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New Year Visits to Dentist are Vital to Your Health

No Need to Fear COVID; Tele-Dental Option also Available

By Dr. Shilpa Kapoor, DDS, MS, BDS

Did you visit the Dentist at least once in 2020?

If not, to be certain you are fully protecting your overall health, plan in 2021 to see your Dentist every six months for an exam and a cleaning. This will cover everything.

When it comes to oral health, patients need to understand that every ailment starts from your mouth. And oral health is not just about taking care of your teeth. In addition to diagnosing cavities, a routine oral exam can also diagnose developmental abnormalities, syndromes, oral cancers, mental health issues, oral effects of various medications and medical problems such as diabetes.

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Healthcare leaders in Buffalo’s Black communities educate,
bust myths related to COVID-19 vaccine


Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine reached frontline healthcare workers in Western New York earlier this week. Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz has state the vaccine will not be available to the general public for many months, so the task of reassuring a skeptical community about the vaccine’s effectiveness falls on the shoulders of people like Pastor George Nicholas.


Vaccine Educational Forum hosted by State Senator Tim Kennedy.

Speaking during an educational forum on the vaccine, The African American Health Equity Taskforce member said distrust in the medical community is a logical reaction to a history of malpractice.

“African American people don’t mistrust science,” Nicholas said. “We mistrust scientists because of the history of how institutional and systemic and structural racism has played its role in the world of medicine.”

Community Health Center of Buffalo CEO, Dr. LaVonne Ansari said front line healthcare leaders like herself need to be upfront about the danger of the virus and how the vaccine can help.

“So, the way I think we have to address our communities is to be very transparent about A) what vaccines do,” she said. “Also, what Corona, or the COVID virus is.”

Along with the education, Ansari said getting people on board with the vaccine will take a little bit of myth-busting.
“African Americans and Black folks in this country have been trying to survive and live,” she said. ”The notion that we don’t want the vaccine to survive and live is a bad myth. We know how to survive. We want to know how to make a good decision with the knowledge that we have and to make sure we get that information out to our communities.”
Nicholas said it’s an encouraging sign many Black scientists and scholars have been in on the development of the vaccine, but believes distribution of the vaccine needs to come from the smaller, community-based healthcare centers instead of larger medical systems.

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CHCB SPOTLIGHT: Dr. Darlene Volmy-Kindt, Licensed Physical Therapist
Providing Healing for Mind, Body and Soul

In 2018, The Community Health Center of Buffalo, Inc, Inc. made a major decision to invest in the construction of a comprehensive Physical Therapy Department located on the 4th floor of CHCB’s Buffalo facility, overlooking Benwood Ave.

As part of an ongoing vision to offer connected, collaborative services, conveniently located under one roof, CHCB Inc. Physical Therapy is fully equipped to service a wide population of patients including children, adults, pregnant women, elderly, and those that are physically disabled

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Suburban Struggle: Why the Second Wave of Coronavirus
is Surging in New Communities

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If You Love Someone, Take Them To The Dentist!

Dr. Shilpa Kapoor, DDS, MS, BDS, is Lead Clinical Dentist/Interim Dental Director for The Community Health Center of Buffalo, Inc, Inc.

Dr. Kapoor is a native of India where she received a bachelor’s degree in Dental Surgery (BDS) from Baba Farid University of Health Sciences; and attended Dental School at affiliated Baba Jaswant Dental College Hospital and Research Institute; both in Ludhiana, Punjab, India.

She launched her career in Public Health, serving as a general dentist for over four years at Guru Teg Bahadur Charitable Hospital in Jalandhar, India.

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Sign of Great Hope, Continued Community Prosperity

Community Health Center of Niagara Falls Honors Russell J. Salvatore
For Leadership, Generous Gift of State-of the-Art Landmark Electronic Sign

Dr. LaVonne Ansari, Chief Executive Officer, Community Health Center of Buffalo, Inc., thanks and recognizes Mr. Russell J. Salvatore for his most generous donation of the Community Health Center of Niagara Falls’ new landmark and electronic signage at an unveiling in Mr. Salvatore’s honor held Thurs., Nov. 5, 2020 at CHCN on Highland Ave. in Niagara Falls, NY. Thanks to Mr. Salvatore’s generous donation, the new CHCN sign will engage the community and share valuable information about the Center’s services.


