The Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency applauds Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, Assembly Majority Leader Joseph D. Morelle and the state Legislature for their continued support for New York’s Population Health Improvement Program (PHIP). The one-year-old health initiative brings together community leaders in 11 regions in the state to identify and coordinate responses to each area’s most pressing health issues.

“Governor Cuomo, Assembly Majority Leader Morelle and our other state legislators are building the foundation for a more effective and accessible health care system and a healthier population,” said Trilby de Jung, the agency’s chief executive officer. “We can be proud that New York’s regional health focus puts us at the forefront of improving care and preventing chronic illness in this country.”

 The 2015-2016 state budget allots $16 million to the PHIP program across the state. The allocation finances data collection and research into each region’s health needs and provides support for neutral community tables with representatives from hospitals, insurers, clinician groups, consumers and other community partners. The initiative helps regions develop common goals for improving clinical care, as well as plans for promoting behaviors that reduce the need for preventable and expensive medical interventions.

"We can be proud that New York’s regional health focus puts us at the forefront of improving care and preventing chronic illness in this country," said Trilby de Jung, FLHSA chief executive officer.

“Regional health planning has proven highly effective in the Rochester and Finger Lakes region for decades,” said de Jung. In the early 1990s, the region’s ability to coordinate care and avoid expensive duplication of medical services made it a national model for controlling costs while providing high quality care.

“That same level of cooperation exists today,” explained de Jung. As the region’s PHIP contractor, the agency convenes the Regional Commission on Community Health Improvement. The blue-ribbon panel works to coordinate services across health and mental hygiene departments, health care providers and payers, regional health information organizations, aging, social services and behavioral health agencies and other groups.

“When it comes to health, such collaborative approaches are powerful,” says de Jung. “Studies have shown that the Rochester region boasts the nation’s lowest Medicare costs, while maintaining excellent care.”

In recognition of that record of success, the New York State Department of Health in 2014 tapped the agency to provide technical assistance to other PHIP contractors statewide.