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

Greater Fall River 
Health Update
March 2, 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.

UMass-Dartmouth College of Nursing students, who are part of a Global Health Collaborative, came to the Congregational Christian Church in Somerset, MA on February 28, 2015 to provide a health screening to families living in the area, an event also sponsored by The Church of Our Savior in Somerset. "This is our second screening effort here in the Fall River Area," stated UMass-Dartmouth College of Nursing Professor Paula Walsh. The group met first in Haiti and then  traveled to Mississippi before choosing do health screenings in the Fall River/New Bedford Area. The clinic offered basic health screening and referrals to local resources for families. Transportation for the families was provided by People Incorporated and by Partners through a Vela Foundation grant. The project was organized by UMass-D Assistant Professor Maryellen Brisbois and Wendy Garf-Lipp, Executive Director of United Neighbors of Fall River and Chairperson of the Coalition for Health and Well-Being. Click here for a six-minute video of the event and here for more photos and text.
The seventh session on nutrition was held on February 28th in the second floor classroom at 72 Bank Street as part of the Eighth Annual Greater Fall River Fitness Challenge  The 45-minute discussion led by Southcoast Health Registered Dietitian and Diabetes Educator Amanda Raposo gave participants the chance to ask questions about their own nutrition challenges. 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 loss. The Challenge offers low cost opportunities for those who live, work or attend school in the Greater Fall River Area. Click here for photos and video of the Challenge event held just prior to the session and here for photos and video of the Week Six group. Click here for more photos and text describing the Nutrition Challenge group.
The seventh week of the Eighth Annual Greater Fall River Fitness Challenge  brought over 80 participants to Re-creation headquarters on February 28, 2015 for an hour-long session led by Greg Medeiros of Fitness Fusion. After a warm-up, the group was divided into four teams, each of which had to do a number of exercises after running to three separate finish lines while the other three groups did weight lifts, knee bends and funning in place, "It was a tough work-out," commented Challenge Participant Sophie Comas. Following a demonstration of table tennis by members of the Smash Table Tennis Club, about twenty participants headed upstairs where Dietitian Amanda Raposo led a discussion on people's progress in cutting carbs in their diet. The Challenge includes programs provided by All Generations Fitness, 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 13-minute video of the Saturday event and here for more photos.
The newly refurbished Fall River Y on North Main Street, part of YMCA Southcoast held an open house on February 26, 2015, to show people more of the facility in order to interest them in signing up. Membership Coordinator Michelle Alves led guests through the four-story facility, showing off the pool and new locker rooms, the gymnasium, and dozens of exercise machines in the new Wellness Center. "All of our equipment is state-of-the art," stated Alves to Leon Remy and Valerie Bain as they took a 20-minute tour. "We offer programs as well to help people who've never used a fitness facility before a chance to get started," she added.. The hundred-year-old building has been going through a $10 million renovation of the entire facility over the past year. Work is expected to be completed later this spring. Click here for the Herald News Story about the facility. Click here for photos of the recent dedication of the Wellness Center. Click here for more photos and text about the tour..
Residents of the Cottell Apartments on Pleasant Street in the Flint met with Lydia Silva, a local expert on Permaculture, Mass in Motion Coordinator Julie Kelly, Healthy City Fall River Coordinator David Weed,Parnters Community Outreach Manage Brian Moses and Partners School Wellness Coordinator Marcia Picard on February 25, 2015 to discuss plans for a garden next to the building. Permaculture is a branch of ecological design that seeks to meet human needs by creating regenerative social, economic and agricultural systems. The group discussed possible plantings and related issues of accessibility, fencing, labor and design. Ms. Silva will put together a plan from the discussion and will return to meet with the residents in several weeks before she places the order for the plants. Work on creating the garden will then begin in April with assistance from the Fall River Housing Authority. "The residents are clearly excited about having a garden they can design and benefit from," remarked Mass in Motion Coordinator Julie Kelly who initiated the project. Click here for a12-minute video and here for more photos.
Plans for an eventual passenger rail link between Fall River and Boston, including the development of stations in New Bedford, were described at a meeting of the South Coast Commuter Rail Task Force on February 25, 2015 at the Whaling Museum National Park. Current South Coast Rail plans include foot and bicycle connections between neighborhoods, the station and the nearby waterfront that will have a pedestrian-friendly urban boulevard lined with attractive buildings. New Bedford City Planner, Jill MacLean, reported on plans for the two rail stations that are being planned for New Bedford, one at King's Highway and the other, Whale's Tooth, downtown just to the east of Route 18.. Click here for a 27-minute video of the meeting and her presentation. Click here for photos of an earlier meeting in Fall River. Click here for more photos and text describing the meeting at the New Bedford Whaling National Park.
The sixth session on nutrition was held on February 21st in the second floor classroom at 72 Bank Street as part of the Eighth Annual Greater Fall River Fitness Challenge  The half-hour discussion led by Southcoast Health Registered Dietitian and Diabetes Educator Amanda Raposo gave participants the chance to ask questions about their own nutrition challenges. 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 loss. The Challenge offers low cost opportunities for those who live, work or attend school in the Greater Fall River Area. Click here for photos and video of the Challenge event held just prior to the session and here for photos and video of the Week Five group.  Click here for more photos and text describing the Week Six Nutrition Challenge group.
The sixth week of the Eighth Annual Greater Fall River Fitness Challenge  brought over 50 participants to Re-creation headquarters on February 21, 2015. The session began with a 15-minute pre-workout discussion with Chef Jessica Williams, DTR, of Creating Healthy Solutions. That was followed by a 45-minute work-out led by Susan Eldridge of All Generations Fitness, Following the workout, Dietitian Amanda Raposo led a discussion on how to eat for both health and weight loss. 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 13-minute video of the Saturday event and here for more photos.
Team members prepared to conduct the annual point-in-time count of homeless persons for the Community Development Agency starting on February 18, 2015. The Department of Housing and Urban Development mandates that communities across the nation perform a count of homeless at the end of every January. This year's excessive snow presented additional challenges this year. "While we expect to see fewer homeless outdoors this year, just getting around to find people has been a much bigger challenge," commented Community Development Agency Planning and Housing Coordinator Mary Camara. The teams walked the streets and visited public places such as fast food restaurants, soup kitchens, and laundro-mats. They also visited areas in search of unaccompanied youth. Youth who agreed to complete a survey were offered a $20 gift certificate as an incentive.. Click here for a brief video about the survey or here for more photos and text.

