The Rural Outreach Center (ROC), located south of East Aurora, received the “Community Star” award from the National Office of State Offices of Rural Health, representing the State of New York.
The R.O.C was highlighted during the Association’s celebration of Rural Health Day on Nov. 18. Recognition is based on the R. O.C’s model of addressing the social determinants.
According to a news release from the center, 80 percent of length of life (mortality) and quality of life (morbidity) is dependent on social determinants such as health behaviors, social and economic factors and living environment. The R.O.C recognizes that there is significant overlap between these determinants of health and the determinants of poverty. Thus, addressing one will affect the other.
For instance, R.O.C participants are empowered to set goals to improve education, employment status, income and family and social support, obvious avenues to move from dependency toward self-sufficiency. These avenues are also some of the social determinants of health.
In any given year, over 50 percent of R.O.C adult participants improve their mental health status and housing. Likewise, children and youth improve their mental health and education status. These changes not only move participants toward greater self-sufficiency, but also toward better health.
Located at 730 Olean Road in East Aurora, the R.O.C’s mission is to assist, empower and elevate the impoverished rural populations in southern Erie County and surrounding areas. For children, the R.O.C’s goal is to break the cycle of multi-generational poverty by providing counseling, play therapy, educational opportunities and programs.
For more information on the Rural Outreach Center, visit theroc.co or call (716) 240-2220. Also follow the organization on Facebook for frequent updates.