Health and wellness are important to us all.  United Way is addressing the following key aspects of good health:

• Facilitating preventive and routine health care, including maternal and infant health;

• Services for families experiencing abuse, neglect or domestic violence; and

• Nutrition, access to food, and information so people can make healthier lifestyle choices.

During the first half of this year, 7,558 individuals achieved or maintained good health and wellness with the help of services like these.

Through United Way, you help residents of Erie County stay healthy and safe.

For a list of funded programs in Health and Wellness, click HERE.



One of the many ways United Way accomplishes community work in Health is by building, facilitating and participating in strategic partnerships throughout the community. These initiatives come to life with the help of the skills and resources of community partners.


Advancing Health & Wellness in WNY


United Way engages in a number of collaborative efforts to promote safe and healthy lifestyles for adults, children, infants and seniors in Buffalo and Erie County. Here are some highlights of our current Health & Wellness partnerships:


Healthy Start Healthy Future for All Coalition


Led by the United Way of Buffalo & Erie County, in partnership with UBMD, the coalition inspires families to adopt positive lifestyle choices.

• Supports healthy nutrition and physical activity for infants, children, youth and their families

      - Researches root causes for obesity and other critical public health issues affecting children and families

      - Identifies effective strategies to prevent health conditions and diseases primarily related to poor nutrition choices and sedentary lifestyles.

       -The Backpack Program, with help from the Food Bank of WNY, provided weekend meals to 200 children in 3 Buffalo Public Schools. 64% of participating children were better able to concentrate in school.

• Strengthens the health promotion field through conferences and training, such as:

      - The Infant Nutrition Practices: Disparity Starts at Birth conference attended by over 190 professionals

      - Certified Lactation Counseling Training attended by over 50 individuals

      - Pilot NYS Department of Health Breastfeeding Friendly Learning Collaborative with 5% of local pediatric and obstetrician offices

• Raises awareness through initiatives such as:

      - The Maternal Infant Resource Guide—Describes where and how to access prenatal, postnatal and pediatric care

      - Identification and distribution of key early childhood health messaging— Assists coalitions and agencies to effectively promote proper infant nutrition and healthy parent-child attachment

      - The Last Straw board game—Demonstrates how social determinants, such as income, education, housing and access to services, impacts health

• Implements evidence-based programming, improving standards of care in physician offices, child care centers, and home visiting programs, such as:

      - Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound—A physician toolkit to assist in delivering evidence-based messages to parents in order to prevent childhood obesity

      - Healthy You x2—A physician toolkit that promotes healthy pregnancies and healthy babies, setting the foundation for a lifetime of good health

     - Baby Cafes—Community supported drop-in centers providing free, skilled lactation care to new mothers


Second Act


• A partnership with Erie County Departments of Mental Health and Senior Services to improve the quality of life for older people, age 60+, in Buffalo and Erie County

• Second Act works to:

      - Maximize independence for the frail and disabled

      - Optimize physical and mental health and well-being

      - Address basic needs

      - Promote social and civic engagement

• Second Act seeks to identify common community-level outcomes, and gain consensus on effective strategies and standard program measures

• The partnership has led to a multi-region technical assistance award where senior programs in Niagara and Erie Counties will work with health care providers to develop coordinated care models that improve health outcomes

United Way also supports or participates in these other Health Partnerships:

  • WE CAN - Western New York Ending Child Abuse & Neglect
  • Non-Residential Domestic Violence Providers
  • New York State Department of Health Breastfeeding Partnership Team
  • West Side Youth Development Coalition
  • Soccer For Success
  • P2 Collaborative Health Equity Coalition
  • Community Health Worker Network of Buffalo
  • WNY Cancer Coalition
  • Erie County NY Connects Long Term Care Council


The United Way Health and Wellness platform is supported by:

  • Bank of America
  • Erie County Health Department
  • James H. Cummings Foundation
  • HealthNow New York, Inc. d/b/a BlueCross Blue Shield of Western New York
  • New York State Department of Health
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • The Service Collaborative of WNY
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
  • Univera Healthcare
  • Walmart Foundation
  • Margaret L. Wendt Foundation
  • Western New York Public Health Alliance




  • Caregiver Resource Guide: This resource guide lists many, but not all, of the assistance and programs available in Buffalo. For more  resources and information, contact 2-1-1 (dial 2-1-1 or 1-888-696-9211, or visit

  • Healthy You X 2 Toolkit: The Healthy You x2 Toolkit, and corresponding training, are available free of charge to Obstetric and Family practices throughout the eight (8) counties of Western New York that are interested in addressing the growing epidemic of obesity.  The toolkit  provides guidance to expectant parents on healthy nutrition and physical activity during the prenatal period, breastfeeding supports, and local resources for a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby. 

    • "El Healthy You x2 kit de herramientas está disponible en español. Provee dirección a padres esperando un bebé con respecto a nutrición saludable y actividad física durante el embarazo, apoyos de amamantamiento y recursos locales por un embarazo saludable y un bebé saludable. Haga click  aquí  por el kit." 

    • Ounce of Prevention: The Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound toolkit provides parent and teen handouts and anticipatory guidance for physicians/healthcare providers. It is a collaboration of the Ohio Department of Health/Healthy Ohio, the American Academy of Pediatrics-Ohio Chapter, Nationwide Children's Hospital, the American Dairy Association Mideast and the Ohio Dietetic Association. Please see  these handouts for more information.   Ounce of Prevention Supplemental Material.pdf  and   Ounce of Prevention Newborn Through Age 18




    United Way of Buffalo & Erie County welcomes inquiries about community coalition work in Health. Please contact Mary K. Comtois, Program Director for Health, at 887-2608 or



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