Click here for a pdf copy of the Spring 2015 CONNECTION Newsletter

Greater Fall River 
Health Update
May 4, 2015

Click here to see the 2014-2019 Action Plan

Click here for the video, "Fed Up on the South Coast"

 

Healthy City Fall River is now Greater Fall River Health Update! We have a new look to reflect a focus on the entire four town area, including Somerset, Swansea, and Westport in addition to the City of Fall River.

Residents of the Chor Bishop Eid Housing Complex on Quequechan Street in the Flint were on hand on May 3, 2015 for the dedication of their community garden to the memory of Lynn, a resident who helped to get the garden going several years ago but passed away last year. Resident Katie Goldman, who's keeping the garden going, praised Lynn's energy and spirit that inspired others to get involved. Two raised beds were constructed two years ago with the help of now State Representative Carole Fiola and her husband, Ken, who did much of the original construction. A third bed was added this spring with a donation from Partners and help from the Fall River Housing Authority. The garden gives residents the opportunity to plant and raise their own fruits and vegetables, including beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions. The produce is shared among the residents of the complex, many of who are physically unable to work in the garden. Click here for a12-minute video of the ceremony and here for more photos and text.
The sixteenth and final week of the Eighth Annual Greater Fall River Fitness Challenge  brought participants to the Fall River YMCA on May 2, 2015 for a workout led by Zumba Fitness Instructor Maria Machado. Chef Jessica Williams of Creating Healthy Solutions started off the session by asking participants to create a meal by choosing proteins, fats and fast and slow carbohydrates prior to her session on the topic that followed. Participants then went through an hour-long workout to Salsa music with Maria. 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, TKO Fitness, and the Fall River YMCA.  Click here for a 17-minute video of the Saturday event, here for a seven-minute  video of the Nutrition Demo intro with Jessica Williams, and here for more photos and text.
The fourth and last cooking/tasting demonstration held as part of the Eighth Annual Greater Fall River Fitness Challenge  brought participants to the fifth floor classroom of the Fall River YMCA for a 45-minute cooking demonstration by Chef Jessica Williams. DTR, of Creating Healthy Solutions. Chef Jess demonstrated a way of choosing foods by choosing proteins, fats and fast and slow carbohydrates in each meal. She ended the demonstration by offering a taste of a zucchini lasagna that combined all four in a single dish.  The Challenge offers low cost opportunities for those who live, work or attend school in the Greater Fall River Area. Click here for a 36-minute video of the demonstration. Click here for photos of the Challenge event held just prior to the session. Click here for the video of Chef Jess's introduction before the Challenge. Click here for photos and video from the prior cooking demonstration, and click here for more photos of the cooking/tasting session.
Partners School Wellness Coordinator Marcia Picard joined Physical Education Teacher Tim Powers at the Silvia Elementary School on May 1, 2015 to witness a number of activities that the children were engaged in for the Fall River Fitness Challenge. "The Silvia School has gone way above and beyond our expectations for this year's Challenge by engaging children in physical activity throughout the day, not just in their PE classes," noted Picard. "Tim and Lead Physical Education Teacher Terry Mahjoory, who devised most of the activities, are demonstrating that physical activity doesn't have to take time away from learning and, in fact, improves learning by keeping children moving." Some of the Challenge activities included having children do quiet exercises while waiting in the hallway during their bathroom breaks, doing stretching exercises while waiting in the school nurse's office, or taking five-minute "brain breaks" in their classroom, Click here for an 13-minute video of the different activities and here for more photos and text.
Staff at the HealthFirst Family Care Center arranged two days on April 21st and 23rd when families who had no transportation could be taken to the Center for their children to be seen for dental check-ups and cleanings. Many of the children had not seen a dentist in several years. Services were offered at no charge to the parents. A second day of dental visits was arranged two days later. Transportation for the families was provided by People Incorporated and by Partners through a Vela Foundation grant. The project was organized Wendy Garf-Lipp, Executive Director of United Neighbors of Fall River and Chairperson of the Coalition for Health and Well-Being. Click here for pictures of a similar clinic offered for adults in February 2015. Click here for photos of a cooking class for families offered through one of the local churches. Click here for a five-minute video of the event and here for more photos and text describing the event.
