Population Health Improvement Program

Technical assistance

As the PHIP technical advisor to the Department of Health, Common Ground Health provides consulting to assist DOH and the 10 other PHIP contractors across the state to introduce a collaborative approach to solving regional health challenges.

PHIP data portal

We host a web-based analytic tool that allows PHIP contractors to analyze SPARCS data – the Department of Health’s comprehensive reporting system on hospitalizations, emergency room visits, diagnoses, services and other hospital use. For example, PHIP contractors can use the tool to explore the incidence of illnesses, such as heart attack, stroke or opioid overdose, looking for trends over times and checking for disparities based on geography, age, sex, socio-economic status and race/ethnicity.

Research and analytics webinars

We partner with the Department of Health on monthly webinars showcasing best practices around data collection for health. Topics include trainings on New York State’s all payer database (SPARCS) and SUNY Buffalo’s innovative work on asset mapping.

PHIP webinars

Common Ground Health and DOH provide technical assistance to the other PHIPs around strategies for getting their region engaged in collaborative health improvement. Topics include recruiting decision makers, managing chronic diseases and creating Community Health Improvement Plans and other health assessments.

Regional convening

Common Ground Health brings together hospital systems, health insurers, county health departments, physician groups, consumers and other partners to review data and design community-wide solutions. Recent health roundtables we have hosted include:

Regional data

Data is the cornerstone of community health planning. We maintain the most complete source of health and health care data in the region and provide the expertise in population-based analytics needed to make sense of that information.

Regional and county health measures

We track a wealth of health statistics for the region and by county, from smoking and high school graduation rates to life expectancy and causes of early death.

Community Health

Common Ground Health supports New York State’s Prevention Agenda, which aims to prevent chronic disease, promote healthy environments and support maternal and child health, among other public health goals. Recent population health efforts include:

  • Healthi Kids, an initiative that works with parents, students, teachers and community members to advocate for physical activity and unstructured play through daily school recess, more inviting play spaces in neighborhoods and safer walking routes to schools.
  • High Blood Pressure Collaborative, which aims to prevent stroke, heart attack, kidney failure and other complications of hypertension through initiatives in community and clinical settings. The program includes innovative interventions in faith communities and barbershops and salons, and maintains the high blood pressure registry with clinical data from more than 60 percent of patients with hypertension.
  • Medicaid reform (DSRIP). Common Ground Health is assisting this intense regional effort by serving on steering committees, partnering on planning for workforce needs and assisting with consumer engagement and cultural competency.


Initiatives - Population Health Improvement Program - Articles Featured

Initiatives - Population Health Improvement Program - Articles

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    NY's PHIPs build relationships and create value

    December 03, 2019

    New York's Population Health Improvement Program contractors share a mission in helping their regions find data-driven solutions to health challenges to advance the state's prevention agenda and other state Department of Health priorities. 

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    Study finds region’s No. 1 health concern is poverty

    November 18, 2019

    Across the region’s urban, rural and suburban communities, the top health concern is poverty. It drives health inequities that undermine wellness and cut lives short more than any other single cause of illness, according to an extensive new report by Common Ground Health, the health research and planning organization for the Rochester-Finger Lakes region.

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    Elmira study connects housing to poor health

    July 29, 2019

    Some older housing in Elmira presents a high risk of exposure to lead, mold and other environmental toxins linked to asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). That’s according to a new study of health and housing in the city's poorer neighborhoods.

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    Making walking and biking the easy choice

    June 13, 2019

    Could crosswalks, protected bike lanes and other traffic safety features combat chronic illness, control weight and improve mood?

    Research shows that telling people to exercise doesn't work, but creating environments that support walking and biking does.

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    New procedures helped rural practice improve

    May 30, 2019

    By putting in place relatively simple new procedures, Tri-County Family Medicine Program, Inc., achieved a 5-percentage point decline in patients with uncontrolled diabetes, among other improvements.

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    Chartbook documents the heavy toll of poverty on health

    October 31, 2018

    Common Ground Health’s newly updated Health Equity Chartbook uses data analysis from multiple sources and more than 200 data graphs and maps to understand inequities—and to inform efforts to eliminate them.

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    How clinical data and coaching are driving improvement in high blood pressure

    August 23, 2018

     It’s one thing for medical practices to push for better blood pressure rates among patients. It’s another for them to see—with colorful numbers, charts and graphs—whether their efforts are making a difference.

     And in large part because of the High Blood Pressure Registry, they are.

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    Faith communities provide powerful path to health

    June 29, 2018

    An innovative initiative in a dozen African American churches has helped reduce dangerously high blood pressure rates among participants by more than 60 percent. Discover how spiritual support for healthy living is making a difference.

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    Eight reasons to stay focused on high blood pressure

    June 27, 2018

    The latest high blood pressure registry along with other local data show that high blood pressure and heart disease are leading drivers of premature mortality in our nine county Finger Lakes region, particularly for African Americans. View all eight data slides showing why we should stay focused on this chronic illness.

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    Bike share could improve public health, study finds

    June 19, 2018

    Rochester's bike share program holds tremendous potential for supporting more active, healthier lives for residents, shows a new Health Impact Assessment (HIA) from Common Ground Health and the Genesee Transportation Council.

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    Leading with conscience for four decades

    March 26, 2018

    Current and former colleagues celebrate the legacy of Lynn Varricchio, Common Ground Health's longest-serving employee who retires at the end of March.

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    Online resource helps providers address staffing needs

    November 21, 2017

    An online library of workforce resources for local health care providers launched this month on our website. The library shares information on training, recruiting and retaining workers in the nine-county Finger Lakes region.

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    Poverty blocks access to health care in Rochester

    October 04, 2017

    Lack of health insurance is often deemed the #1 challenge that low-income residents face in accessing medical treatment. But a white paper released by Common Ground Health found that for Rochester’s most vulnerable populations, other barriers are equally daunting.