In the News

Who would be eligible to get a 3rd dose of the COVID-19 vaccine?

By: Olivia Proia | Aug 12, 2021

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Doctors said there are new concerns that certain vaccinated immunocompromised individuals have failed to achieve adequate antibodies to COVID-19.

“There’s an increasing amount of data that exists that their response to the vaccination is sub-optimal. There’s also an increasing amount of data that shows that vaccinated people who land in the hospital and get more severely ill these are the individuals that’s occurring with. Lastly, there’s an increasing body that shows if they receive a third shot, it enhances their antibody response,” Dr. Thomas Russo, professor and Chief of Infectious Disease at the Jacobs School of Medicine at the University at Buffalo, said.

Stories from the business trail: Leaders in Buffalo share insight on working with Kathy Hochul

By Dan Miner – Reporter, Buffalo Business First | Aug 12, 2021

Kathy Hochul has long been an active presence in Western New York, from her days as Erie County clerk to becoming a U.S. representative to a stint at M&T Bank and finally as New York’s lieutenant governor. With the impending resignation of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Hochul is set to become the state’s first female governor, a job with local, statewide and even national implications. Here’s what some local business leaders said about working with her.

The future of Health Care: Roundtable

Aug 6, 2021

Patients and caregivers alike should expect growth and lasting changes to emerge from the upheaval caused in health care by Covid-19, local industry leaders say.

What to keep and what to scuttle when it comes to caring for patients and clients postpandemic prompted some lively conversation among health-care providers who participated in the Panel of Experts session hosted by Business First of Buffalo.

Delta variant convincing some to get vaccinated

Vaccine pop-ups are happening across Erie County, as more people now chose to get the shot.

By: Hannah | Aug 05, 2021

BUFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Ryan Stang admits, after a bout with COVID on Super Bowl Sunday, he was vaccine hesitant.

“In my opinion, what would be the purpose of getting the vaccine if I already had the antibodies,” he said.

Micro-credential program teaches students to see diabetes from patient’s POV

Diabetes Mentorship Program sessions occurred in person in 2019 (top) and virtually in 2020 (bottom). The program returns to an in-person experience in fall 2021.


“The ability to have an honest conversation with patients about their barriers and limitations helps you as a provider, and increases your cultural competency. ”
Olivia Waldman, second-year student
Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences

A key experience for students at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences is working one-on-one with patients to move beyond theory into hands-on engagement. The Diabetes Mentorship Program offers a unique way for students to acquire knowledge of diabetes and diabetes management and treatment by mentoring — and being mentored by — patients with pre-diabetes and diabetes.

JC Seneca Foundation holds Health and Healing Expo in Irving

Dr. Raul Vazquez and his Urban Family Practice team had a mobile medical unit providing both Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer COVID vaccines.

Author: WGRZ Staff | July 31, 2021

IRVING, N.Y. — A pop-up COVID-19 vaccine clinic was held this weekend for a community in need in Chautauqua County.

The JC Seneca Foundation held a Health and Healing Expo on Saturday at the Tallchief Outdoor Events Center and Native Pride Travel Plaza located on Southwestern Boulevard in Irving. But it wasn’t your typical health fair.

Amid COVID spike, vaccinations increase at some locations, still stagnant at others

‘It hasn’t been an avalanche of interest over the vaccine but it is definitely on the upswing and I think that is likely to even grow in the coming weeks and days.”

Author: Jackie Roberts | July 31, 2021

BUFFALO, N.Y. — According to the Erie County Department of Health (EDOH), the county is now experiencing ‘substantial’ community transmission of COVID-19 based on guidance from the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention (CDC).

As a result, starting Saturday, July 31, anyone entering an Erie County building or facility must wear a face mask. The mandate applies to all employees, vendors, and visitors, regardless of vaccination status.

With a low vaccination rate in the Latino community, leaders work to combat hesitancy

Leaders in Western New York’s Latino community said the spread of misinformation on social media is leading to low vaccination rates.

By: Olivia Proia | Jul 29, 2021

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Leaders in Western New York’s Latino community said the spread of misinformation on social media is leading to low vaccination rates.

“Facebook and Instagram and TikTok, they become sort of that information to people that really have no liability,” Dr. Raul Vazquez, a physician at Urban Family Practice said, “We get some bizarre, people are going to put a chip in me. Look at the metal, people that have gotten the vaccine now have a magnet that attaches to that location. It’s just the stuff is beyond… You don’t want to laugh about it, but you don’t know where these concepts are coming from. Why are people thinking this way?”

