The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Inc. is dedicated to creating and maintaining sustainable environments for the greater community, as well as employees, patients, and visitors to the Medical Campus. Through improved infrastructure that supports active living, creating policies to develop a healthier food system, and supporting environmental changes to enhance healthy lifestyles, the BNMC actively seeks to improve the quality of life for our community. Over the past ten years, we have received two grants totaling nearly one million dollars from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to support environmental and policy changes to increase active living and healthy eating in our community.
In October 2015, we received a $25,000 planning grant from the USDA under its Local Food Promotion Program, in partnership with Field & Fork Network and Cornell Cooperative Extension Harvest NY, for a Farm-to-Hospital initiative. Through this grant, we will conduct market research and develop a plan to promote local food procurement policies and practices on the Medical Campus. At the end of the planning grant we expect to be well positioned to apply for the larger implementation grant.
This past summer we partnered with Farmers & Artisans to offer a Farm-to-Work program in the Thomas R. Beecher, Jr. Innovation Center, bringing fresh produce and locally-sourced goods to nearly 500 emplpoyees every week. Our first year was quite successful, and we are hoping to expand across other entitites on the Medical Campus.
On the BNMC, employees are encouraged to embrace active and healthy lifestyles through a variety of amenities and programs. GO BNMC is a movement designed to help enhance alternative transportation options for those commuting to work on the Medical Campus. Smart commuting decreases the amount of pollutants released into the air while saving money and time. When you choose to walk, bike, take public transit, carpool, or drive an electric or hybrid vehicle to work, not only do you put money back into your pocket, you also help to create a more sustainable environment. Employees on the BNMC should visit gobnmc.org to learn more.
Other wellness programs include BNMC Fit and Walking on Wednesdays (W.O.W.) walks, both designed to keep employees on the BNMC informed and active while at work and at home.
In a broader scope, supporting healthy and sustainable environments, BNMC, Inc. is participating in an effort to implement quality-of-life changing planning for everyone in Western New York. One Region Forward consists of a group of public, private and non-profit organizations collaborating to strengthen the region’s livable communities by the creation of a Regional Plan for Sustainable Development. The plan is intended to provide priority status for funding opportunities in the future. To learn more about the initiative, visit www.oneregionforward.org.