Make Healthy Choices

Many Western New Yorkers believe the region's health system needs to shift from reactive care to embrace a more proactive approach to patient health.

What the Community Said

Make Healthy Choices emerged as the fourth highest priority for the region, receiving mention in 65% of conversations.

What Do Western New Yorkers Want:

Many Western New Yorkers believe the region's health system needs to shift from reactive care to embrace a more proactive approach to patient health by supporting awareness of and access to preventive care. This should include the active engagement of all levels of providers and health care professionals and even targeted educational programs and campaigns. At the same time, patients themselves must play a role in advancing healthier lifestyles by adopting healthier behaviors and taking advantage of preventive care opportunities.

Western New Yorkers addressed the following specific elements of Make Healthy Choices, listed in order of frequency of mention in community conversations:

  • Preventive care must be advocated and supported in the health community
  • Patient role must include seeking preventive care and adopting healthy behavior

This health care priority ranked differently for certain populations within the region.

Rural Western New Yorkers most frequently addressed the need to support healthy behaviors. This could stem from differing expectations of the system as well as significant gaps in access to care in rural areas due to provider shortages and higher rates of uninsured.

Least frequently, it emerged as a priority when low-income residents were the majority of participants, suggesting that the health system may need to implement different educational and support approaches in these communities. Also, low-income residents might not be able to invest the time and financial resources perceived to be associated with preventive care and healthy lifestyle choices.

"Phase in preventive care - it's a must."
"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."
"There is an urgent need to integrate a wellness approach to health care as opposed to a crisis intervention."
"Doctors need to emphasize what individuals can do to offset cost and over-usage through preventive measures and healthy lifestyles."
"Put the emphasis on prevention rather than acute care, and incentivize personal responsibility."