Click here for a pdf copy of the Final  2017 CONNECTION Newsletter

Greater Fall River 
Health Update
Final Edition, July 1, 2017

Click here for the WalkFallRiver web site

 
To our readers: As of July 1, 2017, Dr. David weed will be retiring from his position as Executive Director of Partners for a Healthier Community and Coordinator of the Healthy City Fall River Initiative. As such, the Greater Fall River Health Update will no longer be published. However, Partners for a Healthier Community, Inc. will continue to update our readers through an updated web site and through a variety of social media. We hope you will continue your support and involvement in activities that help to create a healthier community throughout the Greater Fall River Area!
Members of the new Fellowship Health Resources (FHR) Towne House Clubhouse program at 1706 President Avenue have started a vegetable garden behind their clubhouse. A visit to the site on June 29, 2017 found members Mark Potvin, Donna Ziccardi and Brian Vanderhoop tending the tomatoes and cucumbers which were growing nicely in the 4 X 8' raised bed. Staff member Joe Rioux sought donations of loam, lumber, and plants from K.R. Resendes Trucking in Assonet, Blount Boat in Warren, and Leo's Farm Stand in Tiverton, The members tend and water it each morning and are looking forward to eating produce from the garden later in the summer. FHR supports individuals in their recovery from mental illness and co-occurring disorders (i.e., substance use, developmental disability, related chronic health conditions) and operates eighty community-based programs. Click here for a two-and-a-half-minute video of the garden and here for more photos and text.
Steppingstone, Inc. invited supporters, advocates and community leaders to the grand opening and ribbon cutting for a new $4 million First Step Inn at 138 Durfee Street on June 27, 2017. The new facility will enhance the agency's ability to  provide emergency shelter for the area's homeless population with a 24/7 operation that will provide a range of health and human services. Located a block west of the former location at 177 North Main Street, the renovated Haddad Electronic Supply facility will provide space for people who have had to go to overflow shelters in local churches during the winter months. Facility Director Rosa Medeiros stated that the new facility will provide space for counseling, medical assessment, housing and other assistance needed to help guests move from  temporary shelter into permanent housing. A series of fundraisers over the past several years brought in donations to provide furnishings, bedding and other items to help guests stay clean, sober and safely sheltered. Click here for a 23-minute video and here for more photos and text.

Residents of the Tecumseh Mill Apartments on Hartwell Street had the opportunity to attend a health fair held right in their building on June 23, 2017. Seniors and people with disabilities live in the 125 apartments in the renovated historic mill building. Residents had the chance to talk with representatives of Senior Whole Health, Family Service Association, Seven Hills Tobacco Cessation Program, Crifasi Chiropractic Nutrition and Wellness, and Partners for a Healthier Community covering its Sugar-Free Challenge. Participants could also get their blood pressure and their blood sugar checked and get a back massage in between getting information on health and health care services. Click here for a five-minute video

 and here for more photos and text.

