As we receive messages from various health and service providers, we are sharing them with you!

The American Heart Association is doing everything possible in Western New York to protect the people and communities we serve. You may wish to bookmark our online Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources, which will be updated as evidence-based information and science evolve. We encourage you to take advantage of these resources to help you through this challenging time.
The Association has taken the necessary steps to safeguard its employees and supporters. We’re having our staff work from home, postponing numerous fundraising events, and reimagining others. While we are minimizing in-person contact, our staff are still available to chat by phone, text, email or video conferencing. We are here for you to talk through any concerns, options, and ideas.
Today, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is utilizing the technologies created by the AHA Center for Accelerated Drug Discovery—specifically, a drug discovery pipeline, scalable virtual screening, machine learning algorithms, and a draft database—and applying those technologies to a COVID-19 response.
The Association has established a $2.5 million rapid research fund to fast-track scientific research to better understand COVID-19 and its interaction with cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases. We anticipate funding a national coordinating center and at least 10 COVID-19 and Its Cardiovascular Impact Rapid Response Grants of $100,000 each.
In response to the shortage of trained ICU personnel for utilizing ventilators, we are rapidly launching a new course for Oxygenation & Ventilation of the COVID-19 patient. We are also working to add COVID-19 tracking and appropriate measures to our Get With The Guidelines® modules, to better manage existing patients while preparing for research studies to improve health in the future.
Underserved populations in urban and rural America will be hardest hit by the economic impact of COVID-19. The Association continues to support local organizations that are addressing social determinants of health, including investees of the AHA Social Impact Fund. These entrepreneurs, small businesses, and organizations are breaking down social and economic barriers to healthy living through creative solutions to inequities in social cohesion, housing, food access, and more.
·Be on the lookout for virtual Lunch & Learns with subject matter experts on relevant topics like stress and weekly emails that provide resources and practical advice for nutrition and physical activity. We want to make sure we are supporting you during this time.
As our communities navigate the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), BryLin Behavioral Health System is dedicated to taking care of all their patients, associates and physicians across their system. BryLin has taken every step to protect the staff and recipients during this health crisis. As of now, both BryLin Hospital, in Buffalo, and the BryLin Behavioral Health Center, in Williamsville, are OPEN and accepting new patients.
BryLin Hospital has implemented numerous preventative measures, as recommended by public health authorities. So far BryLin Hospital has stopped visitation for all patients. Instead, it is using video-visitng via Facetime and Skype for patients to keep in touch with their loved ones. There are hand washing stations and accessibility to disinfectants for all employees.
BryLin Hospital has implemented an approved screening process in the Admissions Department, techniques provided by the CDC, to exclude compromised recipients meeting the CDC criteria. BryLin Hospital is utilizing screening measures, for everyone coming into the buildings, looking for any symptoms consistent with the CDC guidelines.
BryLin Behavioral Health Center (outpatient clinics for mental health and substance use disorders in Williamsville) is offering counseling and medication management appointments via telemedicine. Individual and group sessions are now conducted by phone and both clinics are screening new patients by calling the respective clinic directly. No one will be seen in the clinic. New and existing patients are encouraged to call with any questions.
BryLin Behavioral Health System is accepting new patients at all locations by calling 716-886-8200. Please visit the website at for updates and more information
In times like these, it is critical to have care established with a primary care physician. If you do not have a PCP, you can establish care with one of Buffalo Medical Group’s physicians through a video visit, without coming into the office. To set up an appointment, or learn more, call 716-630-2544, or visit
Buffalo Center and Ellicott Center are providing our residents with the utmost care, comfort, and compassion. They mean the world to us, and we are here for them 24/7, medically, physically, and
We know how hard it is on our residents and their families—not being able to visit at our facilities. But we have adopted this policy in order to safeguard the health of our staff and residents, many of whom are most vulnerable to the coronavirus, COVID 19.
For now, if you have a loved one at Buffalo Center or Ellicott Center, please take advantage of our video calling options—Facetime, WhatsApp, or Skype. You can reach out for a face-to-face chat from the safety of your home to the safety of ours.
We will provide regular updates as they become available and in the future, as the crisis fades, we look forward to welcoming visitors once again. Until then, know this: we are here for our residents, and we are here for you. If you have any questions, concerns or suggestions feel free to contact us by phone or email.
Be well, be safe and thank you for your kind patience and understanding.
During this time of uncertainty, Child & Family Services is here for you. Whether you need someone to talk to through our mental health programming, or a safe place to go to at Haven House, Erie County’s only licensed domestic violence shelter, we are open and here to help you and your loved ones.
Most of our agency is now working remotely: our mental health clinics, Employee Assistance Programs, and vendor services are all offering phone and web-based counseling sessions to help provide comfort to anyone in our community through this crisis. If you would like to make an appointment, please call 716-842-2750.
This time of high stress and uncertainty can add to volatile circumstances surrounding domestic violence. We are here to help. Anyone feeling unsafe can call our domestic violence, confidential 24-hour hotline at 716-884-6000. Haven House shelter remains open. Counseling is available as well!
The Center for Restorative Justice continues to provide remote mediation sessions to help promote peace and solve conflict outside the court system. For more information on any of our programs and services, visit If you would like more information, please fill out the form located at the bottom of the homepage or call 716-842-2750.
To view our complete update on Child & Family Services’ programs and services in response to COVID-19, click here.


