Wednesday, October 18, 2017


"Chemung County Community Empowerment Action Plan Update #3"

ELMIRA- The Chemung County Community Empowerment initiative has completed its third Action Plan update.  Chemung County Community Empowerment brings residents together to identify and pursue activities that promote successful aging and improve quality of life for all ages.  A one-year planning effort funded by the New York State Office for the Aging and involving over 500 residents resulted in the development of over 180 action plans to improve quality of life in the areas of civic engagement, health care and human services, economic development, housing and transportation.  Three common themes were identified and addressed by the action plans developed last fall:
• the need to build a stronger sense of community
• the need to effectively communicate information about and improve access to existing services, resources and opportunities and
• the need to coordinate the planning and provision of services, resources and opportunities to avoid duplication and gaps, and to improve effectiveness and efficiency

Click here to view a copy of the complete Community Empowerment Action Plan and updates. The plan can also be found at (click on Departments, Aging and Long Term Care, click on Community Empowerment and click on “Action Plan”).  Highlights of the third action plan update include:

• Community festivals, activities and projects have continued to develop and expand, fostering a stronger sense of community and promoting healthy lifestyles.  The first phase of the Elmira Promenade is complete and the Elmira-Chemung Transportation Council has coordinated several events and funded a kiosk to promote activities at the Promenade.  Eldridge Park has continued to plan and implement improvements including a vintage Flying Scooter ride, the addition of weed-controlling fish in Eldridge Lake, installation of concrete blocks to the midway, construction of a new pavilion north of the carousel, planting shade trees, and installing lighting along the midway.  Progress continues on a project to rebuild the Grove Park pavilion, as well as installation of benches donated by AARP and new playground equipment provided through the Creating Healthy Places to Live, Work and Play project.  Dunn Field renovations include cosmetic improvements, non-baseball events, a beer garden and children’s play area, with special attention paid to historic restoration.  Work on the Lackawanna Trail through Elmira has continued, including installation of fencing, landscaping and ramps accessible to the disabled.

• The Creating Healthy Places to Live, Work and Play grant has resulted in the creation of a broad-based community coalition that continues to improve Elmira parks and playgrounds, make it easier and safer to get to places to play, create community gardens to provide fresh fruits and vegetables, and work with restaurants to make eating out healthier.

• Training and opportunities for effective communication have been provided by the Institute for Human Services through the IHS Café – Developing a Strategic Communication Plan, Southern Tier/Finger Lakes Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) Training and Communication Committee, Volunteer Managers Conference, IHS Annual Conference, VATT meeting session on social media with assistance from 2-1-1 HELPLINE, Provider Online news site and weekly newsletters and calendar of events, IHS and 2-1-1 HELPLINE social media including Facebook and Twitter, and Southern Tier Nonprofit Executive Directors’ meetings and activities.

• To promote historical heritage of our community, Trolley Tours now embark from the Chemung County History Museum, which is collaborating with the Chamber of Commerce on related exhibits at the museum as well as on the administration and marketing of the Trolley Tours.  Several specialty tours have been developed to promote our community’s history.

• The Institute for Human Service’s 2-1-1 HELPLINE’s Give Help project received a grant from the New York State Commission on National Community Service to partner with the United Ways of Broome and Tompkins Counties to develop a virtual Regional Volunteer Center of the Southern Tier. Through this new partnership, 2-1-1 HELPLINE’s Give Help project has been able to transfer its existing database over to Hands on Connect, and connect to regional, state, and national volunteer listing sites. Thanks to this support along with the ongoing leadership & support of the United Way of the Southern Tier, the 2-1-1 HELPLINE Give Help project has been working to build the capacity of local nonprofits to manage volunteers and will build awareness throughout the community that 2-1-1 HELPLINE is a single point of contact for anyone looking to volunteer.

• Several members of the Chemung County Department of Aging and Long Term Care staff and Advisory Council attended the Livable Communities Forum in May 2012 and met with Bill Armbruster from NYS AARP to begin planning for a local Age Friendly Communities initiative.

• Chemung County and the City of Elmira received recognition from the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors for a wireless network project in which Integrated Systems, working with Chemung County and the City of Elmira, designed, engineered, and deployed a WiMAX wireless network in Chemung County encompassing the City of Elmira and surrounding suburbs.

• To promote the value and variety of local careers, the Chamber of Commerce Business Education Roundtable developed, with county school districts, a comprehensive series of Teacher Tours of area business and professional firms. Working with BOCES, Corning Community College, Elmira College and other economic development agencies, the Chamber has cosponsored an annual Regional Job Fair, which promotes long-term career opportunities as well as job openings.  On behalf of business interests in the future workforce, the Chamber has also increased its working relationship with county school superintendents and has successfully supported greater participation in school board elections by business leaders.

