The High Blood Pressure Collaborative and the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce are the winners of the 2016 Regional Innovation Award from the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives.

Presented to the Rochester Chamber at the association's national meeting on Aug. 10, the award recognizes organizations committed to building strong and vibrant communities through groundbreaking collaboration and program development. The chamber of commerce from Mason City, Iowa, was named a co-winner, while the chambers from Nashville, Tenn., and Chattanooga, Tenn., were finalists.

The award program targeted initiatives that boost economic competitiveness by investing in health and wellness. Finalists are organizations that build sustainable efforts that support the health of children, the health of the workplace, and the health of the broader community.

The Rochester Chamber's health care planning team promotes worksite wellness, a regional health information exchange, and implementation of Lean Six Sigma practices in area hospitals. The chamber is also a partner in the High Blood Pressure Collaborative, which created the nation's first community-wide high blood pressure registry. The team's leadership roundtable brings together the CEOs from Rochester’s largest employers including Eastman Kodak, Excellus BlueCross Blue Shield, Jasco Tools, LiDesti Food and Drink, MVP Healh Care, Paychex, RIT, Rochester Regional Health, the University of Rochester, Wegmans Food Markets and Xerox. 

“Rochester Chamber thanks ACCE for this honor," said Bob Duffy, Rochester Chamber President and CEO. "Special thanks go to the leadership of Wegmans, which helped us launch the Health Care Initiative as a regional collaboration between employers, health systems, and insurers, and the Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency, which is our partner in creating the Blood Pressure Collaborative. It’s a validation of our region’s three core strengths of corporate leadership, health care, and volunteerism.”

Wegmans Health and Wellness Director Becky Lyons said, “The strength of the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce Healthcare Initiative is in its collaborative spirit and active business engagement. This national award recognizes the many contributions of initiative partners to make our community a healthier place to work and live. Wegmans is pleased to be part of this effort.”

Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency CEO Trilby de Jung said, “Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency has partnered with Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce for the past seven years to build a program to help improve blood pressure control rates in our community. Through the efforts of many, our region has achieved a blood pressure control rate more than 36 percent higher than the national average. This award recognizes Rochester’s innovative approach.” 

ACCE President Mick Fleming said, "To help their communities address challenges and seize opportunities, chambers of commerce must convene diverse stakeholders, develop new strategies, and work across boundaries. The winners of the 2016 Regional Innovation Award exemplify the kind of civic entrepreneurship and stewardship all regions need to thrive."

A panel of judges comprised of past award recipients and volunteers evaluated entries and selected this year’s finalists. Rochester Chamber accepted the 2016 Regional Innovation Award at ACCE’s Annual Convention in Savannah, Georgia.