“Hunter’s Hope Foundation offers support and resources for children and families during this difficult time. In support of helping the local community, the Children’s Wonderful Activity Book is available to help children have fun while at home. The book is free, but must be ordered by Friday, April 10th, to ensure shipping by the printer. Click here to order. For more information or to make a donation to help other families, visit

ndependent Health today announced it is expanding its partnership with Brook, an innovative Seattle-based technology company, to offer the Western New York community free access to the Brook Personal Health Companion App for the duration of the COVID-19 health emergency.

“Members and non-members alike are looking for helpful information and support as the Coronavirus continues to grip our region,” said Michael W. Cropp, M.D., President & CEO, Independent Health. “Everybody is concerned about their personal health like never before, and they are motivated to understand what they can do to protect themselves and their families as we continue to navigate these uncharted waters. Those living with existing chronic conditions are especially stressed and looking for answers.”

Dr. Cropp said the Brook team includes registered dietitians, certified diabetes educators, and nutritionists. Its medical advisory board consists of top research physicians and leading diabetes experts. Their role is to help individuals better understand their personal health situations and risks, make healthy choices from home, and act as a bridge between healthy behaviors and guiding people to the right medical assistance for as long as the crisis continues.

“By supporting our members as they make adjustments to their daily lives during this challenging time, Brook has increasingly become an extension of our RedShirt treatment,” Dr. Cropp said. “We want everyone in Western New York to have access to this valuable resource and we are thrilled to extend our partnership by making the Brook Health Companion app available to the entire community, seven days a week during this time of need.”

Dr. Cropp emphasized Brook does not provide medical advice and those experiencing Coronavirus-like symptoms should continue to contact their own primary care physician. “If any of our members do not have a doctor, our member service representatives can connect them with one right away,” he added.

Oren Nissim, Brook CEO, said the company is pleased to collaborate with Independent Health to expand its services to the entire region at no cost, for as long as they are needed.

“Living healthy is a continuous challenge that has now become even harder. We built Brook to simplify the daily choices we can make to feel our best. Our highly personalized 24-7 health companion service is here to support members and has now been extended to provide information on how to keep healthy and react to COVID-19. Our service includes health coaching and meal planning led by dietitians, activity and sleep monitoring, and medication tracking and reminders. You can text Brook experts 7 days a week and get immediate support right at your home, without the need to make an appointment.”

The Brook app, which is HIPAA compliant, has been available and supporting Independent Health members at no charge for several years. It was previously available to non-Independent Health members for a monthly fee of $24.99.

Individuals can download the Brook Health Companion app from the App Store or Google Play, or visit

Univera Healthcare is working to help its members receive the care they need, reduce the administrative burden on physicians and hospitals and help employers continue to provide health insurance coverage during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The health and well-being of our members are at the heart of everything we’re doing,” said Art Wingerter, Univera Healthcare president. “Information about the COVID-19 response is changing rapidly, which is why we’ve created a special landing page on our web-site that is updated as necessary.”

For the latest information on the health plan’s response, members, providers and employers are encouraged to visit: you have recently lost coverage from your employer due to the public health emergency, Univera has several free and low-cost healthcare options available. Loss of coverage due to job loss is considered a qualifying event allowing people to sign up for coverage without waiting for open enrollment. Watch a video of Dr. Vienne discussing Univera’s resources and information for employers on COVID-19!

The State of New York has also announced a Special Enrollment Period due to the COVID-19 public health emergency. Uninsured individuals can enroll in Qualified Health Plans between March 16 and April 15 to have coverage effective starting April 1, 2020.

Individuals can enroll in other state-sponsored programs – Medicaid, Essential Plan and Child Health Plus – at any time.