On a sun-kissed early November day, Mr. Russell J. Salvatore, Western New York restaurant and philanthropy icon, joked that he, and not “the man upstairs”, had brought the brilliant rays and light breezes to a beautiful Fall morning.

What was absolutely certain – and great cause for bright smiles and warm hearts – was the tremendous donation Mr. Salvatore did bring in the form of a magnificent new landmark and electronic sign that stands proudly to welcome all to the Community Health Center of Niagara Falls.

An unveiling ceremony was held in Mr. Salvatore’s honor on Thurs., Nov. 4, 2020 at the Center’s front entrance grounds located at 2715 Highland Ave., Niagara Falls.

The event was hosted by Dr. LaVonne Ansari, Chief Executive Officer of The Community Health Center of Buffalo, Inc, Inc. and featured honored guests including Rev. Raymond Allen, Pastor, Bethany Baptist Church; Mark King, President, Board of Directors, CHCB, Inc.; Owen T. Steed, 4th District Legislator – Niagara County and New York State Assemblyman Angelo J. Morinello.

Greetings and congratulations were also announced by Karla Thomas, Director of Marketing, CHCB, Inc., from United States Congressman Brian Higgins; and New York State Senator Timothy Kennedy. CHCB, Inc. Project Manager Stephanie Cowart, who was instrumental in working with Mr. Salvatore on the signage donation, served as master of ceremonies.

“I love giving, it makes me feel so good inside,” said Mr. Salvatore, of the first donation he has made in the Niagara Falls community. “I work hard and it makes me feel great to give back. It makes me feel so good inside and I just want to say thank you and God Bless this beautiful community.”

“I always tell my friends, you can’t take it with you,” Mr. Salvatore added in an interview with local reporters. “You have got to give it back to the community, you can’t take it with you. Remember out there, you can’t take it with you.”

“This sign is really more than just signage, it really is a beacon for this community to give it light and to let people know we are here,” said Dr. Ansari in honoring Mr. Salvatore. “One of the slogans for the Health Center is building communities one patient at a time, and we believe the mission is possible. But we also know that we can’t do it alone. … We didn’t just come into this community because we wanted to come in, we came in because the community supported us coming and because we are one of you.

“I also want to say that this is one of our first business generosity partners that we have had,” continued Dr. Ansari. .”… In February of this year, we hosted our first Black History gala to raise money for this sign. I’m laughing because the money we raised is nowhere what we got! Mr. Salvatore came to the rescue.

“We didn’t know that Mr. Salvatore was our guardian angel behind the scenes when we fell a lot short. … As soon as he heard that we had fallen short, Mr. Salvatore said, bring me the drawings and let me see what we can do. Our next communication was him saying don’t worry, I’ll buy the sign for you.

“You can define charity as the generosity of giving,” continued Dr. Ansari. “But people only give if they have the character to give. Everybody that has money, does not necessarily give…. So, Mr. Salvatore, I just want to say on behalf of this community that we truly feel that you are an example of leadership for our community. And it’s truly a blessing and we’re truly thankful for your generosity that this sign is really a new light for this community.”

‘Be Our Guest and Let us Do The Rest!’

As founder of Russell’s Steaks, Chops and More and Salvatore’s Grand Hotel located at 6675 Transit Road Williamsville, NY, ; Mr. Salvatore is continuing a tradition of hospitality excellence that began when he transformed a hot dog stand that he had purchased in 1967, into the 100,000 square-foot Buffalo landmark now known as Salvatore’s Italian gardens. He later established the magnificent Garden Place Hotel. At age 75, Mr. Salvatore handed the reins of the restaurant and hotel over to his son. Since then, he has gone forward to found and develop Russell’s Steaks Chops and More and its attached five-story Grand Hotel, which has drawn national attention for its exemplary food quality and outstanding service.

In addition to this latest support of the Community Health Center of Niagara Falls, Mr. Salvatore has generously supported Trocaire College, the Erie County Medical Center, the Food Bank of Western New York, and Roswell Park Cancer institute, to name just a very few benefactors of his generosity.

In concluding here remarks, Dr. Ansari also recognized members of Mr. Salvatore’s team including Chris McCaffrey, President, Ulrich Signs who designed and constructed CHCN’s new sign; and Mark Jerge, General Manager of Russell’s Steaks Chops and More.

Manny Lezama, Systems Executive Chef, Kaleida Health, also accompanied Mr. Salvatore.

