So much of medicine in the last century has been focused on medical miracles like new surgical techniques and pharmaceuticals – lifesaving advancements to be sure. But as this video story of Dolores reveals, treating many of today’s chronic illnesses like diabetes and heart disease also calls for old fashioned human caring coupled with professional support in behavior motivation, nutrition and social work. It also calls for everyone in a practice to work as a team, with the patient’s needs at the center of their efforts.

For the past three years, Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency has helped 65 primary care practices in our region transition to this new model of care. Through a $26.6 million Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation award, the agency embedded care managers in practices and helped staff embrace a team approach. The result has been improved outcomes and lower costs as patients like Dolores are empowered to take charge of their health.