Agency providers and school staff joined over 300 parents and children for the Family Fun Night at the Fonseca Elementary School on April 29, 2015. Partners School Wellness Coordinator Marcia Picard welcomed the audience and prepared them to participate in a program that engages them 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 sessions on nutrition by Saint Anne's Hospital nurse Rose Couto, R.N. along with a fun workout with Fitness Instructor Soklim Chhean and a chance to speak with representatives of over twenty agencies including the Bristol County District Attorney's Office, Child and Family Services, Children's Advocacy Center, CVS, MA Department of Children and Families, Early Childhood/Family Community Engagement, and Partners for a Healthier Community covering its Soda-Free Challenge. Click here for an 25-minute video of the event and here for more photos and text.
Shortly after Arbor Day was celebrated at Turner Playground on Danforth Street by supporters of the Fall River Street Tree Planting Program (FRSTPP), fourteen more trees were planted on April 28, 2015. These trees were purchased and planted through a Mass ReLeaf Ministry grant obtained by the First Congregational Church as part of their effort to improve the environment. The trees will provide improved air quality and much needed shade in the area around the Aetna Street playground which is across the street from the Maple Gardens Housing Development. The work was supervised by staff from the Davey Resource Group and volunteer tree stewards who have been trained through the FRSTPP. There are currently three openings on the City Tree Commission, and anyone with an interest is urged to contact the Mayor's Office. Click here for photos of the Arbor Day tree planting event. Click here for an three-minute video of the event and here for more photos and text.
Once again, Fall River joined the global effort to stop violence against women and girls with a presentation of the Best of V-Day 2015. Readings included favorites from "The Vagina Monologues" and "A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant, and a Prayer!" by Eve Ensler, at the Eagle Performing Arts Center on April 24th and 25th, 2015. Each of the monologues  relates to the vagina, be it through sex, love, rape, menstruation, female genital mutilation, masturbation, birth, orgasm, the variety of names for the vagina, or simply as a physical aspect of the body. A recurring theme throughout the piece is the vagina as a tool of female empowerment, and the ultimate embodiment of individuality. Ten percent of the proceeds goes to the National V-Day Committee (in lieu of copyright fees), and the rest goes to benefit the Katie Brown Educational Program whose curriculum teaches students to identify the many types of violence, and empowers them to develop the skills necessary to prevent violence from becoming a factor in their relationships. Click here for a 108-minute video of the presentation and here for more photos.
Sponsored by the Bristol County District Attorney's Office, the Fall River Shannon Community Safety Initiative, Saint Anne's HospitalSouthcoast Hospitals, United Neighbors and Partners, this year's event offered an opportunity to hear from the Truthworker Theatre Company (TTC) a social justice based, hip-hop theatre company for high school and college aged youth in Brooklyn, NY. TTC is a safe space for young people to be the subjects, not the objects of their stories-narrating their own experiences & unique perspectives in ways that unpack, problematize, & shift the dominant, often stereotypical narratives in mainstream media. The performance at B.M.C. Durfee High School followed the presentation of the annual Heroes of Peace Awards. Click here for a 45-minute video of excerpts from the performance and the discussion that followed. Click here for photos and video of the discussion the evening before at the Boys and Girls Club and here for more photos and text describing the performance at Durfee.
The “Heroes of Peace” award was created in 2010 by the Peace by Piece Steering Committee to recognize the many individuals and groups who are providing a positive message of hope and compassion in Fall River. As part of the effort to acknowledge that no one person, group, or approach can solve the problem of violence, the Fall River Youth Violence Prevention Initiative Steering Committee held an event on April 17, 2015 at B.MC. Durfee High School to recognize those in the community who are instrumental in overcoming violence, refusing to be a bystander to aggressive acts, and understanding that the world will become a better place because of kindness. The ceremony was emceed by Fall River City Councilor Linda Pereira. This year's winners included Youth Citizens Sumaiyea Uddin and Daishawn Barros, Adult Citizens Rachele Foley, Tom Khoury and Wendy Garf-Lipp, and Group Awards to the Fall River Police Department Special Operations Division, the Katie Brown Education Program, and the Respect Campaign by Durfee High School Students. Click here for a 25-minute video of the event and here for more photos and text.. 
