On Nov. 19 — National Rural Health Day — the New York State Association for Rural Health recognized the Rural Outreach Center (ROC) for the Association’s “Outstanding Rural Health Program” Award.
Dr. Frank Cerny, executive director of the ROC, received the award on behalf of its staff, participants, supportive community and so many others working to improve the health of rural populations.
The ROC offers an innovative model to address rural poverty by concentrating on the social determinants of health. Only 20% of disease and death are attributable to clinical factors; the remaining 80% to factors such as income, education, housing, food security, etc. The staff at the ROC initially helps meet emergency needs but quickly seeks to move the client to take steps to move away from dependency toward independence. By identifying strengths and setting goals, participants are empowered to take charge of their future. Most goals are oriented to the social determinants of health.
In any given year, over 50% of ROC participants improve on emotional health and housing. These improvements, along with other changes, result in healthier lives. It is for this model of life transformation that the ROC was recognized.
The ROC wishes to thank its staff and community supporters, including volunteers and many friends for their contributions to have made this work possible.
The New York State Association for Rural Health is a not-for-profit, non-partisan, grassroots membership organization working to preserve and improve health and human services in rural New York State. The NYSARH ia a member of the National Rural Health Association.
For more information on the ROC, located at 730 Olean Road in East Aurora, please visit http://theroc.co or call 240-2220.