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ECMC announces community COVID-19 testing sites program

Wed, May 13th 2020 11:45 am

$2.3M ECMC-provided funding enabling 27 sites in 17 priority ZIP codes across Amherst, Buffalo, Dunkirk, Jamestown, Lockport, Niagara Falls, North Tonawanda, Wheatfield, Williamsville

Erie County Medical Center Corp. today announced 10 community health center and primary care practice organizations have been approved to receive $2.3 million in Delivery Service Reform Incentive Program (DSRIP) funds to support COVID-19 testing at 27 sites and from three mobile units operating in 17 priority ZIP codes in Western New York: Amherst, Buffalo, Dunkirk, Jamestown, Lockport, Niagara Falls, North Tonawanda, Wheatfield and Williamsville.

The organizations selected for funding have existing agreements under the DSRIP Medicaid program in these vulnerable communities. They were able to apply for COVID-19 testing site grant funding for up to $2,500 per day for up to 100 days. These organizations will have specific deliverables and reporting requirements.

Thomas J. Quatroche Jr., Ph.D., president and CEO of the Erie County Medical Center, said, “The ECMC DSRIP-funded community testing sites program is part of a multipronged, community-based health care initiative designed to support Western New York’s vulnerable, at-risk residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. NYS Medicaid Waiver funding is being used in these vulnerable communities to increase testing and link individuals with primary care. The COVID-19 pandemic is disproportionally affecting minority and economically challenged areas due to social determinates of health that have created underlining health conditions in these communities.”

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said, “ECMC’s expanded testing initiative is great news and is a welcome addition to ongoing efforts to increasing testing, especially among vulnerable populations. This expanded reach and increase in awareness of COVID-19 will help to keep residents safer and connect them with health care where needed. Having committed partners is critical to an effective response and I thank ECMC and their team for working in communities across Erie County and our region.”

Sheila Kee, executive vice president and chief operating officer at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, said, “The Erie County Medical Center has been on the frontlines of Western New York’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic since the very beginning. We’re very fortunate to have their leadership, and we thank ECMC for the support and partnership in assisting our efforts to increase our testing capabilities and overall care for our community members in Niagara County.”

Michael Pease, CEO of The Chautauqua Center, said, “Time and again we have seen the Erie County Medical Center step up to provide care to the greater Western New York community. We greatly appreciate their partnership, care and concern for Chautauqua County community members, and look forward to immediately increasing our testing capabilities at our Dunkirk and Jamestown locations.”

The community testing sites program is in addition to expanded testing capabilities at ECMC, as well as Kaleida Health’s recently announced effort to expand its laboratory testing capability for COVID-19.

An additional $1.125 million in funding has also been provided to the African American Health Equity Task Force, to facilitate the task force’s work with Buffalo-area churches and other community-based organizations to reach out to vulnerable individuals and educate them on COVID-19-related health issues, identify barriers to care and link individuals with primary care and COVID-19 testing sites.

Also, with support of the New York State Department of Health, an additional $7.24 million was released as early distribution of funds to outpatient community partners, including primary care and behavioral health partners, as well as organizations that are engaged in three areas of activity:

  • Expanding health care capacity to reach Medicaid and vulnerable populations (e.g. telehealth);
  • Address social determinants of health (e.g., food, food pantries, rent assistance, housing); and
  • Provide COVID-19-related care.

Click HERE for Niagara County testing sites

Click HERE for Erie County testing sites

Click HERE for Chautauqua County testing sites

Image courtesy of the Office of Andrew Cuomo.

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