Officials from the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth invited community leaders, faculty, and students to gather on April 17, 2015, at the Woodland Commons for the seventh annual Civic Engagement Summit. Recently named for the Rev. Dr. Robert Lawrence and organized by the Leduc Center for Civic Engagement at UMD, the Summit began with welcoming remarks by Chancellor Divina Grossman. Student Government Association President Francis Ndicu then introduced Keynote Speaker Russell Krumnow, Managing Director of Opportunity Nation, publisher of the Opportunity Index, a tool to drive positive change in communities. His presentation was followed by remarks from discussants Student Trustee Jacob Miller and Federal Reserve Bank Community Development Analyst Colleen Dawicki, formerly of the Public Policy Center. Click here for a 53-minute video of the first part of the event and here for more photos and text..
Staff from Greater Fall River ReCreation, the Katie Brown Education Program, Partners for a Healthier Community, Resiliency Middle School, Saint Anne's Hospital, Saint Vincent's Home, United Neighbors of Fall River, and the YouthBuild programs in Fall River and New Bedford gathered at the Boys and Girls Club for the start of the seventh annual Peace By Piece Summit on April 16, 2015. Sponsored by the Greater Fall River United Way, the Fall River Shannon Community Safety Initiative, Southcoast Health, Bristol County District Attorney's Office, and Saint Anne's Hospital, this year's event offered an opportunity to hear from the Truthworker Theatre Company (TTC) a social justice based, hip-hop theatre company for high school and college aged youth in Brooklyn, NY. The evening gathering gave staff a chance to see a portion of their work and dialogue with the group in preparation for their performance the next day at B.M.C. Durfee High School. Click here for a 45-minute video of the gathering and performance and here for more photos and text.
A Parent Academy is a district-led, community-driven initiative designed to provide educational resources to parents and families. Academies have been organized in Brockton and Springfield, MA, Providence, RI, Westerly, RI, and Portland, Maine, as well as across the country. 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. In order to begin development of an Academy through the Fall River Schools, teachers, administrators and community leaders gathered in the Faculty Lounge at Bristol Community College on April 16, 2015 to begin discussing how an Academy could be started in Fall River.  Groups will work on a number of issues and strategies in the coming months with the goal of starting some Academy classes next fall. Click here for a ten-minute video of some of the forum and here for more photos and text.
As part of SouthCoast Serves' National Volunteer Week, a Food Justice Forum was held at the Woodland Commons on the UMass-Dartmouth campus on April 14, 2015. About fifty students, faculty members and guests attended the ninety-minute event to review the recently completed Southeastern Massachusetts Food Security Assessment. LeDuc Center for Civic Engagement Assistant Director Deirdre Healy introduced Stephanie Reusch, MA, RD, of the Southeastern Massachusetts Food Security Network and Sarah Kelly of The Island Foundation who both summarized the Assessment. Panelists Isabel Rodrigues of the UMassD Anthropology Department, Noreen Kelly of Project Bread, and Dr. David Weed of Partners for a Healthier Community then responded to the report and engaged the audience in a discussion of the issues surrounding food security in Southeastern Massachusetts. Click here for more photos and text about the event.
In recognition of the national Week of the Young Child, the Coordinated Family and Community Engagement Council, Early Education and Care Providers, School-Age Programs, and Community Affiliated Agencies held a free Literacy Fair at the Kuss Middle School on April 11, 2015. The event offered three hours of free information and developmentally-appropriate activities, child development information and a performance by the Toe Jam Puppet Band. Children were able to meet author Joan Woodward and receive a free, autographed copy of Seven Little Monkeys courtesy of Diman Regional High School and BayCoast Bank. Approximately 300 families attended the event and each received a dozen free books. Funding for the event was provided by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care. Click here for pictures of the last year's event. Click here for a ten-minute video of the event and here for more photos and text..
