Buffalo Healthy Workplace Initiative

Healthy Workplace Initiative

Program Overview 

BNMC is working with area employers to facilitate positive change towards creating healthier workplaces. The program, called the Buffalo Healthy Workplace Initiative, is funded through a five-year Creating Healthy Schools & Communities (CHSC) grant from the New York State Department of Health. The goal of the overall public health initiative is to reduce major risk factors of obesity, diabetes, and other chronic diseases in 85 high-need school districts and associated communities statewide. 

BNMC’s workplace wellness initiative was recently highlighted in The Buffalo News [BN] Refresh section. Read more about our efforts in this article

About the Grant

BNMC is leading the Buffalo Healthy Workplace Initiative to bring together diverse employers so that they can learn from each other, develop best practices and improve their focus on creating a healthier workplace for their employees. Our role is to identify and recruit employers, assess their current health & wellness programs, identify areas for improvement, and facilitate connections to local community programs and resources that can help make healthy improvements in their workplace. A post-assessment is also planned to quantify results.


With a goal of 50 employers over the five-year span of the grant, there are currently 40 employers participating. They represent a diverse group including private, public, and not for profit; small, medium and large; and with a varying level of workplace health & wellness programs and focus.

Assessments & Meetings

Employers are assessed initially, using a standard questionnaire developed for use by the NYS Department of Health. The questionnaire helps to assess current programs and policies as well as areas that can be improved. BNMC works with the employer to connect them to possible partners and programs that can assist in adding additional heath and wellness programs to their current initiatives. Participating employers meet monthly to share information about their health & wellness efforts, resources and lessons learned so that all participants can have the full benefit of learning, asking questions and sharing information. Our Healthy Communities Catalyst, Beth, also meets with employers on a regular basis to assist in their initial assessment, and in helping to build more robust programs. The BNMC acts as a mentor and as a facilitator to help keep participants on track, enthused and connected to resources.

Want to create a healthier workplace at your company or organization? Contact BNMC’s Healthy Communities Catalyst, Beth Machnica, for information on joining.

Participating Organizations 

  • 43North 
  • BlueCross Blue Shield of WNY
  • Buffalo Federation of Neighborhood Centers
  • Buffalo Hearing & Speech Center
  • Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Inc.
  • Careline
  • Erie County Community College
  • Erie County Department of Health
  • Erie County Medical Center 
  • Erie Niagara AHEC
  • Evergreen Health
  • Field & Fork Network 
  • Gateway-Longview
  • GObike Buffalo
  • Harmac
  • Hauptman-Woodward Institute 
  • Hospice Buffalo
  • Independent Health
  • Jacobs Institute 
  • Kaleida Health 
  • Lawley Insurance
  • Mental Health Association of Erie County
  • New Era Cap
  • Olmsted Center for Sight 
  • Osteopathic Wellness Medicine of WNY (OWM)
  • Reddy Bikeshare
  • Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Seneca Gaming Corporation
  • UBMD Physicians’ Group
  • University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences
  • Walsh Duffield

Support Partners Who Share Technical Assistance/Expertise to Engaged Organizations 

  • The Wellness Institute 
  • Population Health Collaborative 
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension Erie County 
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension Niagara County 
  • BlueCross Blue Shield WNY 
  • Independent Health 
  • Orchard Park Veterinary Medical Center
  • Healthy Community Alliance 
  • Moog 

Some of our Group’s Healthy Victories

  • Urban Fruits and Veggies Truck brought onsite weekly
  • Composting program established
  • Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) to Work Programs established
  • Farm-to-Work Program established
  • Outdoor community garden created & indoor garden in progress
  • Healthy food changes in workplace cafeteria
  • Healthy vending machine brought onsite
  • Wellness Committees formed