Dr. Ansari also acknowledged Mark King, Board Chair and Pastor Raymond Allen who recently joined the CHCB board.

“I would also like to acknowledge the members of my board,” Dr. Ansari concluded. “You can’t do this without leaders who have trust and support of what you are saying.”

Pandemic Lessons: How can you support child’s mental health when stress is everywhere?

Nov 4, 2020

Grace Gordon talks with counselor Rachel Pickel during her appointment at Spectrum Health and Human Services in West Seneca.

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Q&A: Jonathan Mohr, Chief Financial Officer Celebrating 10 Years with CHCB, Inc.!

November 3, 2020


After earning his Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from Canisius College, Jonathan Mohr began his working career in the Accounting Department at Niagara County Community College. After demonstrating his broader business acumen, Jonathan moved into NCCC’s Human Resources department.

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WBFO FACEBOOK LIVE INTERVIEW: Dr. LaVonne Ansari, CEO, Community Health Center of Buffalo, Inc.


Racial Equity Stories: “How has pandemic increased health disparities in WNY’s African American Community?”
WBFO Host Thomas O’Neil-White interviewed Dr. LaVonne Ansari, CEO, Community Health Center of Buffalo, Inc. on Thurs., Oct. 29 at 4 PM.

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Pandemic prompts community health center to publish its first clinical study



Community Health Center of Buffalo leaders say their first clinical research study, recently published in a national online journal, is just the start of sharing information about how to treat Covid-19 in communities of color and to help health care providers to address health inequities and the social determinants of health. Those leaders are, from left, LaVonne Ansari, chief executive officer; Dr. Kenyani Davis, an internal medicine doctor in the Cheektowaga office; and Dr. Arvela Heider, chief innovation officer.

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CHCB, Inc. Publishes COVID Clinical Case Report in Wiley Global Journal

Sounds Alarm on Blood Clots ‘Masquerading’ as Back Pain in African Americans

Dr. LaVonne Ansari, Chief Executive Officer and Dr. Arvela Heider, Chief Innovation Officer, join author Dr. Kenyani Davis in displaying the first product of The Community Health Center of Buffalo, Inc, Inc.’s recently launched research focus.

The Community Health Center of Buffalo, Inc, Inc., has published a “Clinical Case Report” in the Wiley Open Access Journal entitled: “COVID-19 pneumonia with back pain: Presentation of an acute pulmonary embolism associated with novel coronavirus infection in an outpatient setting”.

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CHCB, INC. Continuing to Build Behavioral Health Telehealth Visit Expertise

Advantages for Patients, CHCB, INC. are Significant and Growing!

Prior to the beginning of COVID, using “Telehealth” for Behavioral Health patient visits, was seen by Healthcare at large (providers and insurers) as a new idea that might have some possibilities. Today, over seven months into the pandemic, Telehealth or conducting a patient session by laptop computer or Smartphone, according to Megan Quinn, “is here to stay!” In fact, The Community Health Center of Buffalo, Inc, Inc.’s Behavioral Health Manager and her diverse and highly talented Behavioral Health Team, have and are continuing to note numerous benefits from the communications technology for both CHCB, Inc.’s patients and the organization. To learn more about how CHCB, Inc. has fast become a Behavioral Health Telehealth expert with almost 400 billable visits per month, Megan recently participated in an interview and provided her hands-on perspective.

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Stepping Up When It Matters Most

September 8, 2020

Stepping Up When It Matters Most

Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. Health centers across the nation have distinguished themselves in responding to the current pandemic. Here are some examples:

    The Community Health Center of Buffalo, Inc, Inc. (Buffalo, NY) put together a COVID-19 Response Team consisting of trained staff, including medical and dental providers. The team determined that the safest location for testing was their mobile van (pictured below), which enabled both drive-up and walk-up testing. Their original goal was to conduct health screenings in public housing and in collaboration with schools, but their target populations have rapidly expanded.

Using their HRSA funding, they held community testing days in early May at several sites that have some of the highest rates of COVID-19 in Erie County. They now offer COVID-19 testing five days a week in collaboration with the local health departments and other community agencies. They also coordinate with local churches to conduct on-site testing and organize testing days for barbers and beauticians, who must be tested every 14 days. Additionally, they’re working with the Erie County Department of Health to start testing at homeless shelters.


Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)

Tens of millions of Americans receive quality, affordable health care and other services through HRSA’s 90-plus programs and more than 3,000 grantees.

