Click here for a pdf copy of the Spring 2016 CONNECTION Newsletter

Greater Fall River 
Health Update
April 1, 2016

Click here for the WalkFallRiver web site

 
Students at the Resiliency Preparatory School participated in a two-hour Community Resource Mapping event held at the School on March 30, 2016. Over thirty local organizations were invited to bring their information to the second floor hallway of the school to permit both students and teachers to learn about the available resources and to receive printed information that they can keep and use at a later time. "This is just a great event, and we're glad that we brought this to life and that the kids can see that Fall River is making good things happen for these kids," stated Principal Magdalena Reis. "We found that a lot of resources that we have in school are not enough to meet the students' needs," added English Teacher and Guidance Intern Jan Doyle. "Our community partners play an important role in supporting our mission and serve as the vehicle for transforming lives," stated Christie Converse. Click here for a three- minute video of the event and here for more photos and text.
About 200 people from across various sectors gathered at Rachel's Lakeside Restaurant in Dartmouth, MA, on March 30, 2016 to listen to a variety of presenters on the topic of opioids and other drugs that have produced a crisis among Massachusetts families. Organized by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health's Bureau of Substance Abuse Services (BSAS), the day-long training provided a cross-sectional view of the current crisis and how families in the Southeast are affected. The event covered the physiology of addiction, the signs and symptoms of substance abuse, and the tools available for families struggling with addiction. Speakers included Representative Carole Fiola, Sue St. Amor of Stanley Street Treatment and Resources, Drug Recognition Expert Scott Hile of Bridgewater, DPH Director of Interagency Initiatives Brian Sylvester, and a panel that included Joanne Peterson of Learn to Cope, Dominique Simone Levine of Allies in Recovery and Connie Rocha Mimoso of Seven Hills Behavioral Health. Click here for a video & here for more.
The Greater Fall River Youth Violence Prevention Task Force hosted a four-hour Suicide Prevention Training on March 29, 2016 in the Room 251 Restaurant at Diman Regional Vocational High School. Paul Gabrielle, Co-Chair of the Plymouth County Violence Prevention Task Force and a certified SafeTALK trainer led the interactive session.   SafeTALK is a half-day alertness training that prepares anyone over the age of 15, regardless of prior experience or training, to become a suicide-alert helper. Since its development in 2006, safeTALK has been used in over 20 countries around the world, and more than 200 selectable video vignettes have been produced to tailor the program’s audio-visual component for diverse audiences. safeTALK-trained helpers are an important part of suicide-safer communities, working alongside intervention resources to identify and avert suicide risks. Click here for the Herald News story about the group. Click here for more photos and text.
The Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) received a two year planning grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to collect baseline data and design a longitudinal research study that will measure the impact of environmental conditions, particularly mixed-income, mixed-use, transit oriented real estate development (“TOD”) projects, on health in Boston neighborhoods. On March 29, 2016, Vedette Gavin, who serves as the Director of Research and Partnerships at CLF, provided an overview of the project and information about an opportunity for South Coast YMCA and partners to engage the New Bedford and Fall River communities in the study at the monthly VOICES for a Healthy South Coast meeting held at the New Bedford Y. Click here for a brief video of a portion of the conversation and here for more photos and text describing the meeting.
Care Coordinator Tami O'Neil of Family Service Association obtained a United Way Community Impact Grant which is providing four weeks of health presentations at the Niagara/Maplewood Senior Center and the South Main Senior Center over the months of March and April 2016. The first session covered ways of reducing dietary sodium, a concern for those with high blood pressure. Family Service Association nurse Jennifer Rocha helped people understand what a limit of 1,500 mg of salt means in terms of quantity by asking participants to shake the amount of salt they might use on various foods. She also emphasized the high amount of sodium in prepared foods. Other sessions will cover chair yoga, strength building exercises, and dance for fitness with other presenters from Family Service Association. Click here for a 25-minute   video of the presentation and here for more photos and text.