• Corning Community College expects to receive $1.01 million from the federal Department of Labor to provide education and training programs for jobs in high-tech industries.

• A coalition of community health and human service providers has developed and initiated a Community Health Assessment project.  This project will assist hospitals, the health department, and other providers of health and human services with identification of gaps and challenges in providing services that improve health outcomes, and will work to address health disparities of minority populations.

• The Community Partnership Program, a workgroup of local healthcare facility representatives who strive to improve coordination among healthcare facilities, has implemented tools to identify patients at high risk for hospital readmission that are being incorporated in hospital discharge planning and homecare case management.  Improved communication between hospital and homecare has resulted from implementation of a shared list of patients and communication between providers regarding hospitalizations, transfers, discharges, frequent emergency room visits, and Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (MOLST) forms.  Collaborative efforts between all service providers continue to address medication reconciliation, patient education, fall prevention, safety for older adults, and health literacy.

• Arnot Ogden Medical Center is on the annual Health & Hospital Network 2012 Most Wired list for the third time and, as of July, has been a part of the Rochester Regional Health Information Organization, a secure electronic health information exchange serving authorized medical providers and consenting patients that makes medical care data more easily accessible to a patient’s complete medical team.  A Congestive Health Failure and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease telehealth monitoring program has also been initiated.

• The Chronic Disease Self-Management Program offered a workshop series in the summer of 2012 and is planning additional offerings.  An effort is underway to promote the program among church groups, congregate housing, and retirement communities. 

• The Diabetes Action Program, a collaborative of Arnot Health - AOMC/SJH, Chemung County Health Department, the Chemung Valley Rural Health Network and Creating Healthy Places, has formed to address the increase in diabetes and plans to perform screenings at health fairs and other events, including a Diabetes Awareness Fair in November 2012.

• Chemung County’s website ( has collected extensive information regarding the Chemung County Executive’s Advisory Commission on Natural Energy Solutions including meeting minutes and presentations; upcoming events, webinars and training opportunities; NYS legislative activity; Chemung County’s Natural Resources Inventory; drill and shale related maps; information on wind power, biomass systems, solar energy and geothermal heating and cooling; and an extensive list of links and resources. includes a Marcellus Shale Resource Center to highlight reporting done on this topic from the local and national Public Broadcasting Community, with a goal to “facilitate personal understanding on the issues surrounding this topic”.

• A fourth collection for safe disposal of unused medications occurred in April and a fifth in September 2012.

• NYS Office of Mental Health approved a grant to Family Services for integrated geriatric mental health and physical health starting April 2012.  Suicide prevention efforts continue to expand, making us one of the most progressive counties in the state on this issue.

• Southern Tier Economic Growth (STEG), Elmira Downtown Development, Near Westside Neighborhood Association, Chemung History Museum, Historic Elmira and the City of Elmira Office of Community Development staff have coordinated preservation and redevelopment activities and aligned missions to better prepare for and meet the ongoing effort of community revitalization, historic property rehabilitation and economic development/job creation.  STEG is currently working with Community Progress on several community preservation planning and implementation activities within the County.

• The Main Street project is now complete and includes Complete Streets concepts to provide a considerable upgrade in pedestrian safety.  The Elmira-Chemung Transportation Council participated in an extensive safety assessment of the Church Street project utilizing Complete Streets concepts and coordinated input from a non-profit organization for the visually impaired.

• EmPower NY has provided training to local organizations to facilitate referrals for free energy audits and energy saving education, appliances and installations for eligible residents.

• In March 2012, the Elmira Chemung Transportation Council approved the Chemung County Coordinated Public Transit -- Human Services Transportation Plan that includes strategies such as exploring volunteer driver programs, partnering with 2-1-1 Helpline to provide enhanced customer service for transportation needs in Chemung County and to track unmet needs, and improving communication of transit information.  The Chemung County Mobility Manager completed 21 outreach opportunities in 2011 and outreach continues in 2012.  C TRAN has trained RSVP volunteers to provide peer to peer travel training.  Mobility managers in Chemung, Schuyler and Steuben counties are working regionally through the creation of a Tri-county Transportation Guide in 2011 and the hosting of a Transportation Solutions for Human Services Professionals workshop in 2012.  Several new buses equipped with bicycle racks are now in service.

For more information about Community Empowerment and to find out how you can participate, please contact the Chemung County Department of Aging and Long Term Care at 737-5520.

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