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the primary federal agency for improving health care to people who are geographically isolated, economically or medically vulnerable

HRSA programs help those in need of high quality primary health care, people with HIV/AIDS, pregnant women, and mothers. HRSA also supports the training of health professionals, the distribution of providers to areas where they are needed most and improvements in health care delivery.

HRSA oversees organ, bone marrow and cord blood donation. It compensates individuals harmed by vaccination, and maintains databases that protect against health care malpractice, waste, fraud and abuse.

Since 1943 the agencies that were HRSA precursors have worked to improve the health of needy people. HRSA was created in 1982, when the Health Resources Administration and the Health Services Administration were merged.


Healthy Communities, Healthy People


To improve health outcomes and address health disparities through access to quality services, a skilled health workforce, and innovative, high-value programs.



Goal 1: Improve Access to Quality Health Services
Goal 2: Foster a Health Care Workforce Able to Address Current and Emerging Needs
Goal 3: Achieve Health Equity and Enhance Population Health
Goal 4: Optimize HRSA Operations and Strengthen Program Management



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Community Health Center of Niagara Falls honors

CELEBRATION: Dedications for Dr. Edward Brown, Jesse E. Richardson.

Flanked by local clergy, city, state, and national elected officials, Dr. LaVonne Ansari announced the dedication of the Community Health Center Niagara Falls’ pediatric wing in honor of long-time local pediatrician Dr. Edward Brown. “We are also renaming our first floor Community Room in memory of the late Jesse E. Richardson. He was a pillar of the Niagara Falls North End community.”

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Power 150 Women: Dr. Ansari #47

By Donna Collins – Editor, Buffalo Business First
July 30, 2020


Meet the 2020 Power 150 Women, a group whose talent and influence fuel economic, social and cultural growth.

Over the last year, the news staff of Business First has been talking to and writing about these women. Trust us, you want to know them.

The countdown is sponsored by M&T Bank.

We’re getting down to our final numbers. Number 58 starts today’s countdown and we’ll stop at Number 26. Thank you, ladies, for all you’re doing to help Western New York.

HEALTHeLINK Medical Minute: Community Health Center of Buffalo




Dr. Ansari is seen here flanked by her Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bharat Kohli and approximately 50 staff.


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Western New York’s most influential people of 2020






We concede that there is no formula for computing power and influence. Influence means different things to different people, but most of us will agree on this: We all know power and influence when we see it.


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Community health leader expands her reach

By Tracey Drury




LaVonne Ansari long has been a leader in the region for community health. She has overseen the growth of The Community Health Center of Buffalo, Inc (CHCB) from one to five sites across two counties, while expanding services to provide care for underserved populations. Now she’s taking that leadership a step further.


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College radio helped a present-day mental health expert find stability





“When I was a college freshman, I had a psychotic episode. I ended up being diagnosed with bipolar disorder.”

Karl Shallowhorn has made a name for himself as one of the region’s largest mental health advocates.


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Black teens report more suicide attempts

By Karys Belger | Buffalo,NY



“Reported attempts of suicide increased among African-American teens while decreasing among other groups” – Karys Belger

In this article Community Health Center of Buffalo’s Education Program Coordinator, Karl Shallowhorn speaks with WGRZ about his encounters with suicide attempts by African American teens. 


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Lead Poisoning Task Force Provides Update on Action Plan

By Andy Young | City of Buffalo



As a nurse, Trinetta Alston knows the dangers of lead poisoning. As a mother, she’s seen the effects firsthand.


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Counselor Karl Shallowhorn on mental health and mass shootings

Counselor karl Shallowhorn | AUG. 5, 2019 | WGRZ


CHCB Education Program Coordinator, Karl Shallowhorn, discusses the recent El Paso and Dayton shootings and addresses the myths associated with mental illness and violence.


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Technology Helps Keep Families Connected While A Parent Is Jailed



When a parent is sent to jail or prison, the bond with their child is often lost or put in jeopardy.

Now, there’s a new program to help make sure families don’t miss out on that precious time.

Technology like FaceTime and Skype will start playing a role in eight prisons, allowing parents that are incarcerated to visit with their children more often.

State Senator Tim Kennedy announced Thursday that $180,000 was secured for the new project, called Family Works Buffalo.