Mass in Motion Fall River, which began twice-weekly indoor walks at the Kuss Middle School as part of it's efforts to promote walking throughout Fall River, is now sponsoring a weekly outdoor walk at Kennedy Park. The Walking Club is coordinated by Jessica Mattos from Bristol Community College and is designed to give people an opportunity to make walking a regular part of their routine for health benefits. The group meets every Tuesday at 5:00 p.m., walkers can meet up at the Kennedy Park pavilion (stone shelter) at the end of the parking lot that can be accessed from Broadway at Bradford Avenue. The group will walk the upper park around the baseball fields at a pace that all can enjoy. There's no need to call ahead; just show up at 5:00 p.m. and join the group! More information about walking resources is available at  WalkFallRiver.org or the  WalkFallRiver Facebook page. Click here for more photos and text.
The eleventh week of the Ninth Annual Greater Fall River Fitness Challenge  brought forty participants to General Fitness on March 26, 2016 for an hour work-out with either an aerobics class with Deb Kosion or a spinning class with Lynette Gomes. Following the Challenge, participants were invited to join a low-carb nutrition group run by Partners Executive Director Dr. David Weed. 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 On-line, General Fitness. Greater Fall River Re-creation, TKO Fitness, 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 13-minute video of the event and here for more photos and text.
Over 100 advocates gathered for the Sifth Annual Bike Summit sponsored by the South Coast Bikeway Alliance, at White's Restaurant on March 24, 2016. Keynote speaker Erin Reed of the Massachusetts Safe Routes to School Program was introduced by Alliance President Bob Espindola. Representative Bill Straus, Chair of the House Transportation Committee, Mass In Motion Fall River Coordinator Julie Kelly and BikeFallRiver Chair Brian Pearson was there along with retired city planner Al Lima, for whom the new Quequechan River Rail Trail has been named. Following Ms. Reed's presentation, a panel on "Kids in Motion" and "Adult Casual Riding Groups" was held. The evening ended with a challenge to participate in the South Coast Summer Bicycle ChallengeClick here for photos of last year's Summit. Click here for a 22-minute video of the event and here for more photos and text about the event.
Over a hundred parents and students came to the Matthew Kuss Middle School on March 23, 2016 for a Family Fun Night organized by Partners School Wellness Coordinator Marcia Picard. The program engages both adults and children in some healthy movement while learning about nutrition and a range of community resources that they can access to maintain or improve their health. Participants joined Fitness Leader Mike Ramos to move to music and Chef Jessica Williams of Creating Healthy Solutions to learn how to cook with tofu. Participants also had the opportunity to speak with representatives of thirteen agencies and the Fall River YMCA, along with Partners for a Healthier Community covering its Soda-Free Challenge. Click here for a 33-minute video and here for more photos and text..
Bank Street Neighborhood Association President Natalie Melo met Greater Fall River reCreation Executive Director Grace Gerling on March 23, 2016 at the site of a new community garden near the corner of Bank Street and 7th Street. The City has been turned the space over to Greater Fall River Re-Creation to be operated by the Bank Street, Niagara and Father Kelly Neighborhood Associations. “I see this as a fabulous opportunity to give something back to the community,” commented Melo. “I see the potential for not only providing garden space for people in the neighborhood but also a place where people can come to learn about gardening and nutrition,” she added. Melo envisions school children visiting and working in the garden and presentations on food and cooking taking place in the space. A number of donations have already been made and the Fall River Street Tree Planting Program will also donate four trees to be planted along the perimeter of the garden. Click here for a two-minute   video interview and here for more photos and text.
The tenth week of the Ninth Annual Greater Fall River Fitness Challenge  brought over fifty Challenge participants to the Kuss Middle School on March 19, 2016 for a work-out with Fitness Leaders Tabitha and Ray Gentreau of FitWorks On-line Following the Challenge, participants were invited to join a low-carb nutrition group run by Partners Executive Director Dr. David Weed. 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 On-line, General Fitness. Greater Fall River Re-creation, TKO Fitness, 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 17-minute video of the event and here for more photos and text.
