The Community Table

Common Ground provides organizations with a neutral forum for discussion based on the health care needs of the Finger Lakes community as a whole, rather than on the individual – and sometimes competing – interests of their respective groups. We convene commissions, health coalitions, task forces and work groups on a variety of issues, from health disparities to reducing preventable hospitalizations.

Our partners include:

  • Hospital systems
  • Health insurers
  • Physician groups
  • County health departments
  • Consumers
  • Employers
  • Government and community leaders
  • Educational institutions
  • Advocacy groups

Current Convenings

Based on changing community needs, Common Ground gathers experts and decision makers around a variety of issues. For example:

  • The Regional Consortium on Health Care Workforce is working to identify the new skills and educational opportunities needed over the next decade in health care.
  • The Food and Health Connection aims to address the region’s high level of food insecurity and poor nutrition amidst an abundance of fruit and vegetable farms.
  • The Central Southern Tier Alliance provides high level health planning focused on Chemung, Schuyler and Steuben counties.
  • The African American and Latino health coalitions and the Partnership for Access to Healthcare (PATH) bring together more than 50 stakeholders to set priorities and develop strategies for addressing health disparities. 
  • The Traffic Safety Public Education Campaign Working Group is focused on safety education around the city’s new bike lanes and the rules of the road. The group includes representatives from transit and pedestrian organizations, Rochester and Monroe County government, the Rochester Police Department and the Injury Free Coalition for Kids.

people at desk

Solid Results 

Coming together as a community to set priorities has helped attract new investments in health care, improve care delivery and spur ongoing collaboration. Recent examples include:

  • $75 million in grants from the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation to enhance the delivery of care. More than 30 government, health care and community leaders supported these award applications.
  • A 29 percent reduction in 30-day readmissions through the Care Transitions Intervention partnership. The partnership, which grew from the 2020 Commission, helped people successfully transition into and out of care settings.
  • The Southern Tier Collaborative Planning Process. This organization-led convening is bringing together community decision makers from Steuben, Chemung and Schuyler counties to assess local health needs and develop responses. The initiative is an outgrowth of the work of our Regional Commission on Community Health Improvement and other regional initiatives.


Initiatives - Convening - Articles Featured

Initiatives - Convening - Articles

  • ~/Media/Default/Article/Image/elmira%20downtown%20HIA-1.jpg

    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.

  • ~/Media/Default/Article/Image/Active%20transportation%20piclower-2.jpg

    Summit to advance active transportation

    April 22, 2019

    The Active Transportation Summit, Ideas in Motion, on May 23 is a convening of professionals and activists from multiple sectors to advance transportation and recreation opportunites across the Finger Lakes region.

  • ~/Media/Default/Article/Image/Lynn%20Varricchio%20283w200h-1.jpg

    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.

  • ~/Media/Default/Article/Image/Workforce%20resource-1.jpg

    New online resource helps providers address staffing needs

    November 21, 2017

    A new 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.

  • ~/Media/Default/Article/Image/Southern%20Tier%20Alliance%20pic%20smaller-1.jpg

    Southern Tier organizations join together to support a culture of health

    September 22, 2017

    Many of the health challenges confronting our region are so complex that no one organization can solve them alone. That’s why the Southern Tier Alliance brings together top executives from many sectors to work on health improvement in Chemung, Schuyler and Steuben counties.

  • ~/Media/Default/Article/Image/Foodfarmhealth1small-2.jpg

    Symposium explores food scarcity amidst agricultural abundance

    April 11, 2017

    The Finger Lakes region is rich in fruit and vegetable farms. Yet in an area of agricultural abundance, 22 percent of the population goes without eating healthy, fresh food. That malnourishment has a profound impact on health outcomes.

  • ~/Media/Default/Article/Image/ReThink%20Health283x200h-1.jpg

    Region selected for national health initiative

    December 12, 2016

    The Finger Lakes region is one of only six areas across the country chosen to participate in ReThink Health Ventures, a health innovation project funded by the Fannie E. Rippel and Robert Wood Johnson Foundations.

  • ~/Media/Default/Article/Image/Jennie%20Chin%20Hansen%20cropped-1.jpg

    Aging expert calls for 'all hands on deck' to meet seniors' care needs

    April 19, 2016

    Recognizing that there will be too few geriatricians to meet the needs of our growing senior population, the medical community needs to train and make use of the talents all those who come into contact with seniors, including family caregivers and non-medical professionals, said renowned geriatrics expert Jennie Chin Hansen.

  • ~/Media/Default/Article/Image/Workforce%20launch%20primary%20care-1.jpg

    FLHSA launches health care workforce planning effort

    January 19, 2016

    The Regional Consortium on Health Care Workforce will kick off a one year planning process with presentations and discussion around new primary care models. The Jan. 28 meeting is free and open to the public.