HealtheConnections Partners with ARISE to Improve Community Health Opportunities for Individuals with Disabilities

HealtheConnections and ARISE were chosen by the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD) as part of their Reaching People with Disabilities through Healthy Communities project to collaboratively work to make health-related opportunities in Onondaga County more inclusive of people with disabilities. Onondaga County is one of 10 local communities in five states to participate with this project which seeks state and community collaboration to accelerate disability inclusion policy, systems, and environmental (PSE) improvements that will increase opportunities for healthy eating and physical activity for people living with disabilities.

The project is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Division of Human Development and Disability, Disability and Health Branch and will be led by NACDD. The New York State Department of Health’s Disability and Health Program (NYSDHP) will serve as the expert advisor to HealtheConnections and ARISE.

“We are pleased with the opportunity to expand our role in population health improvement with this award,” said Rob Hack, President and CEO of HealtheConnections. “Along with ARISE, we look forward to improving the accessibility of walking trails and pedestrian infrastructure in Onondaga County, which will benefit the health of people with disabilities.”

NACDD initiated the competitive funding request for local communities in those states that currently receive funding from the CDC Disabilities and Health Branch. HealtheConnections and ARISE will work with the NYSDHP to support a five-phase disability inclusion process complete with training opportunities, community assessment, and action planning.

“We are delighted to be working with HealtheConnections,” stated Tom McKeown, ARISE Executive Director.  “As an Independent Living Center, we work with people of all ages with all types of disabilities.  Increased inclusion and improving health are vital to us.”

The five selected states and 10 local communities are:

  • Iowa (Carroll County and Sioux City);
  • Montana (Butte and Helena);
  • New York (Cattaraugus County and Onondaga County);
  • Ohio (Adams County and Marion County); and
  • Oregon (Benton County and Umatilla County).

For more information about this project, please contact Bruce Hathaway (bhathaway@healtheconnections.org).


About HealtheConnections

HealtheConnections (pronounced “healthy connections”) delivers trusted and valued services which support health care transformation and efficiency initiatives focused on achieving the triple aim of better care, better population health and lower health care costs. HealtheConnections provides unbiased, neutral health information exchange (HIE) services* and population health improvement support services for the 11 counties of the Central New York region. The name HealtheConnections represents our commitment to connect, engage and collaborate with health care physicians, hospitals, public health, mental and behavior health and human services, and other health care providing entities, insurers, businesses and consumers to deliver regionally valued services and initiatives that support New York state’s health information exchange and population health improvement agendas.

*HealtheConnections is accredited by NYS Department of Health as a qualified entity of the State Health Information Network of New York (SHIN-NY).

For more information about HealtheConnections visit www.healtheconnections.org.



ARISE is an Independent Living Center, organized and directed by people with disabilities.  ARISE works in Onondaga, Oswego, Cayuga, Madison, and Seneca counties. ARISE has been providing advocacy and services since 1979, connecting with approximately 7,000 people of all ages who have all types of disabilities every year. ARISE also operates ARISE at the Farm, a 77-acre recreational facility in Chittenango, NY, and ARISE & Ski at Toggenburg Winter Sports Center in Fabius.


Media Contacts

Alicia Schaumberg, Communications & Marketing Coordinator
(315) 671-2241 ext. 260


Nancy Kern Eaton, Director of Development & Public Relations
(315) 671-2903