To help people retain coverage, Univera is working with employers on strategies to continue coverage or help facilitate enrollment in COBRA. Univera also has facilitated enrollers available for individuals who have lost their coverage. These enrollers can present all coverage options and help find the plan that best meets the individual’s needs.

Member out-of-pocket costs such as copayments, co-insurance and deductibles have been waived on all COVID-19 related testing and diagnosis where medically necessary and consistent with federal guidelines. This includes the cost share for the office visit, urgent care visit or emergency room visit.

The member out-of-pocket expense is being waived for all telemedicine visits during the state of emergency for plans that have a telemedicine benefit. Telemedicine is alternative way to access care if a person can’t reach their physician.

Univera is encouraging local physicians to expand their use of telemedicine services and is educating them on how do so.

To reduce the administrative burden on physicians and hospitals, Univera has waived preauthorization requirements for diagnostic tests and for covered services that are medically necessary and consistent with CDC guidance for members diagnosed with COVID-19. It is just one of many steps taken to support physicians and hospitals during this state of emergency. For a more complete list of the steps taken, visit

For Univera’s video on stopping the spread, visit Also see Univera’s video for employers.

WellNow Urgent Care is here to support the Buffalo community during this difficult time, providing options for safe, accessible and reliable healthcare. We are disinfecting our facilities and using protective gear per the CDC guidelines, rearranging waiting rooms to adhere to social distancing, and performing in-car triage at all locations in order to help minimize exposure to COVID-19. You can also choose to access a WellNow provider through your smart device, no matter where you are or what time it is with WellNow Virtual Medical. Whatever your non-life-threatening illness or injury is, your health is a priority–on-screen and in-person at WellNow Urgent Care. Visit your local facility or start your virtual visit now


From Beth A Anzalone, CPP, Executive Director

Hello to all our friends and supporters!  As I write to all of you, I am sitting at my desk at home still adjusting to working remotely. We are in very different times, trying to navigate this new way to work and communicate with others.

I hope that all of you are safe and healthy following our social distancing guidelines, all the while trying to maintain some social contact with our colleagues, friends and family members.

Zoom has become our best friend as we meet with staff to discuss new ways of connecting and supporting the needs of our students and their families. We are holding Leaders in Training (LIT) meetings using technology to “check in” with some of our students. Our goal is to provide additional support and connection to them, so they continue to learn and practice all the skills we have taught them through our classroom lessons.

We are also developing some social media messaging to reach out to our larger community and meeting virtually with our community coalition members.

The overarching messaging we have heard throughout this difficult time is “We Are in this Together”. If everyone does their part we can and will get through this together. Trying to develop creative strategies within our work plan to help people through this tough time has become our focus. Change is never easy; we are most comfortable doing what we know best. This unique situation is giving us an opportunity to push the envelope and think about PREVENTION in a much broader way! We are working hard each day to bring a little joy and a little information to the community in which we all live!

Stay connected; help those around you that need assistance and continue to follow the guidelines put forward from OASAS, the CDC and World Health Organization.

We are in this together and we look forward to getting reconnected when this is all behind us!

We will also be providing new information and connecting via, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Stay connected with us by following us on Facebook at on Instagram at and on Twitter at


This is an unprecedented time for human services. Like most agencies, we have had to be innovative and come up with ways to continue our work remotely. We have conducted an informal needs assessment to find out what everyone needs and how we can stay connected. Here is how we are currently conducting our programs while respecting the quarantine that keeps our community safe:

…. Google Classroom: Miss Sarah and Miss Halimah are providing tutoring, college/job/scholarship application assistance through the WSCS Google Classroom. If you would like to join the classroom code is 77etqyu or click HERE

Social Media and Newsletters: Our Prevention Department will be developing weekly Prevention Newsletters for youth, families and older adults on topics such as social-emotional wellbeing, physical health,  and the prevention of substance use and conflict. Info will be posted on our social media outlets as well as in paper form and distributed through schools and senior facilities.

Partylines! Our older adult social and creative writing programs will now meet in small groups over conference calling. Many of our seniors are excited to try this format as it reminds them of using partylines in their youth.  We are excited too and see a lot of promise in the future for this platform! If you want to join a group contact our Senior Department at Anyone is welcome to join and all numbers are toll-free.

… Food Delivery: We have partnered with The Buffalo Dream Center to provide weekly grocery delivery to many of our older adults and with Community School 30 to provide home-delivered meals to seniors who need to remain isolated. Reach us at ( or email (