Sponsored by the Office of  Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn, former Red Sox pitcher Brian Rose offered a free baseball clinic in the Luke Urban Field House at B.M.C. Durfee High School on March 19, 2016. Elementary school age children had the chance to learn the fundamentals of baseball with help from members of the high school varsity baseball team and staff from the Bristol County District Attorney's Office who volunteered their time to provide instruction. The program gives both boys and girls a chance to learn and practice a game that can give them a lifetime of heart-healthy activity. DA Quinn’s Free Sports Clinics are held throughout Bristol County and offer instruction in tennis, basketball and baseball. “These clinics teach kids a sport they can play for their entire lives,” stated Rose. Click here for a three-minute video of the clinic and here for more photos and text.
Residents of Ships' Cove Apartments were asked to participate in a survey about food purchases and eating habits conducted by NHP Foundation Residential Services Coordinator Pamela Anderson-Livingston and UMass-Dartmouth School of Law Intern Brittany Sowersby starting on March 15, 2016. The survey asks 23 questions ranging from "In general, I think the food I purchase is healthy?" to "I wish I knew how to cook better" and "I would like to learn how to shop on a budget". The results of the survey will help members of the Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) Task Force of Partners better plan ways of helping people to improve their diets and lower the incidence of diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. "It's been quite an eye opener to learn just how people in this one small sample eat," said Intern Brittany Sowersby. Residents of the building are all low-income and are either single with children, elderly or disabled. Click here for a one-minute video of the survey and here for more photos and text.
The New Bedford Wellness Initiative continued its effort to raise health awareness with the goal to help prevent disease through healthy living organized a screening of the film "In Defense of Food" on March 15, 2016, at the New Bedford Whaling Museum. In the film, journalist Michael Pollan reports his recommendations for reversing the damage being done to people's health by today's industrially driven Western Diet. The film debunks the daily media barrage of conflicting claims about nutrition, Pollan offers a clear answer to the question of what to eat to be health in his summary statement: "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." Following the film, Dr. David Ludwig, a noted endocrinologist, researcher at  Boston Children's Hospital, professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and professor of nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health, who was in the film, spoke about his new book, Always Hungry. Click here for the Standard-Times article. Click here for a fifty-minute video of the event and here for more photos and text.
Fall River youth had the opportunity to meet with recently elected School Committee members at the Morton Middle School library on March 14, 2016. Students had the chance to build relationships with School Committee members and discuss the issues that they and other youth confront every day both in school and in the community. Candidates had the opportunity to recall the pledges that they made as candidates to address the students' concerns. The event was planned and sponsored by the Fall River Youth Violence Prevention Task Force and the Greater Fall River Partners for a Healthier Community School Community Partnership. Click here for an eight-minute video of the event. Click here for a web page and video of the YOUth Decide candidate night where the candidates made their pledges. Click here for more photos and text.
Saturday, March 12, 2016 found a group of hardy Bioreserve explorers searching the headwaters of Mill Brook, just west of the northwest ridge extending from Copicut Hill, for Hex Spring. The explorers did find Hex Spring, but it is now a seep, not a spring ...although it may have been at one time. In their search of the area where legend has it Hex Spring should be, they instead found a cobble and boulder field with water oozing from the ground. It appears to us that Hex Spring should more accurately be called Hex Seep. Springs, such as the Bioreserve's King Philip's Spring and Boiling Spring emerge from a single point gushing or bubbling to the surface due to water pressure caused by the geology underlying the site. The walk was organized by Everett Castro of Green Futures as part of a series of walks to help people become more familiar with the Southeastern Massachusetts Bioreserve (SMB) The mission of the SMB is to protect, restore and enhance the biological diversity and ecological integrity of a large-scale ecosystem with diverse natural communities representative of the region. Click here for more photos & text.
