalo’s community mobilization model, community members, youth and stakeholders will work together to identify what is contributing to disparities in rates of STDs as well as take part in developing and implementing solutions. CAI will serve as the backbone organization in partnership with ECDOH to resource and coordinate all initiative activities. 

This effort will include embedding a Social Determinants of Health Fellow within ECDOH to work closely with Health Commissioner, Gale Burstein MD, MPH and her team.

“This award would not have been possible without the support of the HOPE Buffalo community,” said Stan Martin, Project Director of HOPE Buffalo. “As a result, we are able to address the social determinants of health and reduce health disparities amongst those with some of the greatest needs.” 

HOPE Buffalo’s community partners, among other supportive CAT members to date include:

  • ECDSS-Adoption and Family Services
  • Buffalo Federation of Neighborhood Centers
  • Buffalo Public School District
  • Buffalo Police Athletic League, Inc.
  • City of Buffalo, Department of Community Services and Recreation
  • Evergreen Health
  • Greater Buffalo United Ministries
  • Kaleida School Based Health Center
  • Kaleida Health
  • Millennium Collaborative Care
  • Neuwater Associates LLC
  • Ss Columba-Brigid
  • United Way of Buffalo and Erie County

For more information or if you would like to join the CARS effort, send an e-mail message to smartin@caiglobal.org.  You can also visit the HOPE Buffalo website at www.hopebuffalo.org to take the pledge for healthy teens.

HOPE Buffalo Hosts Press Conference

Federal Funding Cuts To Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program Hits Home

Erie County, NY - On August 17, 2017, HOPE Buffalo hosted a press conference to discuss the current administration's decision to cut funding to the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program (TPPP) by two years.
HOPE Buffalo, a project of CAI, in partnership with the Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH), was initially awarded a $10 million grant over five years (2015-2020), but is now only guaranteed funding until June of 2018. Both HOPE Buffalo and the ECDOH are committed to raising healthy children and sustaining the youth and community led collaboration beyond the 2018 date. 
The strategies they seek to implement are replicating the Evidence Based Interventions (EBIs)—proven to reduce teen pregnancy—and continue utilizing science and data to reach well-informed decisions about comprehensive adolescent health and wellness. The goal remains to reduce teen pregnancy by 30% by 2020 in nine selected Buffalo City zip codes with the highest teen pregnancy rates and will require more support from the community, including the public and private sector.  
Key topics that were addressed included: 

  • What is HOPE Buffalo?
  • What is the Plan?
  • The Youth Voice
  • Next Steps to Move Forward 

“The driving force behind our work is the data,” said HOPE Buffalo’s Project Director, Stan Martin in the last Community Action Team (CAT) meeting.
“We have talked about sustainability since day one,” he said. “We put action behind our words where schools, communities and healthcare providers are all involved. We want to prepare ourselves for beyond 2018 and 2020.” 

To learn more about HOPE Buffalo, please click here.



Proposed rule aims to reduce public housing residents' exposure to second-hand smoke, as well as reduce smoke-related maintenance costs and fire risk

New York, NY – Research conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) demonstrates that secondhand smoke is an extremely prevalent problem in multi-unit housing. According to their July 2016 press release, tobacco smoke often travels from smokers’ units into those of non-smokers, as well as common areas such as hallways and lobbies. This puts all residents, especially children, at risk of exposure. According to U.S. Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy, there is no safe level of exposure to tobacco smoke, and second-hand exposure to children can have devastating consequences, ranging from asthma to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

 In an effort to address this issue, approximately 600 of the nation’s 3,300 public housing authorities (PHAs) have made at least one of their buildings smoke-free. While this is a solid foundation to build upon for a completely smoke-free public housing environment, much of the country’s public housing remains largely unregulated. 

 On November 30th, 2016, Secretary Julián Castro of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that a new rule had been implemented requiring all PHAs to now provide smoke-free environments for their residents within the following 18 months. Throughout the year, HUD has worked with PHAs, housing and health partners, and tenant advocates to create a final rule which prohibits combustible tobacco products such as cigarettes, cigars, or pipes in all public housing properties, as well as all outdoor areas within 25 feet of housing and administrative office buildings. This rule was created based out of the need to provide safe, smoke-free homes for children living in public housing units. Out of 2 million residents living in public housing, there are more than 760,000 children under the age of 18.

HUD’s smoke-free rule is not only expected to dramatically reduce second-hand smoke exposure, but decrease smoke-related maintenance and repair costs for PHAs as well. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this rule will save agencies up to $153 million every year, including $94 million in health care costs, $43 million in renovation of smoking-permitted units, and $16 million in smoke-related fire reparations. 

“Exposure to secondhand smoke can mean the difference between a healthy childhood, and one spent taking recurrent trips to an emergency room to receive treatment for smoke-related health issues.” said Dawn Middleton, Project Director of the COE for HSI. “HUD’s new rule for smoke-free public housing would ensure that future generations can live healthier lives, free from the devastating consequences of secondhand smoke.”

For more information about the work of the COE for HSI, visit www.tobaccofreeny.org

About CAI: CAI is a global nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the health and well-being of underserved populations worldwide. Since 1979, CAI has provided customized capacity building services to health and human service organizations in more than 27 countries and in all 50 states. Offering more than 1,500 training programs annually, CAI’s passionate staff works to fulfill its mission: to use the transformative power of education and research to foster a more aware, healthy, compassionate and equitable world. For more information about CAI, visit our website: www.caiglobal.org.

About the Center of Excellence for Health Systems Improvement: With funding from the New York State Department of Health, Bureau of Tobacco Control, CAI serves as the Center of Excellence for Health Systems Improvement (COE for HSI) for a Tobacco-Free New York. The COE for HSI promotes large-scale systems and policy changes to support the universal provision of evidence-based tobacco dependence treatment services. The COE for HSI aims to support 10 regional contractors throughout New York State working with health care systems and organizations that serve those populations for which tobacco use prevalence rates have not decreased in recent years - adults with low incomes, less than a high school diploma, and/or serious mental illness. Focused on providing capacity-building assistance services around topics like how to engage and obtain buy-in from leadership to implement the kinds of systems-level changes that will result in identification and intervention with every tobacco user who seeks care, the COE for HSI also will offer materials and resources to support contractors in their regional work. For more information, visit www.tobaccofreeny.org.