Wellness Institute of Greater Buffalo, Creating Healthy Communities

Phil Haberstro with two of our partners Kevin Crosby from the Sunrise Rotary Club of Buffalo and Greg Stevens, the Executive Director of Niagara River Greenway.

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.


 WNY Walks! Walkability Summit Update

As a result of the June 2019 Summit, FOUR exciting new initiatives have surfaced! Inspired by our keynote speakers, Ian Thomas of America Walks and Amanda O’Rourke of 880 Cities, the following initiatives have emerged to promote walking and walkable communities in WNY.

– Grand Island Sunset Striders 

– WNY Walks! Speaking Presentation at the AARP NYS Livability Summit (Philip Haberstro available for presentations)

– Partnership between WNY Walks! and District 7090 Rotary Clubs and Buffalo Niagara Greenway Commission to promote walking/biking/rolling

– First meeting of the WNY Walks Community Advocacy Team (CAT) and Publication of WNY Walks! Strategic Plan and Sponsorship opportunities


Thursday, June 13th and Friday, June 14th men and women from Buffalo and surrounding areas joined us in a two day event focusing on walkability. Our keynote speakers, Ian Thomas and Amanda O’Rourke, gave us great insight on the importance of having a walkable community and how we can achieve it. Stay tuned for a more in depth recap of what we discovered. 


“I just wanted to let you know what a great time Michelle, Lauren and I had at the summit on Friday. The activities, networking and information learned was so great and valuable to hear. We really appreciate you including us in this opportunity and I look forward to our continued collaboration together in the future!”
-Katie Kicinski, Adjunct Professor, Health Promotion, Daemen College


WNY Walks! Summit_Ian Thomas Slideshow_Part 1
WNY Walks! Summit_Ian Thomas Slideshow_Part 2 


WNY Walks! Summit Ian Thomas Audio


WNY Walks! Summit Amanda O’Rourke Audio


WNY Walks! Summit- Amanda O’Rourke’s Slideshow


880 Cities: What is a Walkable City?


Creating Healthy Communities

The Wellness Institute of Greater Buffalo & WNY was incorporated in 1989 as a public benefit organization. The Institute’s Mission is to create a healthy community. The mission is addressed by advocating for and facilitating strategy fostering a regional culture that invests in, encourages and sustains individual, family, organizational and community capacity to practice positive civic, environmental, economic and health enhancing behaviors. Strategically guided by the interdisciplinary “healthy community” movement, the Institute’s work is enhanced through assessment and visioning, collaboration, networking, advocacy, professional development services, educational programs, communication, volunteers, innovation and leadership on health promotion, civic engagement and quality of life issues.


Citizens within our communities share in the shaping of our thriving bi-national region. Safe and stable neighborhoods, respect for diversity, accessible cultural/recreational opportunities, a healthy population, and lifelong learning provide an exceptional quality of life. Our dynamic business climate evolves from a competitive workforce, responsive governance, and a comprehensive transportation system. A balanced, sustainable, environment ensures the prosperity and natural resources of our region.”


 The Concept of Wellness as self defined optimal physical, mental and spiritual  well-being, is both a historic and contemporary dream of American civil society. Fueled in the UNITED STATES by the power of the words “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”, Americans (and other societies) have consistently strived to ensure both the individual and societal achievement of optimal personal and national levels of well being. Through an empowering balance of individual initiative and our societal responsibility to each other, American society has progressed in achieving a sustainable quality of life unmatched in human history.

While defining and measuring “wellness” has posed a challenge to both academics and advocates, the more formidable task has been understanding and facilitating the American path to higher levels of personal, organizational or community wellness. Inspired by the Global Healthy Communites movement and the 1989 launch of the USA Healthy Communities movement by the National Civic League (www.NCL.org ) the challenge of “Creating Healthy Communities” formed the strategic basis for the founding (1989) of The Wellness Institute of Greater Buffalo and the substance of the Institute’s interdisciplanary work, learning, sharing and contributions to achieving our community’s Vision for its citizens personal wellness and enhanced quality of life.

PHILIP L . HABERSTRO – Founder of The Wellness Institute of Greater Buffalo and Western New York USA.

“The secret of change, is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new”

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.