The Osborne Association has helped launch similar programs in other areas and for this project, worked alongside The Community Health Center of Buffalo, Inc, Inc, where the video visitor center will be located.

The calls will still be monitored but the family-friendly center will have living rooms with toys and even the same books so parents and kids can read together.

Officials called Family Works Buffalo an important way to make sure parents and kids have a good relationship so when parents are released, they can start fresh together.

“People that stay connected to their families while they’re incarcerated are six times more likely to succeed on release so starting inside is important,” said Liz Gaynes, president and CEO of the Osborne Association. “More important than suddenly seeing this child for the first time when you come home, it’s really going to be hard to adjust, I mean kids are hard no matter what and they will have years’ worth of demands and expectations of a parent who comes home.”

These video chats however are not meant to replace in-person visits as officials said those are still important.


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10 Things Employers – And Employees – Should Know About Mental Health At Work



When Gabe Howard was 25, he was diagnosed with a serious illness. At the time, he was a successful employee in a competitive industry. When he returned to the office after his initial hospitalization, though, he wasn’t welcomed with balloons and cards. Instead, he encountered whispers and sideways looks. As his treatment required increasing time away from work, things got worse.

“Any time I was off, the rumor mill would start all over again,” Howard said. “People would say, ‘Well that’s a great scam, Gabe says he’s sick and he gets six weeks paid vacation.’”

If Howard had cancer, this reaction would appall most people. But his diagnosis is a heavily stigmatized one: bipolar disorder. Though his first experience dealing with a mental health crisis in the workplace was awful – and ended with his termination – it was his employer who ultimately missed out: it lost a valuable young talent. The employer also lost countless hours of productivity to the drama that its lack of support caused.

Howard, however, went on to have a successful career in the nonprofit sector, and now he writes and speaks about bipolar disorder full-time. Howard’s story shows that it’s possible to be a healthy and productive employee while managing a severe and persistent mental health condition.

Often the most critical missing piece of the workplace mental health puzzle is education, for both employees and employers. Here are the top 10 things employees and employers should know.


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New Doctor Announcement



The Community Health Center of Buffalo, Inc, (CHCB) is proud to announce the addition of Dr. Darlene Volmy to our medical staff. Dr. Volmy is a licensed physical therapist.

Dr. Volmy uses an evidence-based, patient-centered approach to treatment, with a strong emphasis on therapeutic exercise, postural/core stability, functional manual therapy and movement training, and patient education and empowerment. She has treated patients of all ages (from 3 weeks old to 100+) in a variety of clinical areas including outpatient clinics, post-operative, orthopedics, intensive care units, home health, schools, hospitals, sports and fitness facilities, adult daycare centers, skilled nursing facilities and nursing homes.

Dr. Darlene Volmy holds a BA in Exercise Science from the University at Buffalo where she developed a lifelong interest in the scientific aspects of human movement. Throughout her undergraduate education, Darlene worked as a health broker with the Erie Niagara Area Health & Education Center (ENAHEC). “I helped connect students to careers, professionals to communities and communities to better health.” Dr. Volmy received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy (DPT) from D’Youville College, where she participated in elective courses in exercise prescription, use of modalities for acute and chronic pain, manual therapy techniques, and women and adolescents health and wellness. Dr. Volmy plans to continue adding to her skillset throughout her career.

CEO, Dr. LaVonne Ansari, “Dr. Volmy will be working at our new state-of-the-art physical therapy office located on the 4th floor of our 34 Benwood Avenue, Buffalo, New York facility. Adding physical therapy to our already broad range of services gives us one more way to meet the needs of the residents in this community.”

Ms. Katherine Duke-Purdue – Board Secretary received the CHCANYS 2019 Dorothy K. Award


CHCB’s Education Program Coordinator, Karl Shallowhorn, was a guest on WGRZ’s WNY Living with host Janet Snyder. The entire program was devoted to the Erie County Anti-Stigma Coalition, of which Karl is a founding member. In this segment, Karl speaks about his own personal experience of living with a mental health condition as well as sharing about resources people can refer to when seeking help for themselves or someone they know.

Color Me Healthy to reach community with mental well-being help

Don’t forget to register for this free program being held on January 16 from 5:30-7:30 pm at The Community Health Center, Inc – 34 Benwood Avenue, Buffalo. This is the first of five monthly forums being held from January-May. A light, free meal will be served. For more information contact Karl Shallowhorn at [email protected]om or 716-986-9199 x4350