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

Greater Fall River 
Health Update
July 1, 2016

Click here for the new WalkFallRiver web site

The National Civic League announced the ten winners of the 2016 All-America City Award, an honor given each year to towns, cities, counties, tribes, neighborhoods and metropolitan regions who demonstrate outstanding civic accomplishments. The Award recognizes the use of collaborative problem-solving strategies that link private, public and nonprofit sectors. This year, the program highlighted community efforts to ensure that all children are healthy and successful in school and life. Fall River was one of ten cities who received the award based on its efforts at positive youth development, improved school attendance, and the formation of a City-wide Parent Academy. Mayor Jasiel Correia II announced the award on June 28, 2016 at a Government Center news event. Youth Services Coordinator Christian McCloskey, 24-year-old pharmacist Dr. Lillian Phuong, Fall River School teacher Jason Springer, YouthBuild staff member and Family Service Association Therapeutic Mentor Christian Berrios, and Partners School Wellness Coordinator Marcia Picard represented the City at the Denver, CO competition on June 19th. Click here for a  video of the press event & here for more..
At an event held on June 28, 2016 overlooking Battleship Cove near Heritage State Park, it was announced that Block Island Ferry is partnering with the City of Fall River and Greater Fall River RE-CREATION, to launch the MA Department of Conservation and Recreation’s 2016 Fall River Community Boating Program. Block Island Ferry’s support of the program was made possible through a unique partnership with CBS EcoMedia, which generates financial support for community programs through the power of advertising. In 2016, the Fall River Community Boating Program will serve approximately 150 local participants, teaching skills related to seamanship, safety, responsibility, teamwork, leadership, and respect for the environment. Special reduced rates for Fall River residents are offered to a limited number of young people through Greater Fall River Re-Creation. Youth sailing classes run in two-week periods and are designed to give a basic appreciation of watercraft and sailing safety. . Click here for a  video and here for more photos and text.
The National Council on Aging (NCOA) estimates that one in four older adults suffers from a poor diet. In order to remedy that, Bristol Elder Services has teamed up with Steward Home Care to offer cooking demonstrations at Fall River Housing Authority senior housing sites. A team came to the Mitchell Heights Apartments on South Main Street in Fall River on June 29, 2016 to put on a healthy cooking demonstration for residents there. Bristol Elder COO Judy Klein led the group that included Nutrition Director Debra Carreiro, Supported Housing Case Manager Brittany Kindberg, Home Care Team Manager Beth Calvin and Steward Home Care Community Liaison Julie Livingstone. The group demonstrated a crock-pot recipe for chicken caccitore that is both economical and nutritious. "It's a tried and true recipe," noted Klein who read the recipe aloud while the team brought the ingredients to the table where residents could participate in making the dish. Once it was assembled, the dish was cooked for three-and-a-half hours in crock pots so residents could return to take a portion with them. Click here for a twelve-minute video of the presentation and here for more photos and text.
David Assad, Vice-principal of the Letourneau Elementary School, was recognized with a Massachusetts Walking All Star Award at the first Safe Routes to School Awards Ceremony on June 29, 2016. The event was held in the State House and included MassDOT Chief Strategy Officer, Scott Boswoth, City of Beverly Mayor, Michael Cahill, and Lieutenant Governor, Karyn Polito, among the speakers. According to their Facebook page, "The event recognized all of our partner schools, parent champions, safety officers, school officials, and everyone else who has dedicated themselves to educating and encouraging the students across Massachusetts to walk and bike to school safely. It's been a great school year. Can't wait for the next one." In addition to the Walking All Star Award given to the Letourneau Elementary School, The New Bedford Public Schools received a Measurable Impact Award, ant the Lerow Wood School in Fairhaven received a Biking All-Star Award. Click here for more.
