The Center for Urban Studies and the Department of Community Health and Health Behavior have partnered with the Greater Buffalo United Ministries (GRUM) and the Greater Buffalo United Affordable Healthcare Network (GBUAHN) to test the effectiveness of a neighborhood-scaled intervention model in a predominantly black, urban neighborhood in helping blacks rise above their cost benefit analysis approach to life, which is based on a present orientation to engage in preventive behavior, use primary care services regularly, and participate in clinical trials, in order to lessen the health disparities of this group when compared to the rest of Erie County. This model is novel because it partners a faith-based organization, a network of minority physicians and a research university. Together these partners can collaborate to improve access to preventive and primary care, as well as clinical trials by facilitating extensive relationship building between community health workers, parishioners and residents of the target neighborhood. The Center for Urban Studies has conducted a Community Health Needs Assessment to inform the design and implementation of this neighborhood and faith-based health care delivery system for Medicaid eligible residents in GRUM neighborhoods. The purpose of this Community Health Needs Assessment was to identify the unmet health challenges for GRUM communities in Erie and Niagara Counties. It outlined a strategy for addressing those needs by developing a set of health indicators and metrics to monitor progress in meeting those needs. The assessment provided GRUM and GBUAHN with the framework needed to forge an implementation strategy to address these unmet health needs in the GRUM community. The long-term goal of the project is to assess the role that aggressive outreach can play in improving health outcomes in a neighborhood and refining this model so that it can be replicated locally and across the United States.
This project organized and developed a comprehensive evidence base on boarding and disembarking public transit vehicles, completed research to address key policy and design issues, and identified new research needs. The IDeA Center, as part of the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Accessible Public Transportation (RERC-APT), conducted laboratory research on the usability of access ramps in transit applications by employing a full-scale simulation of a low-floor transit bus and an adjustable ramp. One study evaluated the usability of ramps of different slopes during ascent and descent. The second study focused on the ease of boarding, fare payment and disembarking under different conditions of fare payment and available floor space at the front area of a low-floor bus. The data collected in this study established a model for evidence-based practice in this field for the development of policies, standards and design tools. This project was part of a larger effort to research and develop methods to empower consumers and service providers in the design and evaluation of accessible transportation equipment, information services and physical environments. Data collected in this project was used to design and evaluate vehicle features, boarding technologies and design of stops and stations. Research on the anthropometry of wheeled mobility devices and their users indicated that current dimensions prescribed in U.S. accessibility standards for transportation are inadequate, e.g. clear floor area and ramp slope. The researchers included these findings when they submitted comments in response to the U.S. Access Board’s proposal to revise and update its accessibility guidelines for buses, over-the-road buses and vans. Findings from the research were also used to provide the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) with recommendations for new bus designs; two of these recommendations were incorporated in two new buses.
This project is a feasibility study designed to assess the viability of several measurement tools that are potentially applicable to quantitative evaluation of Complete Streets programs. The tools touch upon several areas of impact, including safety, economic and environmental impact, bike/pedestrian volume, and citizen feedback. The study deployed these measures in a field test conducted in Buffalo, N.Y., along six transportation corridors where Complete Streets projects have either been implemented or are planned. The goal is to establish the feasibility and sustainability of these data collection methods in order to identify those that might be implemented as part of an ongoing Complete Streets program evaluation.
Review of the epidemiology program of the American Cancer Society (ACS) — review of overall research goals and also the work of individuals doing research for the national ACS. Worked with Susan Gapstur at the Atlanta ACS.
We conducted a mixed-methods, multisite, community-based participatory research study to optimize recruitment of families for a genetic study. To develop a community-based partnership, we collaborated with the National Witness Project to recruit African-American women diagnosed with breast cancer and their unaffected relatives. We also used focus groups to investigate incentives and factors related to participation in a family-based genetic study in this minority group. The aims are: (1) work with the National Witness Project members to develop a process to optimize recruitment and participation by African-American women; and (2) identify new regions of the genome that may increase breast cancer risk in African-American families. The initial study is complete; we have submitted additional grants that would enable continued research activities. We engaged with women locally in Buffalo, but also included other U.S. cities.
In summer 2013, University at Buffalo signed an MOU with the Indian Health Service committing the university to the tasks of improving the health of the indigenous people of Western New York and making active efforts to improve access to UB for Native students. I have served as the dean’s point person for the execution of this MOU. My work to date has been focussed on reaching out to the Six Nations, making them aware of UB’s interest in forming partnerships, and working with the Indian Health Service to identify potentially important UB services and programs that could be directed toward improving the health of indigenous people.
Summary of grant: Collecting data to increase focus on measuring and improving the results being achieved through state early intervention programs, preschool special education and special education systems for children and youth with disabilities.
All undergraduate Exercise Science students complete a 480-hour internship during their final semester in the program. The students complete their internships at a variety of settings (hospitals, schools, nonprofit organizations, small businesses, corporations) in locations throughout Western New York and beyond. These experiential learning experiences allow the students to provide assistance to a variety of organizations while taking what they have learned in the classroom and applying it in a real-world setting.
The WNYIL Inc. Director, Mr. Douglas Usiak, is a Co-Investigator on a federal grant, who spends one day per week in our office. Mr. Usiak provides input to all projects and leads our consumer recruitment and focus group activities. As a person who is blind, Mr. Usiak is in charge of ensuring all of our materials and media are accessible, and he leads our translation/dissemination efforts. We also maintain a demonstration house at the WNYIL Inc. site, containing a wide range of assistive technology products for informational/demonstration purposes.
UB on the Green is a free, outdoor, family-friendly festival of music, dance and fun, celebrating summer in the South Campus neighborhood. Community residents bring their own lawn chairs, food and drinks to Hayes Hall Lawn, and enjoy great entertainment, hands-on activities, and dynamic demonstrations and workshops. UB on the Green features an exciting theme each night, including “Unity in the Community & Health Care Fair Night,” “Arts & Culture Night” and “Athletics Night.”