WNY WALKS! Community Advocacy Team!

Healthy Community Show Featuring Sunset Striders Walking Club!

Healthy Communities Team at the Buffalo Auto Show!

Healthy Communities 2030! Launch in Response to County Health Rankings!

Thank you to Madison Elliott of Spectrum News for highlighting this tool!

As social distancing guidelines continue, many people are looking for ways to stay physically and mentally active. That’s why the Wellness Institute of Greater Buffalo is releasing a wellness kit this week with things people can do.

One of the things it mentions is quite simple — just taking time for yourself every day. According to the institute, even 20 minutes can make a difference. Also included in the kit are recommendations for psychical activity. Institute CEO Phillip Haberstro says it differs with age, but he encourages moderate activity.

He recommends at least 30 minutes, five days a week for adults and 60 minutes for kids. He says it can be accumulated from walking 10 minutes at a time either at the park or just around your house. But he also says social connectiveness is important too.

“It’s called social capital. It’s the levels of trust and reciprocity that exists in communities and you can see that being acted on right now. And so communities that have higher levels of capital, they are economically more successful, healthier. So for us to find smart ways to maintain our social connectiveness without putting ourselves at risk is one of the things we are advocating for,” said Haberstro.

The kits can be found here.

Grand Island Sunset Striders Walking Club! Want to learn about walking clubs during quarantine? Contact us!

The Wellness Institute of Greater Buffalo is conducting a survey to identify the Workplace Wellness/Health Promotion initiatives going on in Western New York. It would be a great help if you could please complete this survey and share with affiliates (or share it with an HR rep to complete it) that evaluates Workplace Health Promotion methods.

 Please note that there are questions geared towards organizations that do not have these programs, so completing it would still be very helpful even if you do not partake in a program currently.

 Thank you very much for your time and assistance!

It’s not just the coronavirus putting WNY’s wellness at risk

From the Buffalo News Editorial Board

Western New Yorkers are an unhealthy lot. Add in the novel coronavirus and the effect this pandemic is having on an already compromised population and the forecast appears less than favorable.

It is challenging to envision exercise during a statewide “pause” demanding that citizens stay at home, practice social distancing and frequent hand washing in order to “flatten the curve” of coronavirus, or Covid-19. Still, the region’s poor health requires making some adjustments. For those capable, get up, stand in place and “walk” or, while practicing social distancing, walk outside. These are basic, nonscientific suggestions. Scientists and medical professionals offer advice and guidelines available online and in books and journals.

One recent study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute says that half of the Western New York region’s eight counties, including Erie and Niagara, occupy the bottom 10 counties across the state in terms of health outcomes. That’s an alarm bell.

Moreover, people across the region tend to live 2½ years less than the average New York resident

The findings were released recently in the annual County Health Rankings report. It does not bode well for this region.The healthiest county in the western region is Wyoming. It ranked 18th out of 62 counties, rising from No. 24 in last year’s rankings. Erie County, which placed No. 56 for the second straight year, has a long way to go. As Refresh editor Scott Scanlon wrote, it “hasn’t cracked the top 50 in more than a decade.”

Phil Haberstro, executive director of the Wellness Institute of Greater Buffalo, bemoans the poor outcomes but offers solutions in the Institute’s Healthy Communities 2030! Initiative.

Haberstro asks the right question in wondering whether Covid-19 will serve as a wake-up call. There are any number of reasons Western New York lands so low in the health rankings. As Scanlon wrote, the wealthy suburban counties around New York City rank as the state’s healthiest.

So much goes into outcomes, not the least of which is poverty, inequality and lack of opportunity. Poverty drives decisions and poor people do not get to decide a lot of things, least of all whether they get to work from home during a pandemic. It is the tip of health disparities affecting largely communities of color. In his piece, “Yes, this virus discriminates, because society still does,” News columnist and urban affairs editor Rod Watson explains how following social distance guidelines and other stay-at-home policies are difficult if not impossible for the same African Americans already struggling with health disparities.

Remarkably, the Rev. George Nicholas, chairman of the African American Equity Task Force, stated that “no one has contacted the task force, which formed in 2014 to address health disparities.” Its work was important before Covid-19 made harsh conditions even worse. Today, it is critical. The message is simple: Western New York must begin to collectively work toward a healthier future. The focus on the novel coronavirus pandemic offers that opportunity.

Let’s get started.

To get involved, contact us at BeActive@City-Buffalo.org or call (716) 851-4052.

Personal Passion Benefits Communal Health

by Carl Francis Penders

(An exerpt from In Good Health: WNY’s Healthcare Newspaper)

     You’re talking about changing the culture,” proclaims Philip L. Haberstro, Executive Director for the Wellness Institute of Greater Buffalo, “similar to what we’ve done with tobacco.”  It’s a refrain anyone who’s spent time listening to Haberstro’s message has heard more than once.  Of course, “repetition is the mother of skill,” to quote Anthony Robbins who’s been known to advocate his own passion for change.  And it definitely requires a certain skill level to persistently convey wisdom that people are not always inclined to hear.  While inclined to encourage mastery Robbins reminds people that “if I hear it again, or maybe hear it a different way, eventually it (wisdom) will take hold.”  So Haberstro and his Wellness Institute continue to tear down walls in Western New York minds, and build bridges with partners throughout the region… for the full article: http://www.bfohealth.com/features/personal-passion-benefits-communal-health/


     Something for Buffalo and Western New York citizens and leaders to think about.

Healthy Community Interview

Watch the full interview.

What is the secret to a healthy lifestyle? Is it truly just mind, body, and soul or is it more?

Get the “Big Picture” from Phil Haberstro’s visit to WBBZ TV for an interview with Catherine Miller on the Big Picture Show.

Cities & Towns Served by our Wellness initiatives in Erie County

Wellness News

Keep updated on news and happenings from the Wellness Institute of Greater Buffalo – follow our Executive Director’s newsworthy pieces through WBFO!


March 2020    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                             Contact: Michaela O'Brien “Healthy Communities 2030! Launches Workplace Wellness Survey” BUFFALO, NY: The Wellness Institute has launched its Healthy...

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Wellness Institute of Greater Buffalo

Phil Haberstro, Executive Director
65 Niagara Square, Room 607
Buffalo, NY  14202

Phone: 716-851-4052