Over 100 persons with mental health disabilities were invited to attend the 7th annual Health & Wellness Fair hosted by Fellowship Health Resources, Inc. (FHR) of Fall River at the East Gate Christian Academy Gym on June 28, 2016. The all-day event kicked-off a year round Healthy Lifestyle Program at FHR Fall River, which is designed to encourage its participants to lead healthier lives and included a healthy lunch and a variety of prizes. The program was made possible through a  Community Impact grant from the Greater Fall River United Way. The Healthy Lifestyles Program is designed to motivate members to manage their weight through fun activities in familiar environments, such as participation in a bowling league. Healthy cooking is also taught at the four FHR group homes and those in independent apartments are invited to join in. Click here for a two-minute video of the event and here for more photos and text.
Family Service Association (FSA) is "on the air" with a public access television show that showcases many important community leaders from the fields of health care, social service, government and other areas. Host Mike Moran  taped two shows on June 23, 2016, one for broadcast in July 2016 and one for broadcast in August. The July show features Janice Velozo and Eric Andrade, both of whom are involved in the Mass in Motion Fall River 1422 Project that works to reduce the rates of high blood pressure and pre-diabetes. A key component of that Project is to encourage people to walk more, and they talks about how the opening of the new Alfred J. Lima Quequechan River Trail will serve that purpose. Mr. Moran then taped another half-hour show to air in August with Partners for a Healthier Community Executive Director David Weed and Outreach and Media Liaison Michael Coughlin who spoke about the range of prevention efforts that are coordinated by Partners that are described in the 2016 Action Plan Summary.. Click here for a link to the shows and here for more photos & text..
The Partners for a Healthier Community Design Team group met on June 22, 2016 in the HealthFirst Community Room to review progress during the second year of the 2014-2016 Action Plan. The group reviewed the 61 goals in the Action Plan using the the eight factors that affect population health status, including 1) Diet & Exercise, 2) Tobacco, Alcohol and Other Drug Use Prevention, 3) Sexual Activity & Infectious Diseases, 4) Access to Dental, Health, Mental Health & Substance Abuse Care, 5) Education, Employment, Income & Disability, 6) Community Safety and Violence Prevention, 7) Family, Cultural and Social Support, and Housing, and 8) Environment and Infrastructure. A summary of the highlights of the past year will be presented to Fall River City Councilors, to the Mayor's Office, and to the Legislative Delegation,. Click here for a pdf copy of the updated Action Plan and here for the 2016 Action Plan Summary. Click here for more photos and text.
Mass in Motion Fall River helped children get ready for the summer by providing free bicycle helmets, minor bicycle adjustments, and safety instruction by setting up at the UMass Dartmouth’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) on Saturday, June 18, 2016. Located next to the South Watuppa bicycle path that will soon join with the Alfred J. Lima Quequechan River Rail Trail to provide over two miles of safe cycling in the heart of Fall River, the event offered free helmets and fittings by Fall River Police Officers Richard Saraiva and assistance by members of the Fall River Bicycle Committee. The helmets were donated by the Fall River Kiwanis Club whose primary mission is to reduce head injuries. More helmet give-away events are planned over the summer. Click here for a one-minute   video at the event and here for more photos and text.
Building Our Lives Drug-free (BOLD) held it's second annual basketball tournament on June 18, 2016 at Ruggles Park. Five teams from both the middle school and the high school division competed for prizes under the direction of Nic Charest of SSTAR. The Mission of the BOLD Coalition is to prevent and reduce alcohol and drug abuse among youth by raising awareness, collaborating with the community to initiate policy change, modifying social norms, educating youth and adults, and promoting healthy activities. The youth program consists of high school-aged students working together as community advocates to help spread the message throughout the surrounding communities. The BOLD Coalition welcomes anyone who lives or work in Fall River, Somerset, Swansea and Westport to participate in any of BOLD’s projects. BOLD is a member of Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA), the national organization of drug abuse prevention coalitions. Click here for a brief video of the tournament and here for more photos and text.
Using information that has supported its approach to reducing obesity, Partners Executive Director Dr. David Weed presented on "A Low-carbohydrate, Whole Foods Approach to Diabetes Treatment" to over 25 participants at the Fall River YMCA on June 18, 2016. Dr. Weed outlined why blood sugar control in pre-diabetes and diabetes can be best achieved by reducing dietary carbohydrates and increasing fat. "The American Diabetes Association has been recommending low-carb diets since 2008, though you would never know it by what you read in the popular literature," noted Weed who has been teaching this way of eating for the past five years. At the end of his presentation, Dr. Weed gave a variety of web sites, including that provide excellent advice, and his own site where people can ask questions. Click here for a one-hour video of the presentation. Click here for the presentation PowerPoint slides and here for more photos and text.
