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Adirondack Health Institute is an independent, non-profit organization supporting hospitals, physician practices, behavioral health providers, community-based organizations, patients and others in our region to transform health care and improve population health.

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« April 2021 » loading...


AHI Announces Launch of Adirondack Food System Network

Adirondack Health Institute is pleased to announce the launch of the Adirondack Food System Network, a collaboration of multiple organizations working together as equal partners to better understand system-wide issues, identify gaps, and develop realistic solutions to help strengthen and promote a more resilient food system.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, market supply chain and trade disruptions have limited food accessibility, especially for vulnerable residents lacking access to transportation and the means to purchase fresh food. At the same time, farmers have been faced with significant disruptions in market access, especially due to the closure of restaurants, retail, and other food establishments, and the threat of the loss of market access for area farmers.

A group of Adirondack food system stakeholders across the region have come together to start the Adirondack Food System Network with seed funding from Adirondack Foundation. The Network aims to help food system stakeholders mount a coordinated effort to build back better food systems as the region recovers from the pandemic, centered on the values of collaboration, equity, environment, and lasting success.

“AHI is pleased to be serving as the backbone organization, the coordinating body that will provide support, facilitation, and guidance, for this much-needed collective impact initiative,” stated Nancy Gildersleeve, an Executive Director at Adirondack Health Institute.

“This past year, food assistance has been a big part of our COVID response grantmaking. By connecting emergency food systems with the local food system, this cross-sector network has great potential to broaden access to healthy, fresh food for residents of all ages and strengthen ties with local producers. It’s a win-win,” said Connie Prickett, Adirondack Foundation Vice President of Communications and Strategic Initiatives.

“We now have a community platform for collective action focused on food and equity. We have the opportunity to address low farmer incomes and rising food insecurity in our region simultaneously,” explained Brittany Christenson, the Executive Director of ADK Action, and Co-Chair of the program’s Steering Committee. “With this network, we can connect the dots between problems and solutions across sectors and build our food system back better.”

The vision of the Network is an Adirondack regional food system that is resilient, just, environmentally-responsible and supports improved human health. The mission is to advance innovative solutions through lasting collaboration that strengthen and improve our regional food system for individuals, the environment, and the economy. Collaboration will initially focus on connecting efforts in five areas: production, consumption, distribution, processing, and food waste management. The Network covers nine New York counties: Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Hamilton, St. Lawrence, Saratoga, Warren, and Washington.

For more information about the Adirondack Food System Network and to subscribe to our e-list, visit our website at If you would like to get involved with the initiative, visit

Clear the Air in the Southern Adirondacks Team Interviewed for Chamber Podcast

The Clear the Air in the Southern Adirondacks (CASA) team of Kelly Owns, Merry Rudinger, and Joey Boswell was recently interviewed by Amanda Blanton for the Adirondack Regional Chamber of Commerce‘s podcast, I’m In With the ARCC.
Among other topics, the team discussed the program’s four main objectives – community engagement, community education, policy change, and youth involvement. They also asked podcast listeners to help them in their efforts to establish smoke-free communities by submitting photos of prominently-displayed tobacco advertisements found in the community. The team will compile the photos to use as a visual illustration of how Big Tobacco uses enticing and deceptive marketing tactics to lure prospective tobacco and vape users. If you would like to submit a photo, and receive a goody bag in return, please send it in an email to [email protected].
CASA, a program of Adirondack Health Institute, is an advancing tobacco-free communities partnership grant funded by the New York State Department of Health Bureau of Tobacco Control and serves Warren, Washington, and Saratoga counties.
Click here to listen to the podcast.

COVID-19 Mental Health Resources Available for Health Care Workers

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a trying time for all of us, but perhaps none more so than those who have bravely and tirelessly served on the front lines – the heroic health care workers who work tirelessly to care for our communities. With so many people struggling to cope during these unprecedented times, it is sometimes easy to forget that those who care for and comfort us are also in need of support and comforting. The pandemic has been a demanding, overwhelming, heartbreaking, and exhausting experience for everyone. With that in mind, AHI wanted to provide some resources that may be of help. We encourage you to share this list with colleagues as both a show of support and a way to provide options to help reenergize their efforts.

The Emotional PPE Project: A directory that provides contact information of volunteer licensed mental health practitioners who provide free services to health care workers whose mental health has been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

Meditation, Mindfulness, and Yoga:

Down Dog: An app that offers personalized yoga, meditation, and other practices. The app is being offered at no cost to health care workers through July 1, 2021.

Headspace: A site that offers a collection of guided meditations and exercises for free to all employers and their employees.

Mindful: A site that offers a variety of mindfulness articles and guided meditation practice videos and podcasts, including the following two [email protected] videos featuring Dr. Mark Bertin:

Mindfulness for Health Care Workers Video 1

Mindfulness for Health Care Workers Video 2

TalkSpace: A site that offers several free mental health resources, including therapist-led Facebook support groups related to COVID-19, and mental health tips from therapists.

Physician Support Line: A free and confidential national support line service made up of volunteer psychiatrists who provide peer support for physicians. No appointment is necessary and the service is available from 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 a.m., seven days per week at 1-888-409-0141.

NY Project Hope: New York’s COVID emotional support hotline. The hotline, staffed with crisis counselors, can be reached at 1-844-863-9314.

PeerRxMed: A peer-to-peer program for physicians and other health care workers that provides support, connection, resources, and more to help combat burnout. Health care workers choose a partner and proceed through a process that provides prompts and guidance for weekly, monthly, and quarterly check-ins.

Relias: A site that provides tips to hospitals dealing with COVID-19 for integrating trauma-informed care.

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