COVID-19 vaccination clinic to be held on Seneca Nation Saturday

The JC Seneca Foundation is hosting a health & healing expo, which will also serve as a COVID-19 vaccination clinic, at the Tallchief Outdoor Event Center.

Author: Nate Benson (WGRZ) | July 29, 2021

IRVING, N.Y. — The JC Seneca Foundation is hosting a health and healing expo, which will include a pop-up COVID-19 vaccination clinic on Saturday, July 31 from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.

“I wanted to sponsor an event that was more than the traditional health fair,” Seneca stated in a press release. “That’s why we invited a variety of care providers in the fields of healthy minds and bodies.”


Buffalo doctor looking for state aid to better serve communities hit hard by COVID

New York State plans to allocate $15 million to communities that have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19.

Author: Liz Lewin (WGRZ) | July 28, 2021

BUFFALO, N.Y. — One Buffalo primary care doctor is already taking action, 24 hours after Governor Cuomo announced that he would be allocating $15 million from the state budget to help promote vaccinations and support communities across that the state that have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19.

Vaccine Mandates Enacted in Parts of the Country, No Mandate in Buffalo so Far

VA Gives Healthcare Workers 8 Weeks to get Vaccine

This announcement is in stark contrast to New York City’s policy, where all municipal workers must get vaccinated or get tested every week. California has the same policy for all state workers and health care employees. Dr. Vazquez said people should not be scared of the vaccine.

By: Natalie Fahmy | Jul 26, 2021

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Vaccine mandates are going into effect across the country, but so far, not in the city of Buffalo.

“We are not mandating vaccination in the city of buffalo, we are providing assistance to any employee and any city resident who would like to get vaccinated,” Mayor Byron Brown said.

Erie County Department of Health reminds patients about ER alternatives

By I’Jaz Ja’ciel Erie County | Oct. 08, 2021

As hospitals remain inundated with patients during the COVID-19 pandemic, many are having trouble receiving the medical care they need. Instead of heading to the ER for a medical emergency, considering alternative facilities and health care services may help patients get concerns addressed in a timely manner.

Doctor reacts to vaccine mandate

By: Hannah Buehler | Sep 28, 2021

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — A Western New York doctor who mandated the vaccine in January for his employees was one of the first in the area to do so.

Dr. Raul Vazquez of Urban Family Practice in Buffalo says it was the best decision for his staff.

Increase in younger people hospitalized due to COVID-19

By: Jeff Slawson | Apr 22, 2021

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Current hospitalizations rates in Erie County, the highest since February, with younger people becoming a concern.

Local doctors argue case against COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy

By Liz Lewin (WGRZ) | April 13, 2021

The CDC and FDA released a joint statement on Tuesday recommending the pause in Johnson & Johnson vaccines due to six rare cases of blood clotting.

What local medical expert is saying about J&J vaccine

“Remember it’s one in a million people to have this issue”
By Eileen Buckley | Apr 13, 2021

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — New federal recommendations call for an immediate pause of the Johnson & Johnson single use vaccine.

Buffalo Clinic Helps Native American Community get COVID-19 Vaccine

By WGRZ Staff | April 10, 2021

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Members of Western New York’s Native American community had another chance to get vaccinated in Buffalo on Saturday.

400 Attend Pop-Up Vaccination Site In Irving

By Anthony Dolce | April 9, 2021

IRVING — With COVID-19 vaccinations rolling out all over the country, accessibility to the vaccine can still be an issue, especially in rural areas. Thanks to the combined efforts of Dr. Raul Vazquez, president of Buffalo’s G-Health Enterprises, and J.C. Seneca, owner of Native Pride Travel Plaza, vaccinations were made more accessible.

Cuomo Announces 18 New Community-Based Pop-Up COVID Vaccination Sites

Will Reporting Vaccinations Help Employers get People Back to the Office?

By Tracey Drury – Reporter, Buffalo Business First | Apr 1, 2021, 6:00am EDT

Despite advances in technology during the pandemic, methods for tracking the virus and validating a vaccination have been surprisingly low-tech. New York’s new Excelsior Pass should help change that.

Pop-Up COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic Held in Downtown Buffalo

By WGRZ Staff | March 27, 2021

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The effort to get Western New Yorkers vaccinated continued Saturday with a state-run, one-day, pop-up site at the Durham Memorial Outreach Center in downtown Buffalo.

New York State Announces 1-day COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic in Buffalo

By WGRZ Staff | March 25, 2021

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Editors Note: The above image is a stock/file photo of vaccines. The image does not necessarily indicate which brand of vaccine will be distributed at this clinic.