Hundreds of adults and children gathered under the elms at Ruggles Park on a gorgeous June 18th Saturday for the 2016 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, a petting zoo, pony rides, and the ever popular Wiggle Kids bouncy balls. A number of agencies offered information and give-aways to participants, including Mass in Motion Fall River who arranged for a SRTA bus to demonstrate how to load bicycles on the bus for longer trips. 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 of the event and here for more photos and text.
While it is well known that walking is good for one's health, motivating people to walk can be a challenge. People with pre-diabetes or diabetes especially benefit from daily exercise. Clinicians in the Southcoast Health's Diabetes Management Program (DMP) have begun to use the new Alfred J. Lima Quequechan River Trail as an ideal motivator. Over the past year. the project has constructed a bicycle and walking path that runs over a former railroad bed to connect with Britland Park and Rodman Street. Funded by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and by the Gateway City Park Program of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, the trail opens up nearly two miles of a natural habitat right in the middle of some of the lowest income sections of the City. In concert with the recently-funded Fall River Mass In Motion 1422 Project, the Southcoast DMP is now scheduling weekly walks for those who want to reduce their risk of developing diabetes by getting regular exercise. "It's a fabulous place to walk," stated Diabetes Educator Michael See. Click here for more photos and text.
In recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, the Office of  Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn III, with sponsorship from AARP, held an Elder Abuse Prevention Conference — “A Focus on Avoiding Scams, Fraud, and Identity Theft” — on June 15, 2016 at Bristol Community College in Fall River. Conference speakers included BCC President John Sbrega, AARP Massachusetts Director Mike Festa, Consumer Mediator/Outreach coordinator Diane Lopes Flaherty from Attorney General Maura Healey's Office, Coastline Elderly Money Management Program manager Linda Aguiar, AARP Fraud Watch Network volunteer Dennis Hohengasser, and SSTAR Prevention Director Laura Washington. World Elder Abuse Awareness Day was started in 2006 by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization at the United Nations. Click here for a 40-minute video and here for more photos and text..
Students at the Resiliency Preparatory School participated in a day-long Building Our Lives Drug-Free (BOLD) Summit held at the School on June 14, 2016. Following opening remarks by Principal Magdalena Reis, Nic Charest of Stanley Street Treatment and Resources (SSTAR) welcomed the students and introduced April Cabrera of the Bristol County District Attorney's Office who engaged the students in some question and answer exercises about alcohol and other drugs. Following her presentation, four student-created videos dealing with substance abuse were shown and judged by members of the faculty. Students then gave their own presentations in two workshops. Tom Khoury, former substance abuse counselor at B.M.C. Durfee High School, spoke prior to a cookout lunch outside. Following lunch students walked to the office of State Representative Carole Fiola's office to hear a statement from her and to swear in student government members for the 2016-2017 school year. . Click here for a 45-minute video and here for more photos.
Residents of the Holmes Apartments on Essex Street in the City's North End will soon be enjoying vegetables raised right outside their door. Clerk Angel Medeiros worked with the Fall River Housing Authority maintenance crew to construct two raised beds on the east side of the nine-story, 100 unit building and purchased some plants using petty cash. Resident and Tenant Council Association President Inez Patricio now takes care of the two small plots, keeping them watered as needed. "I'm very happy that we came up with this idea to have a garden here," she stated on June 3, 2016 "because I truly enjoy coming out to water every day and take care of it," she added. Peppers, lettuce, cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes and eggplant are already growing along with some basil, parsley and mint. Produce from the garden will be given away to residents on a first-come basis. Click here for a one-minute   video interview of Angel and Inez,.and here for more photos and text.



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 To see all of the web pages describing Healthy City activities, go to In order to send announcements of Healthy City events or to subscribe or unsubscribe to this newsletter, contact the Coordinator at 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.