Health Planning Council Community Initiatives

Past and present community collaborative initiatives staffed by the Health Planning Council, a program of the Human Services Coalition.

Long Term Care

Health care worker helping an elderly manThe Long Term Care (LTC) Committee of the Health Planning Council meets quarterly. The Committee convenes the partners and  stakeholders interested in strengthening the array of services in a comprehensive long term care system. It promotes the priorities of the Tompkins County Office for the Aging, supports an Age-Friendly Tompkins County, and forms workgroups to address emerging issues.

Community Health Access Committee

DoctorThe Community Health and Access Committee (CHAC) meets quarterly. The CHAC focuses on issues of healthcare access and select priorities identified in the Community Health Improvement Plan for Tompkins County.

Sharing Your Wishes

Senior woman with her caregiver at homeSharing Your Wishes a local coalition of organizations and individuals was formed in the early 2000s  to encourage individuals with planning for future medical care in the event they cannot make their own decisions. Today the Advance Care Planning group meets regularly to identify opportunities to promote health care proxies, living wills and MOLST forms. Please contact Nicole Zulu at or visit for more information.

Discharge Planning Group

road sign with image of car and person with text This workgroup is composed of care transition professionals who improve care coordination and protocols for patients and caregivers at discharge and afterwards. This group is the lead convener for the discharge planning goal of the Ithaca/Tompkins County Age-Friendly Action Plan, spearheaded by the Tompkins County Office for the Aging. One example workgroup initiative is the Discharge Planning Care Coordination List. 

Falls Prevention

People exercising to prevent fallsThe Tompkins County Falls Prevention Coalition was established in 2011 under a grant from the Health Foundation of Western and Central New York. The Coalition staffed by the Health Planning Council in collaboration with Finger Lakes Independence Center, Lifelong, Tompkins County Office for the Aging, Tompkins County Dept. of Emergency Response, and Visiting Nurse Service of Ithaca and Tompkins County implemented an extensive county-wide plan to educate health care professionals, nonprofit leaders, older adults and their caregivers about fall risks. A tool kit, Step Up to Stop Falls is available on this website and a Falls Prevention Resource Guide is available at the County Office for the Aging website. Today, a small workgroup of the Long Term Care Committee continues to meet to review data on falls and to identify outreach opportunities to promote fall risk screening and education.

Population Health Improvement Program

Interlocking gray and blue circles and the healthlinkny Community Network nameThe HealthlinkNY Community Network is a New York State Department of Health initiative aimed at improving population health and reducing healthcare disparities throughout the five counties of the Southern Tier region (Broome, Chenango, Delaware and Tioga Counties, in addition to Tompkins). Through this initiative, we convene stakeholders from across the region to identify, share and disseminate best practices and strategies to improve health outcomes across the region. The HealthlinkNY Community Network provides a neutral forum for local stakeholders to meet and accomplish these goals.

Urgent Rx

The Urgent Rx program provides emergency prescriptions for patients who are without health insurance.The Urgent Rx Prescription Program is supported by the United Way of Tompkins County and provides free prescriptions and outreach to people without insurance who have an urgent health need and receive care at participating sites. For over a decade, Health Planning Council staff and volunteers coordinated the program, worked with participating medical and pharmacy sites, tracked program usage, and followed up with clients.  As need for the program decreased, the program is now coordinated by the United Way of Tompkins County.

Chronic Disease Prevention

Heart shaped bowl of fruit

The Health Planning Council supports a variety of local wellness initiatives that are in tandem with its mission to improve health in Tompkins County. This commitment is fulfilled in the Healthy & Active Workshops for Chronic Disease, Diabetes Self-Management workshops, and support for Tompkins County Health Promotion Program initiatives.

Creating Healthy Places

Young Woman Hula Hooping at Streets Alive.Creating Healthy Places to Live, Work & Play was a N.Y.S. Department of Health (NYSDOH) grant-funded initiative to reduce obesity and type-2 diabetes by improving community-wide access to physical activity and nutritious foods Over the 5-year grant period from 2011 to 2015, the Human Services Coalition and its partners worked in targeted communities to promote the use of parks and trails, increase development of community gardens, improve access to fresh fruits and vegetables, and educate community members. Facets of the project, such as the popular Streets Alive! Event and Bike to Work Day, have since been adopted by BikeWalk Tompkins, a nonprofit established to continue the promotion and advocacy of active transportation.

Community Worksite Wellness

Laptop searching for wellbeingWith funding provided through the Creating Healthy Places initiative representatives from local employers with active or budding worksite wellness programs came together in 2015 to form the Tompkins County Worksite Wellness Coalition. The Coalition promotes wellness programs and healthy living as an added value that improves workplace culture. The Coalition gives worksite wellness advocates and coordinators a place to share the ideas, resources, and best practices necessary to build and sustain programs that engage employees.