Compliments of the Independent Health Foundation

From the developmental needs of infants and toddlers, to providing access to crucial health screenings for senior citizens, the Independent Health Foundation continues to make a tangible difference in the lives of thousands as noted in its recently released 2023 Annual Report.

“It has been another incredible year of providing not only well-loved, but evidence-based, programs which have positively impacted so many of our neighbors who are facing barriers to health resources,” says Carrie Meyer, Executive Director of the Independent Health Foundation. “We are grateful to the 162 volunteers, along with our board of directors, who are the backbone of our ability to deliver quality programs to our community. We are especially grateful to our corporate partners, organizations, and individuals whose financial and in-kind contributions directly support our community.”

With a focus on helping the community stay healthy, the Independent Health Foundation programs are based on a collaborative approach, and work to alleviate barriers by meeting Western New Yorkers in their own neighborhoods, schools, and homes. The Foundation’s seven signature programs had meaningful outcomes in 2023:

  • Kids Run, which encourages families to be physically active with a free run or walk at Delaware Park, saw nearly 5,000 participants. The 2024 Kids Run will be June 1.
  • More than 10,000 students across 575 classrooms participated in the Fitness for Kids Challenge, which educates children on the importance of healthy habits, including trying new fruits and vegetables.
  • On the pitch, Soccer for Success programs were hosted at 31 sites in Erie, Niagara, Genesee, and Cattaraugus counties, providing mentorship to nearly 2,500 children in underserved areas, focusing on healthy habits through soccer.
  • Healthy Options continued to help families explore ways to eat healthier when dining out or cooking at home. The Healthy Options at Home program helped 510 families across rural and urban areas, leaving them with more confidence in cooking healthy meals on a budget, while 22 restaurants served 44 different menu items during the inaugural Healthy Options Restaurant Week.
  • More than 2,500 community members participated in Good for the Neighborhood events at nine sites across Erie and Niagara Counties, providing fresh produce and other resources to help address social determinants of health and gaps in health care. More than a quarter of all participants received free health screenings, providing crucial information such as cholesterol and blood pressure measurements.
  • Five locations at community health centers and care clinics in Buffalo and Blasdell were part of Growing Up Strong, which supports families and pediatricians in meeting the developmental needs of children ages 0-3, and providing more than 500 mothers with a maternal depression screening.
  • First Night Buffalo offered a free family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebration with over two hours of interactive activities, including online performances.

For more information about the Independent Health Foundation and its programs, visit