Participants in the Greater Fall River Fitness Challenge and the Fall River Parent Academy who attended the ninth presentation in the weekly series, "How to Lose Weight Without Going Hungry" on March 12, 2016 heard Dr. David Weed and Southcoast Health employee Katie Beth Wright talk about what to eat every day when following a low carbohydrate, high fat diet.  Dr. Weed started by explaining some basics about low-carb diets, including possible problems when first starting, and Katie Beth went on to describe the foods she purchases and prepares. Based on the approach to reducing obesity by reducing dietary carbohydrates and increasing fat, Click here for a 40-minute video of the presentation, here for Dr. Weed's PowerPoint slides, and here for Dr, Weed's 48-minute introductory video. Click here for for his previous presentation on diabetes and fasting, here for one on cereal and fiber  here for one on grains, and here for the one on fats and oils. Click here for more photos and text.
Mass in Motion Fall River arranged for two consultants to survey one of the neighborhood stores close to the new Quequechan River Rail Trail on March 10, 2016. The project is part of a new "1422 Project" funded by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health designed to improve opportunities for physical activity and to help people at risk for diabetes and high blood pressure to eat better and become more active. SSTAR Community Prevention Coordinator Eric Andrade, who is working on the project with Mass in Motion Fall River Coordinator Julianne Kelly, worked with James Johnson-Piett and Corey Woods of Urbane Development to assess and work with local markets in central Fall River near the Rail Trail to improve the quality of available food to residents. That work has included a survey of existing products and services which will lead to future improvements. Click here for a three-minute   video of the survey and here for more photos and text.
Members of the Southcoast Worksite Health & Wellness Collaborative enjoyed a presentation on March 10, 2016 on the upcoming American Cancer Society Relay for Life events in both Fall River and New Bedford. This year's events will be held overnight from June 24th to June 25th at Bishop Connolly High School in Fall River and at New Bedford High School. More than four million people participate worldwide to celebrate those who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and take action to fight back. The monthly Collaborative meetings, often held at the Sylvia Insurance Company headquarters on Faunce Corner Road in North Dartmouth, offer presentations on a number of topics related to worksite wellness. Click here  for a 12-minute video of Ms. Larocques' presentation and here for previous presentations. Click here for more photos and text describing the presentation.
Hundreds of members, supporters, board members and staff members gathered at White's Restaurant in Westport on March 8, 2016 to kick off the 2016 fundraising campaign. YMCA Southcoast  CEO Gary Schuyler began the session with a one-minute video entitled "Zoe for President" that depicts a one-year-old who someday may become President as a way for the YMCA on-line fundraiser. YMCA Southcoast Development Director Rhonda Veugen then introduced a series of speakers including Briden Norton, Raechel McGhee, Norm and Deb Letendre, Susan Spano Piacenti for Sharon DeCosta, Ellyn Gallant and former Providence Journal writer Bob Kerr. The event ended with closing remarks by Board Chairman Peter Bullard who quoted Jackie Robinson when he said "A life is not important except in the impact it has on others," adding that "the Y impacts others" and encouraged those present to donate generously to the campaign. Click here for a 43-minute video of the event and here for more photos and text.
Representatives of the Tufts Network Health Plan attended the March 7, 2016 session of the every-other-month Community Partnership at St. Vincent's. Organized by United Neighbors of Fall River, those in attendance heard a presentation by Senior Community Relations Representative Fedra Ferro and her colleague, Senior Community Relations Representative Thalia Cordon. Following an introduction by Partners School Wellness Coordinator Marcia Picard, Ms. Ferroo and Ms. Cordon described the major elements of the Plan, The two then opened their presentation to questions, and Linda Hennessey of the HealthFirst Family Care Center posed a question about why three percent of the Massachusetts population has not signed up for health insurance. NHP Foundation Residential Services Coordinator Pamela Anderson-Livingston then pointed out that many young people found it difficult to afford health insurance.. Click here for an 18-minute video and here for more photos and text.