Twenty teachers, parents, administrators, community leaders gathered for a second year-end retreat on June 22, 2017 at Mesa 21 to prepare the Parent Academy for its third year. Student Assignment and Parent Information Director Barbara Allard organized the four-hour session designed to review last year's successes and challenges and to plan for the coming year. The session began with a summary of this past year's program by School Community Engagement staff member Jessica Rodriguez. Input solicited from the group will help to shape next year's program. The Parent Academy is a district-led, community-driven initiative designed to provide educational resources to parents and families. Academy courses focus on building capacity in families and empowering them with the information they need to raise their children in a stimulating, proactive and nurturing environment. Click here for a nine-minute video and here for more photos and text.
The Greater Fall River Community Food Pantry celebrated the opening of its new location at 235 Nashua Street with a ribbon cutting on June 20, 2017. Executive Director Dave Perry was joined by his associate Richard Mancini, Mayor Jasiel Correia II, State Representative Alan Silvia, Baycoast Bank Vice President of Corporate Giving and Community Relations Julie Ramos Gagliardi, St. Luke's Episcopal Church Rector Rev. Susan Lee, and Sister Carole Mello of Saint Anne's Hospital for the ceremony. About fifty people were lined up outside waiting to take advantage of the excellent food choices inside, including fresh vegetables from the Greater Boston Food Bank and a variety of canned goods. "Its a great opportunity for people to come in and pick up some food...It's much larger than the other location...we're here to help those in need," stated Perry. Click here for a four-minute video and here for more photos and text.
The Greater Fall River Community Food Pantry celebrated the opening of its new location at 235 Nashua Street with a ribbon cutting on June 20, 2017. Executive Director Dave Perry was joined by his associate Richard Mancini, Mayor Jasiel Correia II, State Representative Alan Silvia, Baycoast Bank Vice President of Corporate Giving and Community Relations Julie Ramos Gagliardi, St. Luke's Episcopal Church Rector Rev. Susan Lee, and Sister Carole Mello of Saint Anne's Hospital for the ceremony. About fifty people were lined up outside waiting to take advantage of the excellent food choices inside, including fresh vegetables from the Greater Boston Food Bank and a variety of canned goods. "Its a great opportunity for people to come in and pick up some food...It's much larger than the other location...we're here to help those in need," stated Perry. Click here for a ten-minute video and here for more photos and text.
Hundreds of adults and children gathered under the elms at Ruggles Park on a misty June 17th Saturday for the 2017 kick-off to the summer season of Greater Fall River Re-creation programs and activities. The free three-hour celebration offered music, food and plenty of fun activities for hundreds of people including arts and crafts, games and prizes, face painting, bouncy houses, a fire demonstration house, pony rides, and the ever popular WiggleKids bouncy balls. A number of agencies offered information and give-aways to participants, including the Fall River Women's Center, Stanley Street Treatment and Resources' BOLD Coalition, and Partners for a Healthier Community covering its Sugar-Free Challenge. Free pizza was provided by Seth Hockert-lotz, owner of Domino's Pizza South Main Street, who helped to sponsor the event along with the United Way..Click here for a five-minute video and here for more photos and text.
State Representatives Alan Silvia, Carol Fiola and Paul Schmid gathered at the Boys & Girls Club of Fall River on June 16, 2017 to announce that a bill that introduced in the Massachusetts Legislature by Representative Silvia making June Seat Belt Public Awareness Month has passed. The month of June, a month filled with high school proms and graduations, will provide reminders to high school students of the danger of not using seatbelts. Former City Councilor Mike Miozza's grandaugher, Hannah Raposo, 18, died in a rollover car crash on Route 195 a year ago on her way to the Durfee High School prom at White's Restaurant. Miozza believes she would not have died had she been wearing a seatbelt. According to the Fall River Herald News, her prom date, who wore his seatbelt, walked away with minor injuries. According to Rep. Silvia, fifty percent of fatalities in Massachusetts are a direct result of not wearing a seatbelt. The Governor signed the proclamation which will provide funding to produce educational PSAs. Click here for a 20-minute video.and here for more photos and text.
Employees at Blount Fine Foods in the Fall River Industrial Park were invited to the fourth Health and Wellbeing Fair  held at the facility on June 16, 2017. Organized by Benefits/Human Resource Manager Michelle Cabral, the event offered employees the opportunity to have their blood pressure and cholesterol checked by a staff member of Southcoast Health Wellness Van as well as to get up-to-date information from representatives of the agencies represented at the Fair. The event also included a circuit training demonstration led by Blount employee Jennifer Botelho. "We're really happy that our employees enjoy this so much" stated Cabral who estimated that most of the 300 employees took advantage of the Fair. Michelle is an active member of the South Coast Worksite Health and Wellness Collaborative and is a past president of the South Coast Human Resources Council. Click here for a three-minute video and here for more photos and text.
