Danielle Wert To head Rural Health Network

FULTON, NY – Ellen Holst, senior director of Health and Nutrition Services, announced that Danielle Wert has been appointed as the new coordinator of the Rural Health Network of Oswego County.

Operating under the auspices of OCO, the Rural Health Network is a consortium of health care providers and human service providers in Oswego County.

Working together the members take a collaborative approach to addressing major health issues that exist in Oswego County.

Danielle Wert
Danielle Wert

“We are pleased to have Danielle as the new coordinator of the Rural Health Network of Oswego County. Her enthusiasm and organizational skills, combined with her previous experience of working with diverse groups to accomplish a shared goal, will serve her well as to she works with OCO and the community to improve health care, and access to health care, throughout Oswego County,” said executive director of OCO, Diane Cooper-Currier.

Wert who received a B.A. Degree in Political Science from LeMoyne College, has been in the human services field for several years, having worked previously with Catholic Charities of Oswego County as a program advocate for those with developmental disabilities and with OCO as a Medicaid service coordinator.

According to Wert, the experience she received at these positions will be beneficial in her new role as coordinator of the Rural Health Network of Oswego County.

“As the Medicaid service coordinator at OCO I was responsible for coordinating services for people with developmental disabilities through the NYS Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities. I worked one on one with my clients, developing individual service plans, advocating for them and locating and helping them access the appropriate services that would allow them to reach their individual goals. I enjoyed being able to make a difference in their lives and it provided me with an opportunity to familiarize myself with the many human services agencies and health care related services that exist in Oswego County. As coordinator of the Rural Health Network, I am excited about the opportunity to not only serve one client at a time, but all those in need by working collaboratively with our partner agencies,” said Wert.

Participating members in the Rural Health Network include: Catholic Charities of Oswego County, Cayuga Community College, SUNY Oswego Center for Business and Community Development, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Excellus BlueCross BlueSheild, Northern Oswego County Health Services, Oswego County DSS, Oswego County Health Department, Oswego County OB-GYN, PC, Oswego County Opportunities Head Start Program and Health and Nutrition Services Department, Oswego Health, Oswego County Office of the Aging and the Rural and Migrant Ministry of Oswego County.

Wert is looking forward to working closely with the key leaders of these agencies and discovering the challenges that they as providers are facing in terms of effectively delivering these services.

In turn, she will be able to share with them the experiences that clients have had accessing these services.

One of Wert’s immediate goals as coordinator is to ensure that the members stay engaged as a network.

“My predecessor, Tricia Clark, did an excellent job in keeping our members active and involved with the network. Attendance and participation at both our Advisory Committee and our Technology Sub-Committee meetings has been excellent. It is exciting to be a part of a network that works collaboratively to achieve their goals and I am looking to continue that level of engagement and cooperation in the future,” said Wert.

Wert will be networking and sharing ideas with Rural Health Networks throughout New York State.

It will be an experience that will allow her to gain some valuable insight into how other networks operate and how they address pertinent issues that they are dealing with, as well as discover new ideas for both obtaining and implementing various grant opportunities.

As for the future, Wert said that the Rural Health Network is working on a number of challenging health issues facing Oswego County including the existing shortage of nurses and other healthcare professionals.

“The Rural Health Network was very influential in bringing the Registered Nursing Program to Cayuga Community College’s Fulton Campus in the hope that the nursing graduates would stay in our community. We have also partnered with SUNY Oswego to develop a Nurse Leadership Program and established a scholarship program for Oswego County residents of any age who are looking to continue their education in the health care field MASH camps sponsored by Excellus and CNYAHEC, have been established to provide both intermediate and long term solutions to the need for health care professionals in our county,” she said.

“The Rural Health Network has done some great things and we are capable of doing much more. We have a great network of providers who are very passionate about what they do and I am proud to be able to work with such a positive group of providers who represent virtually every aspect of our community’s health care needs,” added Wert.

For more information, call Wert at 598-4715, ext. 1457 or visit www.rhnoc.org