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HealthlinkNY Community Network: Making Strides in the Southern Tier

The HealthlinkNY Community Netwrk and its community partners are addressing health challenges in the rural Southern Tier of New York, including two in particular: opioid use and patients who lack transportation to health providers.

In response to a sharp increase in opioid-related deaths in the Southern Tier, the HealthlinkNY Community Network obtained a New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) grant to launch the Southern Tier Regional Addiction Resource Center. The Center is a regional partnership managed by HealthlinkNY in which stakeholders share ideas and resources in a coordinated effort to reduce substance use and opioid-related overdoses and death.

Stakeholders include:

  • Licensed prevention and treatment providers
  • Public safety agencies
  • Faith leaders
  • Family members with a loved one facing a substance use disorder
  • Other individuals


Transportation is also a population health priority. As many as 50% of Southern Tier residents have trouble finding transportation to visit their healthcare provider. To address this issue, HealthlinkNY and its partners—the Rural Health Network of South Central New York, Inc., Chenango Health Network, and Human Services Coalition of Tompkins County—have set up the Transportation Pilot Project—working with five primary care sites. At the same time, HealthlinkNY and its partners are working with transportation companies and others to develop transportation solutions in the Southern Tier.

The HealthlinkNY Community Network supports all five counties in the Southern Tier:

  • Broome
  • Chenango
  • Delaware
  • Tioga
  • Tompkins

The Southern Tier Addiction Resource Center covers those counties as well as Chemung, Schuyler, and Steuben.

Projects and Initiatives

Southern Tier Regional Addiction Center (STAR): The Southern Tier Regional Addiction Resource Center is an initiative led by HealthlinkNY, funded by the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services. The initiative’s goal is to bring people together from across the region to share ideas and resources to address substance use. In response to the prevalence of substance use among individuals in the workforce, HealthlinkNY launched an initiative to provide employers with the tools and resources they need to support employees who may be struggling with substance use. Businesses HIRE (Helping In Recovery Efforts) seeks to engage local employers who want to play an active role in addressing substance use locally.

Addressing Transportation as a Barrier to Good Health: Working with partners, we set up Getthere 211 to provide patients with access to resources to help them find a way to their healthcare providers. The purpose is to not let transportation be a barrier to good health.

Workplace Wellness Mental Health Took Kit: Employers can learn how to support their employees better, by recognizing the signs of mental distress, understanding the role stigma plays as a barrier to receiving treatment or care, and fostering an environment of respect and understanding for the importance of mental well-being. With tools like the company audit, workplace surveys, and in-person pieces of training, the Workplace Wellness program seeks to offer actionable steps to implement mental health programs in the workplace.

Professional Trainings: In addition to Workplace Wellness Trainings, the Community Network offers an ever-expanding catalog of professional pieces of training and is a New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services Approved Education and Training Provider.

Current training programs include:

  • Blueprint for Health Equity: An opportunity for professionals in the fields of behavioral health, social services, government, law enforcement, education, healthcare, media, religious organizations, and others to take a fresh look at the work of their organization through the eyes of the people they serve. This workshop explores the social determinants of health through a racial equity lens.
  • Mental Health First Aid: Mental Health First Aid is an 8-hour course that teaches participants how to identify, understand, and respond to signs of emerging mental health and substance use crises.
  • Narcan® Administration: This training teaches individuals how to administer Narcan®, an opioid antagonist medication used to reverse the effects of opioid overdose.
  • Our Stories Have Power: This training provides important information to increase the participants’ knowledge of recovery advocacy, the recovery movement, and the language used to eliminate negative public attitudes towards addiction and recovery.
  • SBRIT (Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment): SBRIT is an evidence-based practice used to identify, reduce, and prevent problematic use and misuse of, and dependence on, alcohol and prescription or illicit drugs.
  • Science of Addiction: Addiction is a brain disease that can be treated. This training looks at addiction as it impacts the brain, its effects on behavior, and how addiction to drugs and alcohol compares to other chronic illnesses.

Meeting Agendas and Minutes

Click here for all meeting agendas and minutes.

Our Southern Tier Partners

Binghamton University
Broome County Health Department
Care Compass Network
Catskill Area Hospice
Chenango County Health Department
Chenango County Mental Health
Chenango Health Network
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Delaware County
Cornerstone Family Health Care
Decker School of Nursing,
Delaware County Mental Health
Delaware County Office for Aging
Delaware County Public Health
Human Services Coalition of Tompkins County
Lourdes Hospital
Mental Health Association of Tompkins County
NAMI of Delaware County
O’Connor Hospital
Rural Health Network of South Central New York
Southern Tier Independence Center
SUNY Upstate Medical
Tioga County Public Health
Tioga Opportunities
Tompkins County Health Department

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