Press Release September 2019                                   “WNY WALKS! Leader Presenting at AARP NY State Conference” Buffalo, NY. Phil Haberstro, Executive Director of the Wellness Institute of Greater Buffalo and founder of the WNY walkability movement’s...

read more

WNY Walks! Walking Summit

MEDIA RELEASE May 10th, 2019                                                                                                              Contact Phil Haberstro 851-4052 WNY Walks! Summit Presents Dr. Ian Thomas & Amanda O’Rourke Buffalo, NY: The Wellness...

read more


MEDIA RELEASE APRIL 12th, 2019                                                         Contact Phil Haberstro 851-4052 WELLNESS INSTITUTE ADDS MR. ROD NAGY TO THE WNY WALKS! TEAM BUFFALO, NY: The Wellness Institute of Greater Buffalo is pleased to announce that Mr....

read more

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation County Health Rankings

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Wellness Events

< 2019 >
  • 04

    Drums Along The Waterfront

    6:30 pm-10:00 pm
    August 4, 2019
    New Era Field
    1 Bills Dr, Orchard Park, NY 14127

    For nearly a half century, Drum Corps International, Marching Music’s Major League™, has been the leader in producing events for the world’s most elite and exclusive marching ensembles for student musicians and performers.

    Thirteen original founding member organizations formed the Drum Corps International collective in 1971 to organize and unify leadership for youth-focused competitive drum corps events throughout North America. Directors of those competing groups sought to unite their corps by providing opportunities to perform together—in the end building a foundation for future success.

    A non-profit entity was officially established in 1972, and today DCI supports numerous programs around the globe while sanctioning participating recognized drum corps, SoundSport® performance ensembles and DrumLine Battle™ teams performing in more than 100 competitive events that make up the annual Drum Corps International Tour.

    With a vast reach online at DCI.org, through corporate sponsorship, annual broadcast initiatives, and outreach to high school music programs, Drum Corps International delivers the message of “excellence in performance and in life” to more than 7.2 million young people, ages 13-22 involved in the performing arts across the United States.

  • 06

    2019 Mental Health & Wellness Fair

    10:00 am-2:00 pm
    August 6, 2019
    Lafayette Square
    415 Main St Buffalo, NY 14203

    Tuesday, August 6th

    10:00 AM- 2:00 PM

    Lafayette Square (Rain or Shine)

    Connect with BPD Crisis Intervention Team and over 2 dozen area health care service providers. Understand good mental health and learn how to improve your own mental health,

    Includes: Health screenings and information, therapy dogs, fun and fit activities!

  • 08

    Explore Buffalo Summer Fundraiser

    6:00 pm-9:00 pm
    August 8, 2019

    Spend a summer evening “Wright on the water” with Explore Buffalo and enjoy the sunset over the Niagara River and Lake Erie!

    This fundraising event supports Explore Buffalo. Includes: food, music, and 15 minute boat cruises. Visit the event link to purchase tickets.

  • 15

    Community Walk, Roll N'Ride!

    6:15 pm-7:15 pm
    August 15, 2019
    Intermodal Hub-City of Tonawanda
    36 Young St, Tonawanda, NY 14150
    Who: Everyone; all ages, abilities, and families are welcome to participate in this FREE event
    What: a guided walk (approx 30-50 min) along the Niagara River Greenway
    When & Where: Meet at 6:15 pm; Walk starts & ends at the Intermodal hub in the City of Tonawanda
    Why: Enjoy some health physical activity and explore our beautiful Niagara River Greenway
  • 27

    Mindfulness Leadership & You

    9:30 am-12:00 pm
    August 27, 2019
    Roycroft Inn
    40 South Grove Street East Aurora, NY 14052

    The term mindfulness has become a buzzword, but do you really know what it means? Lisa Napora, PhD, will break the myths from the facts and show how mindfulness has become a foundational component of leadership.

    During this workshop, you will discover self-care methods and gain practical tools to apply to your daily lives. RSVP on EventBrite.


Article Archives

Wall of Fame

Sarah Martin

Environmental Health Specialist

Jackie James Creedon

“Whistle Blower”

BWI National Health Promotion
Training Institute

Click for more online certification program information.

  • Walking Wellness 2019 – Goal 125 Million Steps ~ WATCH THE HEALTHY STEPS PROGRESS! 30% 30%
  • Walking Wellness 2018 – Goal 100 Million Steps ~ GOAL SURPASSED AT 105+ MILLION STEPS TRACKED! 105% 105%

Healthy Community Initiatives in Buffalo NY

Wintermission Buffalo

Healthy Resources for Healthy Choices

So many choices!  Lets move to make healthy ones for a better community!

The Buffalo Niagara Area is full of a attractions and healthy activities for:

Don't Miss a Beat!

Be a part of community health initiatives. 

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required

This website, all text and images, Copyright© 2019 Wellness Institute of Greater Buffalo
No use permitted without permission

Wellness Institute of Greater Buffalo

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

Phone: 716-851-4052