Houses of Worship Apply to be Vaccine Sites

By: Hannah Buehler, WKBW | Mar 23, 2021

WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. (WKBW) — Houses of Worship can now apply to become vaccine hubs, according to Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Some Primary Care Doctors Receiving COVID-19 Vaccine Allocations from State

By: Gilat Melamed | Mar 23, 2021

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Some doctors will be able to vaccinate their patients, according to Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz. He said this is the first time the state will give COVID-19 allocations directly to doctors.

New York State Expands Vaccine Eligibility

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Some doctors will be able to vaccinate their patients, according to Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz. He said this is the first time the state will give COVID-19 allocations directly to doctors.

Doctor Says Buffalo Vaccine Pop-up Clinic Promotes Equitable Healthcare

by: News 4 Staff | Mar 19, 2021

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — 500 COVID-19 vaccines were brought in for the clinic at the Northwest Buffalo Community Center.

Pop-up Vaccination Clinic at Northwest Buffalo Community Center Promotes Health Equity

By NICK LIPPA |  MAR 19, 2021

Another one-day pop-up vaccination clinic is open in Buffalo today for residents of the 14207 zip code. The Northwest Buffalo Community Center is distributing vaccines until 4 p.m. this afternoon.

COVID Vaccine Hesitancy Persists in Communities of Color:

Author: Liz Lewin (WGRZ) |  March 11, 2021

BUFFALO, N.Y. — It’s been three months since the first COVID vaccine was first available, and since then two other vaccines have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Do You #KnowYourVax?:

There’s a lot of misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine. So it’s critical that you get the facts from sources you can trust — like SUNY’s medical experts and trusted community leaders from across New York State. You can make a difference by talking to your friends and loved ones about the vaccine, calling out misinformation when you see it, and sharing trusted sources of information. Start by watching and sharing these PSAs from our SUNY experts.

COVID-19 Vaccine Disparity Addressed in Buffalo’s Black Rock, Riverside Neighborhoods:

Author: Jeff Preval | March 19, 2021

BUFFALO, N.Y. — After 2 On Your Side reported on the COVID-19 vaccine disparity in the Black Rock and Riverside areas of Buffalo, a pop-up clinic was held there Friday.

Doctor Says Buffalo Vaccine Pop-Up Clinic Promotes Equitable Healthcare:

by: News 4 Staff | Mar 19, 2021

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — 500 COVID-19 vaccines were brought in for the clinic at the Northwest Buffalo Community Center.

Several hundred Native Americans get vaccinated at Buffalo pop-up clinic:

Mike McAndrew | Feb 20, 2021

Organizers of a pop-up Covid-19 vaccination clinic expected to immunize more than 300 Native Americans from across Western New York on Saturday in Buffalo.

The event at the Native American Community Services headquarters on Grant Street was limited to Native Americans who meet the state’s vaccination eligibility guidelines or their employees.

Does New York’s Latino Community Distrust the COVID Vaccine?

By Michael Mroziak / WSKE

BUFFALO, NY (WBFO) – In recent weeks, state leaders including Governor Andrew Cuomo and Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul have insisted New York will distribute its supply of COVID vaccine with community health equity in mind. Leaders in Buffalo’s Black community speak of the need to build trust in the drug, and in the healthcare system.

Greater Buffalo United Accountable Care Organization Explored Growth Options Outside WNY

By Tracey Drury – Reporter, Buffalo Business First, Feb 9, 2021

Despite challenges posed during the pandemic last year, a Buffalo health care group managed to earn $3 million in 2020 in shared savings payments that will be a welcome deposit into the wallets of local physician groups and hospitals.

Roswell Park Helps Get COVID Vaccine Doses to WNY Providers

By Jeff Preval / WGRZ

When several Western New York health care providers were in need of doses of the vaccine, a series of operational moves went into effect to get the doses out.

Testing Capabilities Increase In WNY

BY WGRZ| APRIL 28, 2020


NYS Health Experts Compare Coronavirus and Spanish Flu in Anticipation for New Wave of Infections


After two waves of coronavirus devastated communities across the country, health officials say warmer temperatures will help slow the spread of COVID-19.

Local doctor says people are taking advantage and getting tested for COVID-19

Shannon Smith/WIVB | April 27, 2020

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Dr. Raul Vazquez talks about how people are taking advantage and getting tested. G-Health Enterprises network has offered drive through testing for both types of tests, and have done nearly 400 of them in two weeks. Click below for more information.

Mobile Vans to start Covid-19 testing in poor city neighborhoods

Buffalo News | April 27, 2020

BUFFALO, N.Y. (BN) — Nurses and other health providers spent Monday afternoon outside Urban Family Practice on Jefferson Avenue conducting blood tests on Medicaid patients to see if they’ve already had the new coronavirus and now have antibodies.


