Click here for a pdf copy of the Winter 2014 CONNECTION Newsletter
Click here for the Herald News Living Well Article about smoke-free housing!
|The 14th Challenge event took place at General Fitness in the Durfee-Union mill complex on March 1, 2014. Over fifty Challenge participants split into a step aerobics class with Pauline Souza or a spinning class with Wendy Rapoza. "Step aerobics was a lot more difficult than it looked at first" said Challenge participant Leonard Pittsley who was trying it for the first time. Dr. David Weed followed the work-out with a discussion of low-carb diets. Sponsored by Greater Fall River Re-creation, Partners for a Healthier Community, Saint Anne's Hospital, Southcoast Hospitals, the Challenge includes programs provided by All Generations Fitness, the Diabetes Association, Inc., Fitness Fusion, FitWorks, General Fitness. Greater Fall River Re-creation, Striking Beauties, TKO Fitness, Wiggle Kids, and the Fall River YMCA. The Challenge offers low cost opportunities for those who live, work or attend school in the Greater Fall River Area. Click here for a nine-minute video of the event and here for more photos and text.|
|Boston's Livable Streets Alliance Board Member and Executive Director of the New England Healthy Weight Initiative at the Harvard School of Public Health Steve Miller came to Fall River Government Center on February 27, 2014, to make the case for Complete Streets, designed to enable safe access for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities. Invited by Fall River Mass In Motion Coordinator Julianne Kelly and Fall River Mayor William Flanagan, Miller made the case for improving streets for more than use by vehicles. Describing streets as public spaces, he noted that vehicles should not be seen as their only user. He suggested experimenting with ways of calming traffic and opening streets to alternative uses for pedestrians, bikers and others. He also urged the adoption of a Complete Streets policy in local government to ensure that streets are designed with multiple users in mind. Mass in Motion is working along with the Fall River Bicycle Committee to promote bicycle and pedestrian traffic in the City. Click here for a video and here for more photos and text..|
|A small group of parents and children joined Partners School Wellness Coordinator Marcia Picard at the Talbot Middle School in Fall River for a Family Fun Night on February 26, 2014. This program engages students and their parents in some healthy fun while learning about nutrition and a range of community resources that they can access to maintain or improve their health. Participants were offered a nutrition education role-play by Saint Anne's Hospital Dietitian Laurie Hammontree, a fun workout with Mike Ramos, and Angie Bras, as well as the chance to speak with representatives of over twenty agencies including Greater Fall River RE-CREATION, Child and Family Services, Fernandes Center for Children, Family Service Association, HealthFirst Dental Program, Katie Brown Educational Program, MyFallRiver.org, Saint Anne's Hospital, South Coast Energy Challenge, Southcoast Hospitals, Time Exchange, SCHHWI, and Partners for a Healthier Community. Click here for a 12-minute video of the event and here for more photos and text.|
|Lydia Silvia, a local expert on Permaculture, met with Mass in Motion Coordinator Julie Kelly, Healthy City Fall River Coordinator David Weed, SCI Intern Brian Moses and UMass-D intern Zach Richard on February 26, 2014 to discuss possibilities for developing a project in Fall River. Permaculture is a branch of ecological design, engineer and environmental design that develops sustainable agricultural systems. The group discussed possible locations throughout the City that be suitable locations for one or more demonstration projects. Through plantings of berries and fruit-bearing trees, these projects could show how fruit and nuts could be made available to the public with little or none of the work that community gardens require. Ms. Silvia will visit some of the possible sites and make recommendations for projects that could be developed using existing resources and volunteer labor. "This is an exciting way of creating healthy, nurturing settings that renew themselves indefinitely," remarked Ms. Kelly. Click here for more photos and text.|
|Mentors and mentees in the SMILES (Southcoast Mentoring Initiative for Learning, Education and Service) mentoring program, a program of People, Incorporated (PI), gathered at People, Inc. headquarters on South Main Street on January 30, 2014 to celebrate National Mentoring Month. The program brought together people involved with SMILES, Big Friends Little Friends of the Family Service Association, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater New Bedford and the Boys and Girls Club of Fall River to share stories, hopes, achievements and pizza. “This is a terrific community effort,” stated SMILES Director Aaron Hubley who helped to put the program together. The event brought more than fifty people together including many mentor-mentee pairs and veteran mentors like the City's Youth Services Coordinator Christian McCloskey who has been mentoring for several decades. Click here for photos from last year's event. Click here for more photos and text.|