Work on the Quequechan River Rail Trail Project is on track for completion in June of 2016. Dedicated to Fall River resident, local historian and retired city planner Al Lima, work continues on the final two stages of the current path that begins at the Westport Town line along South Watuppa Pond. The project has constructed a bicycle and walking path that runs over a former railroad bed to connect with Britland Park and Rodman Street. The rail trail project was funded by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and by the Gateway City Park Program of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. Pedestrian-actuated crossing signals will be constructed on Brayton Avenue and Quequechan Streets to permit walkers and cyclists to cross traffic safely. The project follows a plan for a Quequechan River Greenway that includes improvements to Britland Park as well. Plans were first presented in April, 2011 and reviewed in 2012 along with other efforts to make Fall River more bicycle-friendly. Click here for a brief video and here for more photos and text.
Mass in Motion Fall River arranged for two speakers from WalkBoston to present their recommendations on wayfinding signage related to the new Quequechan River Rail Trail at Government Center on March 2, 2016. The project is part of a new "1422 Project" funded by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health designed to improve opportunities for physical activity and to help people at risk for diabetes and high blood pressure to become more active. SSTAR Community Prevention Coordinator Eric Andrade, who is working on the project with Mass in Motion Fall River Coordinator Julianne Kelly, introduced WalkBoston Project Manager Adi Nochur who described the project and asked for input from the audience during the one-hour session that was open to the public. Click here for a 46-minute   video of the session. For more information about walking resources in the City, to to  WalkFallRiver.org or the  WalkFallRiver Facebook page. Click here for more.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, supported in part by the Affordable Care Act, is supporting cross-cutting efforts to prevent and control chronic diseases, the leading causes of death and disability in the U.S. In 2015, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health received one of twenty-one awards totaling $69.5 million grants to prevent obesity, diabetes, heart disease and stroke (DP14-1422PHF14 or "1422" grants) to coordinate prevention activities to: 1) reduce rates of death and disability due to tobacco use, 2) reduce the prevalence of obesity, and 3) reduce the rates of death and disability due to diabetes, heart disease and stroke. The grant also supports efforts to help people manage conditions such as high blood pressure and pre-diabetes. Fall River was one of four Mass in Motion Communities to receive a $440,000 grant each year for four years. Stanley Street Treatment and Resources (SSTAR) is managing this grant in collaboration with City's Mass in Motion Project. Click here for a two-minute video of the report on the project by Project Director Paula Beaulieu and here for more photos & text.
Participants in the Greater Fall River Fitness Challenge and the Fall River Parent Academy who attended the tenth presentation in the weekly series, "How to Lose Weight Without Going Hungry" on March 5, 2016 heard Dr. David Weed and Southcoast Health employee Amanda Raposo, MS, RDN, CDE, talk about cholesterol and heart disease. Dr. Weed the session started by explaining some basics about low-carb diets, and then Ms. Raposo explained how reducing refined grains and sugars lead to lower rates of the type of LDL cholesterol that is associated with heart disease. This diet is based on the approach to reducing obesity by reducing dietary carbohydrates and increasing fat, Click here for a 40-minute video of the presentation, here for Dr. Weed's PowerPoint slides, and here for Dr, Weed's 48-minute introductory video.  Click  for for his previous presentation on what to eat every day, here for one on diabetes and fasting  here for one on grains, and here for the one on fats and oils. Click here for more photos and text.

 
This session will present:
  • a proven model for planning worksite health promotion programs

  • actionable steps you can use in your own programs

  • how it has been used with the MA Department of Public Health Working on Wellness Programs

7th Annual Worksite Health & Wellness Conference:

Thursday, May 12, 2016, 8am-Noon

Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
151 Martine Street, Fall River

Cost: $35 per person / $15 students

Keynote Speaker: Mari Ryan, MBA, MHP, CWWPC, CWP
CEO, Advancing Wellness 

  • Includes a healthy breakfast

  • sign up today and you can bring one free guest from your worksite

Click here to register!

Click here for the Conference flyer that you can post or email


 

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-related15.html. In order to send announcements of Healthy City events or to subscribe or unsubscribe to this newsletter, contact the Coordinator at drweed@cox.net. 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.