Modified: February 16, 2023 12:22pm

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Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz today addressed the Live Well Erie Task Force as the group convened for its first meeting of 2023, opening the year with the announcement of new co-chairs for the initiative and also welcoming new faces to co-chair each of Live Well Erie’s three workgroups: Children, Working Families, and Older Adults.  Poloncarz welcomed Deputy Erie County Executive Lisa M. Chimera and United Way of Buffalo & Erie County President & CEO Trina Burruss as new co-chairs for Live Well Erie and also thanked departing co-chair, Erie County Department of Social Services Commissioner Marie A. Cannon, for her guidance and stewardship of the program. Cannon had served in that role with the Live Well Erie initiative since its inception in 2019.


“Live Well Erie is making positive changes across Erie County, working to help every resident of our county achieve his or her full potential. The enduring partnerships that make up this initiative lend the expertise, knowledge and perspective necessary to address real issues with children, working families and older adults in our community and the Task Force’s work is making a difference,” said Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz. “I want to thank outgoing co-chair Marie Cannon, who has served as a co-chair since 2019, for her leadership and energy in shaping Live Well Erie into what it is today. Marie has had an incredible impact and her work is greatly appreciated. I also welcome our new co-chairs, Lisa Chimera and Trina Burruss, to their posts and look forward to working with them as we serve the residents of Erie County.”


“I am honored to be joining the Live Well Erie Task Force and helping this team continue its critical mission for the people of Erie County,” said Deputy Erie County Executive Lisa M. Chimera. “I look forward to working with Trina Burruss and our workgroup co-chairs to further our mission of helping every resident achieve his or her own potential.”


Burruss first joined United Way in July 2021 as Chief Operating Officer, quickly establishing herself as a visionary and energetic voice within the United Way organization. These qualities, combined with her 30+ years of experience in the financial services industry, led to her being appointed President and CEO in January 2023.


"When I look at the goals of Live Well Erie – opportunity, well-being, financial security at every stage of life – these things are so aligned with United Way's priorities," said Trina Burruss, President & CEO of United Way of Buffalo & Erie County. "This is such a natural partnership, and I look forward to serving as co-chair."


Departing Live Well Erie Co-Chair Marie A. Cannon added, “The Live Well Erie Task Force has been instrumental in identifying and addressing issues facing three significant populations in Erie County and will continue to with Trina Burruss and Lisa Chimera now at the helm, and I thank them for accepting these leadership positions.”


The 2023 LWE Task Force Working Group Co-Chairs are:


Children’s Working Group: First Deputy Commissioner of the Erie County Department of Social Services Karen Rybicki and Heidi Milch, Executive Director of CCNY;


Working Families Group: Director of the Erie County Office of Public Advocacy Karen King and Maria Whyte, Chief Community Impact Officer/Chief of Staff for the Community Foundation of Greater Buffalo;


Older Adults Group: Commissioner of the Erie County Department of Senior Services Angela Marinucci and Karen Nicolson, CEO for the Center for Elder Law and Justice.



Background on the Live Well Erie Initiative:


Live Well Erie is a vision to help every resident of Erie County achieve his or her full potential.  It uses five guiding principles to focus on nine broad goals across three populations: children, working families, and seniors.  One of the guiding principles is to maintain a clear focus on the social determinants of health - things like neighborhood resources, school quality, workplace safety, clean food, air and water, and social relationships, which are all critical factors that contribute to the overall health and well-being of individuals in a community.


With a clear focus on the guiding principles, Live Well Erie unites with diverse partners in the private, non-profit, academic, and philanthropic sectors to implement specific community strategies that will make meaningful improvements to peoples’ lives.  Finally, Live Well Erie applies sixteen data indicators to monitor progress towards the broad goals.


The Live Well Erie task Force will meet again in May, August and November 2023.



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