News Release



For More Information:

William R. Steinhaus
Dutchess County Executive
(845) 486-2000

For Immediate Release

June 2, 1999


Steinhaus Announces $200,000 Grant For Healthcare For Seniors


Poughkeepsie, NY - Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus and Ron Lipp, Executive Director of Dutchess Health 2000, today jointly announce that Dutchess Health 2000 has received a Health Information Quality Improvement grant totaling $200,000 from the New York State Department of Health. Dutchess Health 2000 is a broad based community collaborative of 38 organizations representing health care providers, business, government, insurers, educators and others dedicated to improving the health of Dutchess County residents. The collaborative was formed in 1994. The County Executive was among the original organizers along with Saint Francis Hospital and others. The grant will target older adults and will be used to increase the utilization of preventive health services.

"This grant was made possible by a public/private partnership forged by Dutchess Health 2000," Steinhaus said. "This partnership resulted in a $200,000 grant that will benefit our county's senior population."

The grant proposal, entitled "Dutchess Cares," is comprised of two major components. One component is an injury prevention program for seniors led by Dutchess County's Office for the Aging. Adults age 60 and over will participate in a six month strength training and education program in an effort to reduce the incidence of falls and accidental injuries. Training sites will include residences for seniors, county senior nutrition sites and other community sites.

"One of the most important aspects of this program is that it helps our seniors remain independent," Steinhaus noted. "Strength training helps prevent and treat osteoporosis which is a public health threat for 28 million Americans. Dutchess County government has forged alliances so that we can ensure a comfortable and independent life for the county's residents."

The second component of the "Dutchess Cares" program is the collaboration between SPARC (Sickness Prevention Achieved through Regional Cooperation) and the Dutchess County Health Department to increase the use of adult immunizations, mammograms for women over 50, and colon cancer screening. The immunizations targeted include pneumonia, influenza and tetanus/diphtheria.

"The partnership between SPARC and the Dutchess County Health Department will enable many older residents to receive the immunizations and preventive check-ups that will help them maintain a comfortable quality of life," commented Steinhaus. "SPARC will hold two clinics a year for pneumonia and tetanus/diphtheria for which the Health Department will provide the staff and the vaccines. We are trying to make government work for the people to improve their lives."

"Dutchess Health 2000 and all the organizations working with it deserve acknowledgment," Steinhaus said. "Together with their efforts and cooperation, Dutchess County will be an even healthier place for our seniors."

"The preventive health services covered by this grant translate to concrete benefits for Dutchess County residents," Lipp said.

John Beale, Director of the Office for the Aging said, "Although we have done similar programs in the past, 'Dutchess Cares' will be more expansive and comprehensive. We will now be able to reach out to 250 new seniors."

The injury prevention program will begin establishing itself in early June and will be fully operational by September. The immunization program will kick-off on June 8' at St. John's Church in Beacon.

"The success of these public/private partnerships are evidence that government is capable of serving the community's needs," said Steinhaus. "The added benefit is that we manage to provide these services while saving the local property taxpayers money. With these programs, not only will our residents stay physically healthy, but our county government will stay economically healthy as well."



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