A Nutrition Challenge sessioin was held on April 11th in the second floor classroom at 72 Bank Street as part of the Eighth Annual Greater Fall River Fitness Challenge  The hour-long discussion led by Southcoast HealthRegistered Dietitian and Diabetes Educator Amanda Raposo covered the importance of fats in the diet for both satiety and vitamin absorption. She recommend the use of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), naturally found in coconut oil, in cooking because they are more easily digested and less likely to lead to fat storage. The free sessions are being offered each week after each Saturday Challenge as a way to assist people with issues of weight loss and personal health related to diet including a recommendation on food and advice on weight lossClick here for photos and video of the Challenge event held just prior to the session, here for photos and video of the cooking demonstration held the week before, and here for the previous session with Amanda. Click here for more photos and text.
The thirteenth week of the Eighth Annual Greater Fall River Fitness Challenge  brought participants to Re-creation headquarters on April 11, 2015 for an eight-station workout led by Tabitha Gendreau of  FitWorks. Participants were challenged to complete eight different stations in 45 minutes, each with a different fitness routines including walking push-ups, simulated jump-rope, shoulder presses, high knees, bicep curls, and crawls. 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, 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 12-minute video of the Saturday event and here for more photos.
Members of the Southcoast Worksite Health & Wellness Collaborative enjoyed a presentation on April 9, 2015 on a new Diabetes Prevention Program that is being offered by the YMCA Southcoast at their locations in Dartmouth, Fall River, New Bedford and Wareham. Research has shown that 15-30 percent of overweight people with pre-diabetes will develop type2 diabetes within five years unless they lose weight and increase their physical activity. Program Director Dara Midwood described the program at the monthly meeting and explained how employees could participate in the program on their own time after work. Ms. Midwood is also available to offer the program at worksites provided that a minimum number of ten participants are signed up. Click here for a 22-minute video of her presentation and here for more photos and text about the presentation.
Over 100 members, supporters, planners, architects, contractors, bankers, attorneys, businesspersons, board members and staff members streamed into the newly-revitalized Fall River YMCA on North Main Street on April 8, 2015 to celebrate the project completion and to thank those who made it happen. YMCA Southcoast  CEO Gary Schuyler and Fall River Y Executive Director Frank Duffy were joined by Rev. Robert Lawrence,  BayCoast Bank CEO and President Nicholas Christ, former State Senator Joan Menard, Fall River Mayor Sam Sutter, Board Chairman Peter Bullard, and Rev. Donald Mier. Two surprise guests also shared the podium: eighty-year Y member Yvette Mancini, and Linda Greer, the daughter of the late Nobel Prize winning Fall River physician David Greer who was a long-standing member and supporter. "We had our first design meeting ten years ago next month...Many didn't think it could be done," stated Schuyler. "There was a powerful group that just went out and got it done," he added. Click here for a 62-minute video of the event and here for more photos and text..
Over 250 parents, children and providers joined Partners School Wellness Coordinator Marcia Picard at the North Elementary School in Somerset on April 8, 2015 for an evening of fun and learning for families. The Family Fun Night offered fun fitness activities with WiggleKids Coach Kim Ferrara, up-to-date nutrition and health information with  Chef Jessica Williams, DTR of Creating Healthy Solutions, and the chance to speak with representatives of over twenty agencies including the Bristol County District Attorney's Office, Bristol County Sheriff's Office, Children's Advocacy Center, Greater Fall River Re-Creation, HealthFirst Dental Program, Katie Brown Educational Program, North Elementary PTO, People Incorporated, Saint Anne's Hospital, Smash Table Tennis Club, Southcoast Energy Challenge, Southcoast Health, United Neighbors, WIC and Partners for a Healthier Community covering its Soda-Free Challenge. Click here for a 29-minute video of the event and here for more photos and text.  