The Fall River Public Schools, the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health and United Neighbors of Fall River held a two-and-a-half hour professional training session on "Understanding the Complex Puzzle of Non-Suicidal Self-Injury" with Dr. Barent Walsh at Kuss Middle School on June 14, 2017. Dr. Walsh offered evidence-based knowledge about the variety and causes of self-injurious behavior, its relationship to suicidality, and how to assess and treat it effectively. In his presentation, Dr. Walsh focuses on understanding the diverse forms of self-injury (cutting, self-burning, self-hitting, etc.) and explained how self-injury can be distinguished from suicidal behavior and discusses as a major risk factor for suicidal attempts. Over 200 professionals were in attendance, and teachers were offered free CMEs for the session. Click here for a six-minute video and here for more photos and text.
The newly completed Alfred J. Lima Quequechan River Rail Trail runs from Britland Park and Rodman Streets east to the Westport line crosses busy Brayton Avenue. In order to allow walkers and cyclists to cross safely, a pedestrian-activated crossing light was installed in May and June, 2017. "The crosswalk now makes it possible for people to travel the full length of the two mile trail" commented Fall River Mass In Motion Coordinator Julianne Kelly. "It's now possible for cyclists to go from Westport to the center of Fall River without traveling on city streets", she added. Access to the Trail is available from Britland Park behind the Fall River Police Station or Rodman Street one block east of the Stop & Shop grocery store. The one other lighted street crossing occurs at Quequechan Street just north of Walmart. Since opening in June 2016, the Trail has become a popular location for walkers and cyclists and is now incorporated into the 1422 Project that is encouraging people to walk to prevent or treat diabetes and high blood pressure. Click here to see a 90-second video and here for more photos and text.
The 14th and last Family Fun Night of the school year took place at the Atlantis Charter School on June 8, 2017. Partners School Wellness Coordinator Marcia Picard welcomed eighty parents and children to participate in a program that engages them 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 were offered sessions on nutrition with Chef Jessica Williams of Creating Healthy Solutions and one on moving to music with Fitness Leader Mike Ramos. Participants also had the opportunity to speak with representatives of a dozen agencies including BMC HealthNet Plan, Children's Advocacy Center, DCF Foster Parenting, Early Childhood/Family Community Engagement, CFC Head Start, Fall River Women's Center, HealthFirst Dental Program, New York Life Insurance, People Incorporated, Saint Anne's Hospital, Stanley Street Treatment and Resources , WIC, and Partners for a Healthier Community covering its Sugar-Free Challenge. Click here for a 27-minute video and here for more photos and text.
After more than a year of construction, a $2.4 million park renovation project was completed in the summer of July 2016 at Father Travassos Park. An additional $6 million project to create a two-mile rail trail along the Quequechan River was completed in May of 2017. State officials gathered behind the Espirito Santo Parochial School on June 5th for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open the two facilities. Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia II, Flint Neighborhood Association President Carlos Cesar, State Representatives Paul Schmid and Alan Silva, State Senator Michael Rodrigues, and Massachusetts Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton all spoke at the event. The newly-renovated park includes a new grass soccer field, a dek hockey rink and a computer-controlled splash park. The project is the cornerstone of the Mass In Motion 1422 Project that is working to reduce high blood pressure and diabetes by encouraging people to be more active. Click here for a 27-minute video and here for more photos and text.
The third Fall River Portraits Photography show held at the Narrows  Center for the Arts Gallery on June 3, 2017 features photographs of the people and neighborhoods by UMass Dartmouth and Diman Regional Vocational High School students, and winners of the “Nature in the City” photography contest. In the "Making Things” exhibit, college and high school students who have been visiting and photographing the production areas and workers in over 20 locally-owned businesses displayed their work. Their photographs depict the making of everything from shirts, hats, uniforms, bags and jackets to nuts and bolts, machinery, furniture, mattresses, musical instruments, jewelry, and dental implants. In the "Nature in the City” portion of the show contest prize-winning photographs were displayed showcasing Fall River’s incredible, but often unseen, natural resources. People of all ages who either live, work, or go to school in Fall River were eligible to submit their images of natural beauty in the city in a contest organized by the Friends of the Alfred J. Lima Quequechan River Rail Trail and UMass Dartmouth. Click here for a 15-minute video and here for more photos and text.

 

Healthy City Fall River Update is sent to over 4,000 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-related17.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.