The Rural Outreach Center (ROC), located in East Aurora, received the “Community Star” award from the National Office of State Offices of Rural Health, representing the State of New York.
The ROC was highlighted during the Association’s celebration of Rural Health Day on Nov. 18. Recognition is based on the ROC’s model of addressing the Social Determinants of Health in rural southern Western New York. Eighty percent of our length of life (mortality) and quality of life (morbidity) is dependent on social determinants such as health behaviors, social and economic factors and the living environment. The ROC recognizes that there is significant overlap between these determinants of health and the determinants of poverty. Thus, addressing one will affect the other.
For instance, ROC Participants are empowered to set goals to improve education, employment status, income, and family and social support, all obvious avenues to move from dependency toward self-sufficiency. These avenues are also some of the social determinants of health.
In any given year, over 50% of ROC adult participants improve their mental health status and housing. Likewise, children and youth improve their mental health and education status. These changes not only move Participants toward greater self-sufficiency, but also toward better health.
Located at 730 Olean Road in East Aurora, the ROC’s mission is to assist, empower and elevate the impoverished rural populations in southern Erie County and surrounding areas. The organization’s staff and volunteers serve with compassion, empathy and respect for all people. For children, the ROC’s goal is to break the cycle of multi-generational poverty by providing counseling, play therapy, educational opportunities and programs. For more information on the good work being done every day by the Rural Outreach Center, please visit http://theroc.co or call (716) 240-2220. You can also follow the organization on Facebook for frequent updates.