|Massachusetts Representative Patricia Haddad invited more than 25 persons concerned with over 100 families who have been placed in a Swansea motel by the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) to a meeting at the Swansea First Christian Congregational Church on February 21, 2017. The meeting was the first to focus specifically on families in this motel, though an ongoing effort to coordinate services and solve problems has been ongoing for the past three years through the Greater Fall River Coalition for Health and Well Being. Massachusetts DHDC Undersecretary Aaron Gornstein was present to explain the program along with Division of Housing Stabilization Associate Director Rose Evans who expressed the hope that numbers would eventually diminish. Community volunteers Raymond and Dawn Pelletier described the resources they have been able to gather for families but also expressed frustration with the various restrictions that have prevented volunteers from being more helpful to families. School officials and Town Administrator James Kern described some of the resources they have been able to put in place, including daily bus trips arranged by SRTA. Click here for more photos and text..|
|The Greater Fall River Fitness Challenge held its twelfth Challenge event at Greater Fall River Re-Creation on February 22, 2014. "We're still getting over 100 participants almost two months into this Challenge" remarked Fitness Challenge coordinator Michael Brammer who handed out tickets for the prize drawing that followed the event. Fitness Fusion leader Greg Medeiros led half of the crowd through a series of fitness challenges while Mindy Davis led the other half of the group in a series of walking and running sprints around the outside of the gym. Southcoast Hospital Dietitian Amanda Raposo and Dr. David Weed followed the work-out with a discussion of low-carb diets. The Challenge offers low cost opportunities for those who live, work or attend school in the Greater Fall River Area. Click here for a seven-minute video of the event. Click here for photos of the event.|
|Organizers of United Interfaith Action (UIA) invited members of the clergy and religious organizations throughout the Greater Fall River and New Bedford Area to engage in a dialogue with members of Partners for a Healthier Community and Greater New Bedford Allies for Health and Wellness (GNB Allies) on February 19, 2014. The gathering was in response to a Resolution to Promote Health Equity that was crafted by a committee of Allies and adopted by both Allies and Partners as a guiding document to address issues of health equity and the social determinants of health in the Region. UIA organizers Rev. Donald Mier and Kathy Murphy invited participants to engage in a discussion of how both health advocates and members of the faith community could work together better to address local social issues such as mental health, substance abuse, homelessness, economic and racial disparities, and transportation, to name a few. A resource listing of social justice efforts was circulated for comments and additions, and clergy welcomed outreach by health advocates to work with them on any number of issues. Click here for a five-minute video and here for more photos.|
|Participants in the School Community Partnership met together with representatives of the Youth CHOICES coalition on February 4, 2014, one of a series of combined meetings that Partners sponsors, at the Tradewinds at BMC Durfee High School. CHOICES Co-chair Michaela Hetzler welcomed participants from more than a dozen human service organizations who were joined by school adjustment and guidance staff as well as school resource officers and representatives of the courts. The group shared updates of current services for youth and then broke into small groups to discuss the 40 developmental assets that youth need to succeed in preparation for a future presentation by the RAPPP Program. The two groups will continue to identify available services, work toward addressing gaps in the community, and creating stronger relationships to ultimately service the health, safety, education, and overall development of Fall River youth. Click here for a two-minute video of the meeting. Click here for more photos and text.|
|The Greater Fall River Fitness Challenge held a special Challenge event with Wiggle Kids for families at Greater Fall River Re-Creation on February 9, 2014. "Kim gets kids and parents moving and having loads of fun without thinking that it's exercise'" said Fitness Challenge coordinator Annemarie Holly who set up the event and ran the prize drawing that followed the event. Coach Kim Ferrara and her assistants, Kathy Jaglowski and Emily Cabral, led parents and children through a dozen games designed to stimulate the brain as well as the body. Southcoast Hospital Dietitian Amanda Raposo and Dr. David Weed followed the work-out with a discussion of low-carb diets. The Challenge offers low cost opportunities for those who live, work or attend school in the Greater Fall River Area. Click here for a nine-minute video of the event. Click here for photos of the the Challenge event.|
