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HEALTHeLINK and Population Health Collaborative announce affiliation

Will build on current HIE infrastructure to support strategies to increase access to care and reduce health disparities BUFFALO, NY - June 9, 2022 – HEALTHeLINK, the health information exchange (HIE) for Western New York, announced an affiliation agreement with Population Health Collaborative (PHC) to drive higher quality care, control costs, and improve the health and wellness of the people in Western New York. Improving health equity and health outcomes in communities with the worst health outcomes, both in rural and minority populations, will be an essential focus through this partnership. The organizations are coming together to build on HEALTHeLINK’s secure and reliable technology infrastructure for the timely and accurate electronic exchange of clinical information among Western New York health care providers and expand its services to include Regional Health Improvement Collaborative activities like the Live Well Western New York model that has been the focus of PHC. “HEALTHeLINK has partnered with PHC for over a decade on initiatives related to diabetes care, population health, and practice transformation just to name a few, and after many discussions we thought it made sense for a more formal relationship as our respective organizations are both working towards similar goals of improving health in Western New York,” said Dan Porreca, executive director of HEALTHeLINK. “The clinical data alone doesn’t create value; it is what’s done with the data to improve health while recognizing and working on social determinants of health in support of community-based organizations’ efforts. That’s what this transaction with PHC and more direct work with community-based organizations will enable us to do.” Aligning these two organizations will further expand the utilization of data through a regional network of community-based organizations and community health champions to inform, support, and promote strategies to improve the health status of Western New Yorkers, increase access to care, and reduce health disparities. To further address health inequities, clinical data will be used to identify areas of the community in need and create a baseline to determine the success of programs focused on improving health over time. It will also enhance the delivery of health care services among providers in the region who are already connected with the Statewide Health Information Network for New York (SHIN-NY). Since 2002 the Population Health Collaborative, initially known as P2, has connected, and aligned existing resources in ways that improve the health and wellbeing for people living in Western New York. HEALTHeLINK will continue that commitment which will be enhanced by the data now available. “This combination of HEALTHeLINK and PHC is a real opportunity to create a powerful, and data driven organization for this community that will support lots of community stakeholders from community-based organizations to businesses to doctors’ offices with the data and supports they need to make real improvement in the health of WNY,” said Thomas Schenk, M.D., interim executive director and past chair, Population Health Collaborative board of directors. Added Michael W. Cropp, M.D., president and CEO, Independent Health and founding board member of both HEALTHeLINK and Population Health Collaborative, “The COVID-19 pandemic revealed that health inequities in this region were even more profound than previously thought. Combining HEALTHeLINK’s clinical data expertise with Population Health Collaborative’s experience in bringing together community resources to deliver hands-on health and wellness programming will be a catalyst for addressing health inequities and improving the overall health and wellbeing of our region.” The respective boards of both HEALTHeLINK and PHC have agreed in principle and will submit the signed paperwork for final approval under state law. The transaction between the two organizations is consistent with a national recognition of the value in bringing together HIE organizations and the associated data with Regional Health Improvement Collaborative efforts to increase and improve population health focus. For example, last year the national HIE trade association Strategic Health Information Exchange Collaborative (SHIEC) joined forces with the Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement (NRHI) to form Civitas Networks for Health. ### About HEALTHeLINK HEALTHeLINK is a collaboration among hospitals, physicians, health plans and other health care providers in the eight counties of western New York State to securely exchange clinical information to improve the quality of care, enhance patient safety and mitigate health care costs. HEALTHeLINK is a certified Qualified Entity and part of the Statewide Health Information Network for New York (SHIN-NY), which enables providers to access their patients’ data from across the state. HEALTHeLINK is also a founding member of Civitas Networks for Health, a national collaborative working to use health information exchange to improve health. Providers and patients can visit wnyhealthelink.com or @HEALTHeLINK on both Facebook and Twitter for more information. About Population Health Collaborative Population Health Collaborative has been a healthcare community convener for 20 years. Focused on public and population health it is the backbone agency For Live Well Western New York administering an evidence based collective impact model with a network of over three hundred community-based organizations across Western New York.

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HEALTHeLINK releases 2021 Report to the Community

