Press Release January 2020                               


BUFFALO, NY: The Wellness Institute of Greater Buffalo celebrates its 30-year anniversary of advocating for healthy communities in WNY this year; throughout its history, the Institute has been led by Executive Director and CEO (Chief Engagement Officer) Phil Haberstro. Phil has created a legacy through the Wellness Institute –his unrelenting passion for improving quality of life in local communities has resulted in some amazing things for our WNY community. Haberstro chaired the Anti-Tobacco Coalition which spearheaded the efforts to create tobacco-free zones and increase taxes on the harmful substance. He has led successful local efforts to improve health, wellness, and quality of life for youth, adults, and older adults in urban, suburban, and rural neighborhoods in our region.

Phil noted the Wellness Institute bid farewell to two incredibly strong employees – Sara Gullo and Trisha Shea, RD – who are joining the fields of education and nutrition respectively. With this change, the Institute is proud to welcome Michaela O’Brien, recent graduate of the University at Buffalo in Public Health, and Lucy Connery, who soon will graduate from Daemen College with her Master of Public Health. O’Brien has been with the Wellness Institute since Fall 2019 and has been a strong proponent in the workplace health promotion field. She recently conducted a survey to identify the status of workplace health promotion in our region and compared her findings to national data. Connery just celebrated her first year of working will the Wellness Institute, and was recently promoted to Associate Director; her main focus is Community Advocacy and Social Capital-building through the WNY WALKS! Initiative that successfully launched in May 2019 and continues is work.

Haberstro commented on Michaela and Lucy, noting their professionalism, passion, and dedication to the Healthy Communities Movement: “We are fortunate to have these talented persons on our team.” The Wellness Institute will celebrate its 30 years with its annual Press Conference for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation County Health Rankings Release! This will lead into an engaging Spring and Summer of 2020 – other events that the Institute is involved in include the WNY WALKS! Second Annual Walkability Summit in June, and initiatives addressing workplace health promotion, youth health-enhancement, and age-friendly initiatives throughout the city and county!

For more information on the Wellness Institute or its affiliates, please contact (716) 851-4052 or BeActive@City-Buffalo.org. To learn more about our history and current work, go to our website CreatingHealthyCommunities.org or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Pinterest!

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Healthy Communities 2030!

PO Box 797
Buffalo, NY  14207

Phone: 716-935-0570