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Buffalo receives $16 million federal grant for health initiative

By WBFO News

Buffalo, NY – Federal economic stimulus funding announced Tuesday will give local doctors the tools they need to provide better patient care.

Western New York is one of just 15 communities across the country to receive Beacon Grants. The $16.1 million will help coordinate medical records and reduce emergency room visits by giving doctors immediate access to patient information.

The money will go to HEALTHeLINK, a coalition that includes WCA Hospital, Catholic Health System, ECMC, BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York, Independent Health, Kaleida Health, Roswell Park Cancer Institute and Univera Healthcare

"Achieving more affordable, patient-focused, higher quality health care starts with implementing innovative initiatives such as HEALTHeLINK," Higgins said. "Electronic health records will improve the quality of care patients receive, create better integrated health systems, and will ultimately reduce unnecessary costs. Simply put, doctors will be focused on patients not paperwork a reform that we can all agree with."

The money will allow 60,000 local diabetics to be fully integrated into the electronic medical records network.

130 communities applied for the Beacon Grant funding.