Buffalo, NY - January 25, 2022 - HEALTHeLINK, the health information exchange (HIE) for Western New York, was formed in collaboration with the local health care community to support hospitals, physicians, health plans, public health organizations and others in improving the efficiency and quality of care. As highlighted in the HEALTHeLINK 2021 Report to the Community, that spirit of partnership continues with a focus on improving the HIE foundation and enhancing the services offered to its participants. “In recent years we’ve learned that the efficacy of HIE is enhancing our collaboration with a broad range of health care organizations across Western New York,” said Dan Porreca, executive director, HEALTHeLINK. “Nothing demonstrated this more than our support of state and county health departments during the pandemic, the expansion of our support services for practice and provider organizations, and the roll out and utilization of population health tools to support quality measures programs. More and more providers are recognizing the value of utilizing HEALTHeLINK to its fullest potential to the benefit of their patients.” In 2021, HEALTHeLINK took the next step in its COVID-19 response efforts, focusing on patient immunizations to help providers and public health partners track vaccination progress and measure vaccination outcomes more effectively. Through its partnerships with New York State Department of Health and the New York eHealth Collaborative (NYeC), HEALTHeLINK leverages daily data feeds from the New York State Immunization Information System to quickly enable alert notifications for COVID-19 vaccinations. HEALTHeLINK worked with its hospital partners to create an alert notification when a patient is admitted, allowing providers to see when the patient received their COVID-19 vaccine. More than 5.48 million COVID-19 vaccination alerts were sent to participating providers in 2021. A few of the major highlights from HEALTHeLINK’s 2021 Report to the Community include: • Increased utilization of HEALTHeOUTCOMES, HEALTHeLINK’s community population health tool that uses data from HEALTHeLINK sources and claims data from Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York, Independent Health, and Univera Healthcare. • Migration to a new HEALTHeCOMMUNITY Portal that offers a fresh and more user-friendly interface for participants when accessing applications. • More than 950,000 clinical results like lab tests and radiology reports and images were delivered monthly. This marks a 10% increase over 2020. • Patient record lookup which enables participating HEALTHeLINK providers to instantly access a consented patient’s clinical record and obtaining information such as test results, medication history, etc. totaled more than 6.5 million. • Finally, in 2021 alone, the HEALTHeLINK team worked on a total of 83 different projects focused on improving the HIE foundation and enhancing the services offered to its participants across the health care community. To view the 2021 HEALTHeLINK Report to the Community, please visit wnyhealthelink.com/2021. ### About HEALTHeLINK: HEALTHeLINK is a collaboration among hospitals, physicians, health plans and other health care providers in the eight counties of western New York State to securely exchange clinical information to improve the quality of care, enhance patient safety and mitigate health care costs. HEALTHeLINK is a certified Qualified Entity and part of the Statewide Health Information Network for New York (SHIN-NY), which enables providers to access their patients’ data from across the state. HEALTHeLINK is also a founding member of Civitas Networks for Health, a national collaborative working to use health information exchange to improve health. Providers and patients can visit wnyhealthelink.com or @HEALTHeLINK on both Facebook and Twitter for more information.

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HEALTHeLINK awarded federal funding from Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) to expand immunization information sharing

BUFFALO, NY - March 17, 2021 - HEALTHeLINK announced today it is the recipient of federal funding from the Strengthening the Technical Advancement and Readiness of Public Health via Health Information Exchange (The STAR HIE Program): Improving COVID-19 Vaccination Data: Connecting Immunization Information Systems (IIS) to Health Information Exchanges from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC). The STAR HIE Program will support innovative health information exchange services that benefit public health agencies and improve the health information exchange services available to support communities disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding will support efforts to increase data sharing between jurisdictional Immunization Information Systems (IISs) and Health Information Exchanges (HIEs). This cooperative agreement is funded through the CARES Act. “Since the coronavirus outbreak began early last year, HEALTHeLINK has been working closely with both county and New York State health departments along with our participating providers to offer HIE services which continue to support epidemiology, surveillance, and other community modeling and response efforts,” said Dan Porreca, executive director, HEALTHeLINK. “This project is the next step in our COVID-19 response efforts, focusing on patient immunizations to enable providers and public health partners to more effectively track the vaccination progress and measure vaccination outcomes.” As part of the project, HEALTHeLINK will develop technologies to evaluate the COVID-19 immunization status for Western New York patients, risk stratify those most at-risk who haven’t received the vaccine, provide ongoing monitoring of patients who have received the COVID-19 vaccination, including identifying patients with an emergency department or hospital admission within seven days of immunization; identification of patients with a positive COVID-19 test within 60 days of immunization; and other monitoring criteria to be determined. With the results of these evaluations, HEALTHeLINK will deliver alert notifications to participating providers based on their patients’ immunization status, hospital admissions status, and COVID-19 test status. “HEALTHeLINK has been a close and trusted partner in support of our office of epidemiology and contact tracing program,” said Erie County Commissioner of Health Dr. Gale Burstein. “As our community’s COVID-19 response efforts shift to vaccination, our department will rely on HEALTHeLINK for population-level data regarding COVID-19 vaccine uptake and monitoring.” ### About HEALTHeLINK:  HEALTHeLINK is a collaboration among hospitals, physicians, health plans and other health care providers in the eight counties of western New York State to securely exchange clinical information to improve the quality of care, enhance patient safety and mitigate health care costs. HEALTHeLINK is a Qualified Entity of the Statewide Health Information Network for New York (SHIN-NY), which enables providers to access their patients’ data from across the state. HEALTHeLINK is also a founding member of the Strategic Health Information Exchange Collaborative (SHIEC), the national trade association of health information exchanges. Providers and patients can visit wnyhealthelink.com or @HEALTHeLINK on both Facebook and Twitter for more information.

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Guide 2 Better Care

Throughout the year, various local health care leaders provide education about HEALTHeLINK as well as highlight the value and benefits of clinical information exchange here in Western New York.

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