Western New York doctor starts drive-in testing clinic for patients

Dr. Raul Vazquez is using his practice to get more tests for people in vulnerable communities

Karys Belger/WGRZ | April 16, 2020

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Dr. Raul Vazquez has been advocating for weeks to get more COVID-19 tests for communities in Buffalo where there are high rates of underlying health conditions and lack of access to resources.

His practice recently began administering tests to try and close the gap.

Buffalo doctor creates coronavirus testing site

Olivia Proia/WKBW | April 16, 2020

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — It all started when Dr. Raul Vazquez’s 24-year-old daughter Nadia got sick. She had a fever and shortness of breath. Three days after coming home from the hospital, she received a call that she was positive for COVID-19.

The process caused him to think: How would this experience have been if he wasn’t a doctor? Or if his family had no doctor at all?

N.Y.C. Death Toll Soars Past 10,000 in Revised Virus Count

David Goodman and William K. Rashbaum/NYT | April 14, 2020

New York City, N.Y. — New York City, already a world epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, sharply increased its death toll by more than 3,700 victims on Tuesday, after officials said they were now including people who had never tested positive for the virus but were presumed to have died of it.

14125 zip code most affected by COVID-19 in Erie County

WGRZ | April 9, 2020

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WGRZ) — BUFFALO, N.Y. — Is a community that’s 80% African American, and the population has a history of chronic illnesses. Dr. Raul Vazquez says these factors present a great risk for the community, because most of these individuals don’t have access to a primary care physician.

Dr. Raul Vazquez is working on a community action plan to help connect patients to doctors amid the coronavirus pandemic

Karys Belgar/WGRZ | April 8, 2020

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WGRZ) — BUFFALO, N.Y. — As more information is released about COVID-19, local community leaders are continuing to raise concerns over how the pandemic will affect communities of color in Buffalo and Erie County.

The African American Health Equity task force recently called on local leaders to take steps toward making sure communities of color, particularly on Buffalo’s East Side, get access to testing. The concern is that the chronic health conditions that already exist in communities of color will cause the COVID-19 pandemic to be even more devastating.

GBUAHN Helping People On Medicaid To Get And Stay Healthier

In Good Health | December 30, 2019

Over 40% of Buffalo residents are on Medicaid, the federally funded healthcare program that covers people because of their low-income status or other factors, according to recent data from Deloitte/DataUSA.

Frequently, people with low income — those living in poverty — experience one or more multiple chronic diseases (such as hypertension, diabetes, and obesity).

And, says physician Raul Vazquez, there are things that can be done to both improve their health.

Vazquez is the founder and chief executive officer of the Greater Buffalo United Area Health Network (GBUAHN, pronounced “gee-bawn”), which is a “health home,” created under the Affordable Care Act, Section 2703. Health homes are organizations which provide care coordination and a variety of other services for exactly this population: people on Medicaid who have multiple or severe chronic conditions.

GBUAHN’s mission is to transform health care by removing barriers for people in underserved communities and populations. So, in addition to standard medical care, GBUAHN provides or refers patients for everything from transportation, housing and job training to access to and education about fresh food, how diet affects health, and other opportunities around everything related to those topics, such as eating, cooking, and exercise.

Healthcare firm buys Belmont Shelter headquarters on Main

The Buffalo News | September 20, 2019

A fast-growing West Side-based healthcare organization and insurance provider has acquired the former Main Street headquarters of Belmont Housing Resources of Western New York, paying $2.5 million for a building just north of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

G-Health Enterprises, the parent of the Greater Buffalo United Accountable Healthcare Network (GBUAHN) and related entities, closed Thursday on its purchase of the 24,531-square-foot building at 1195 Main St. That’s located two blocks above Buffalo General Medical Center and the Gates Vascular Institute.

The purchase also included an adjacent parcel at 36 Dodge St., around the corner, said David Schiller of Pyramid Brokerage Co., who handled the transaction for Belmont.

Meanwhile, Belmont is planning to move to 2421 Main St., the 72,000-square-foot former headquarters of LPCiminelli, which the nonprofit is buying from the largely-defunct former general contractor for $5.45 million. The sale is expected to close on Sept. 30.

Starting in late January, Belmont will occupy 34,000 square feet in the building, formerly a car dealership and manufacturing facility that later became the headquarters for Greater Buffalo Savings Bank before that was acquired by First Niagara Financial Group. Two other tenants – labor union Local 1199 SEIU and a KeyBank branch – will remain.