|The Greater Fall River Fitness Challenge held its tenth Challenge event at Greater Fall River Re-Creation on February 15, 2014. "Despite the impending snow storm, people still turned out in droves" remarked Fitness Challenge coordinator Brittany Bertone who handed out tickets for the prize drawing that followed the event. Tabitha Gendreau and her team led the crowd of over 100 through a series of nine stations with a variety of exercises designed to tone the body. Dr. David Weed followed the work-out with a discussion of low-carb diets. The Challenge offers low cost opportunities for those who live, work or attend school in the Greater Fall River Area. Click here for a 10-minute video of the event. Click here for photos of the tenth event.|
|The Greater Fall River Fitness Challenge held its eighth Challenge event at Greater Fall River Re-Creation on February 8, 2014. "We're almost running out of room with so many participants!'" remarked Fitness Challenge coordinator Annemarie Holly who handed out tickets for the prize drawing that followed the event. Fitness Fusion leader Greg Medeiros led the crowd of over 140 through a series of nine stations with a variety of fitness challenges. Southcoast Hospital Dietitian Amanda Raposo and Dr. David Weed followed the work-out with a discussion of low-carb diets. The Challenge offers low cost opportunities for those who live, work or attend school in the Greater Fall River Area. Click here for a 12-minute video of the event. Click here for photos of the eighth Challenge event.|
|School Wellness Coordinator Marcia Picard, whose position is funded through Partners for a Healthier Community, invited trainers from the U.S. Tennis Association New England to come to the Silvia School in Fall River to teach physical education staff some ways they could incorporate tennis into their classes. The suggestion came from Physical Education Teacher Teresa Mahjoory who learned that schools can qualify for the free program if they make a commitment to engage students in learning about tennis. "This is a wonderful opportunity to introduce our students to tennis by leading them in a series of games that get them familiar with the equipment," noted Mahjoory. The two hour training comes with materials that schools can use throughout the year. Click here for a 16-minute video of portions of the training and here for more photos and text.|
|School Wellness Coordinator Marcia Picard, whose position is funded through Partners for a Healthier Community, held a monthly meeting with the health and physical education faculty for the Fall River Schools on February 10, 2014, at the Spencer-Borden Elementary School. The meeting provided and opportunity for Ms. Picard to bring Healthy City Fall River coordinator Dr. David Weed, who presented a year earlier, back to give an update entitled "The Problem with Sugar - Part II." His presentation covered the recent report that too much sugar is linked to fatal heart disease. Dr. Weed covered the problem with sodas and fruit juices before he introduced a new video on the problem that describes how the problem has developed in the U.S. and around the world. The rational for the Soda-Free Challenge launched by Partners three years ago was also described along with ideas for how teachers could introduce the topic with students. Click here for a great resource for teachers and parents on this topic. Click here for more photos and text.|
|Fall River Area legislators were invited to meet with Tobacco Control Program Coordinator Marilyn Edge at Government Center on January 17, 2014 to be updated on current initiatives. Ms. Edge was joined by Tobacco Control Inspector Sarah LeRoux and Judith Coykendall, Director of Partners for Clean Air, a program of Seven Hills Behavioral Health, Ms. Edge reviewed current efforts to reduce both use of and sales of tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes, hookahs, and tobacco products used by young people to smoke marijuana. The continued high rate of tobacco use in Fall River was noted by several of the legislators, as well as the high rates of bronchus and lung cancer among both men and women in the City. Ms. Edge passed out copies of Twenty Years of Making Smoking History in Massachusetts, a timeline of progress in reducing smoking over the past two decades. The group pledged to continue their support of tobacco-related initiatives, especially those affecting youth that will be highlighted in the upcoming Kick Butts Day at the State House on March 19th. Click here for more photos and text.|
Winter Market Saturday, March 8th, March 22nd and April 5th, 1:00-3:30 p.m.
Main Street Bakery & Cafe
Paradise Hill Farm
Beachouse Baking Company
Healthy City Fall River Update is sent to over 500 participants in Healthy City Fall River, a partnership between the City of Fall River and Partners for a Healthier Community with a mission to improve the health status of all those who live or work in the City of Fall River. For further information about Healthy City Fall River, go to www.healthycityfallriver.org. To see all of the web pages describing Healthy City activities, go to http://www.gfrpartners.com/HealthyCity-related14.html. In order to send announcements of Healthy City events or to subscribe or unsubscribe to this newsletter, contact the Coordinator at email@example.com. Agencies: please add this e-mail address or our fax number (508-324-2429) to your standard media notification list so we can cover your event on the Healthy City Update.