Over 400 people attended the 17th Ounce of Prevention Conference sponsored by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) at the DCU Center in Worcester on April 7, 2015. Moved from its traditional location at he Royal Plaza Hotel and Trade Center in Marlboro and scheduled for April rather than October, the event brought public health practitioners and advocates together for presentations and awards celebrating the work of leaders statewide. Bureau of Community Health and Prevention Director Carlene Pavlos introduced Commissioner Monica Bharel, MD, MPH, who, following her opening remarks, presented the Commissioner's Award to Al Bashevkin of the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition in recognition of his 30 years of achievement. Office of Health Equity Director Georgia Simpson May then introduced Keynote Speaker Adewale Troutman, MD, who spoke on "Creating a Health Equity Movement." Click here for a 102-minute video of the morning session, here for the video of the DoN and CHI Listening Session & here for more photos.
National Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Child Abuse Prevention Month were both acknowledged in an event at the Father Diaferio Housing Development on April 6, 2015. The Women's Center Executive Director Pamela MacLeod-Lima, who emceed the event, stated "Working together, we can bring about positive change in our community, We must talk to our neighbors, co-workers, family and friends to raise awareness of the problem of domestic and sexual violence in our community, emphasizing prevention, and empowering every child, teen or adult who is violated or abused to speak up and be heard.” She ten introduced Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn, IIIChildren's Advocacy Center (CAC) Executive Director Michelle Loranger, and Fall River Housing Authority Executive Director David Sullivan who then introduced Fall River Mayor Samuel Sutter who read a proclamation following his remarks. Parents and children were then invited to access information tables on safety and healthy living.  Click here for an 18-minute video of the event and here for more photos and text.
The third cooking/tasting demonstration held as part of the Eighth Annual Greater Fall River Fitness Challenge  brought participants to the second floor classroom at 72 Bank Street for 45-minute cooking demonstration by Chef Jessica Williams. DTR, of Creating Healthy Solutions. Chef Jess demonstrated how to make a Vanilla Pumkin Shake, a Sip of Morning Mediation, and a Raw Green Smoothie and offered tastings of each following the demonstration. Sponsored by Greater Fall River Re-creation, Partners for a Healthier Community, Saint Anne's Hospital, Southcoast Hospitals, the Fitness Challenge includes programs provided by All Generations Fitness, the Diabetes Association, Inc., Fitness Fusion, FitWorks, 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 35-minute video of the demonstration and here for more photos and text.
The twelfth week of the Eighth Annual Greater Fall River Fitness Challenge  brought participants to Re-creation headquarters on April 4, 2015 for a 15-minute session led by Chef Jessica Williams of Creating Healthy Solutions and a 45-minute session led by Shaun Pacheco of All Generations Fitness. Jessica asked participants to write down something from the past that's unhealthy and something in the future that they want to happen and then asked them to place them in two circles on the gym floor. Shaun followed with a cardio workout with the help of .Jenny Botelho  and AndreGadbois of All Generations Fitness 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, TKO Fitness, and the Fall River YMCA. Click here for a 13-minute video of the Saturday event & here for more photos & text.
Members and participants in the Social Capital Inc. organization celebrated the work of this year's volunteers at the 8th annual Social Capitalist Luncheon held at the Sheraton Boston on April 2, 2015 where funds were raised to continue efforts to connect for community impact. The SCI Idealist Awards, presented each year to leaders who dedicate their lives and engage their social capital to address some of the most pressing community needs, were given this year to Eric Schwarz, author and Co-Founder of Citizen Schools and nationally recognized social entrepreneur and Benjamin Zander, world-renowned conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra. Fall River SCI Volunteers Sophie Fierst and Micah Savitzky were recognized along with others from across the Commonwealth. Click here for a 14-minute video of NECN Primetime Anchor, Latoyia Edwards' opening remarks and comments by SCI President and Founder David Crowley and here for more photos and text..

 
Get your tickets now!

Fitness Challenge Finale

at the Eagle Performing Arts Center

Friday, May 15th, 7:00 p.m.

Tickets are only $15 - Call 508-679-0922


 

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.