Students from the Boys and Girls Club, Citizens for Citizens Making Proud Choices, and B.M.C. Durfee High School joined dozens of others at the Elks Lodge on February 17, 2015 to stuff envelopes for A Wish Come True's annual fundraiser. The group helped to get over 24,000 envelopes stuffed with notices of the April 24th event at the Venus deMilo Restaurant. For more than 32 years, A Wish Come True, Inc. has been granting wishes to children age 3 through 18 who suffer from life threatening illnesses, and live in Rhode Island and parts of southeastern Massachusetts. A Wish Come True gives children and their families a chance to set aside the illness, and have opportunities to do things or go places other children and families experience. The mission and goal is to grant every medically qualified child “one memorable wish.” Volunteers are the key to this organizations’ long, successful history of putting smiles on the faces of some very courageous children. Click here for a three-minute video of the event and here for more photos and text.. 

 
Over fifty elementary, middle and high school kids came to Greater Fall River ReCreation for two days of a basketball clinic during the winter school vacation on February 17and 18, 2015. Students had the chance to learn new skills and to sharpen their game through both instruction and free play. The event was scheduled during a period of many days of school closings due to record amounts of snow and provided lots of much-needed physical activity for the boys and girls who participated. The free event was the brain child of Jeremy Lavoie, a 2009 graduate of B.M.C. Durfee High School who is currently enrolled in Manhattan College, and Fall River School Physical Education Teacher Jason Springer. Bolunteer Kyle Whalen assisted with much of the coaching. Mr. Lavoie used basketball to help him stay focused in graduate high school and further his education in college and he wanted to pay that forward. Click here for a two-minute video of the event and here for more photos and text.
The fifth session on nutrition held as part of the Eighth Annual Greater Fall River Fitness Challenge held in the second floor classroom at 72 Bank Street for 45-minute discussion about nutrition and cholesterol led by Southcoast Health Registered Dietitian and Diabetes Educator Amanda Raposo  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 loss. 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, Wiggle Kids, and the Fall River YMCA. Click here for a 44-minute video of the discussion and here for more photos and text.
The fifth week of the Eighth Annual Greater Fall River Fitness Challenge  brought over 70 participants to Re-creation headquarters on Valentine's Day, February 14, 2015. Led by Tabitha Gendreau of FitWorks, the event began with a distribution of paper hearts and a group photo before a 45-minute cardio-workout. Following the workout, Dietitian Amanda Raposo led a discussion on cholesterol and healthy diet recommendations for both weight loss and heart health. 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 an eleven-minute video of the Saturday event and here for more photos and text.
Members of the Southcoast Worksite Health & Wellness Collaborative enjoyed a presentation on February 12, 2015 on the upcoming Heart Walk that will be held on June 7, 2015 in downtown Providence, RI. Heart Walk Director Amanda Komorek and Heart Walk Manager Alyssa Feit described the upcoming event and the ways that worksite can get their employees involved.  "For the first time ever, we're moving it to downtown Providence.  . . at Station Park which is right across from the Mall and by Amtrak and the State House," said Amanda. "For the past 25 years we've been at Colt State Park in Bristol, but we outgrew it," she added. She then went on to describe how employers could get their employees signed up for the event on-line. 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. Past meetings have focused on healthy eating, stress in the workplace, ergonomics,  CPR, and on substance abuse. Click here for a 17-minute video of the presentation and here for more photos & text.
Over twenty providers and school staff joined nearly 200 parents and children for the Letourneau Elementary School Family Fun Night on February 11, 2015. Partners School Wellness Coordinator Marcia Picard congratulated the parents for braving the cold weather and snowy streets to come out for 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 Partners for a Healthier Community covering its Soda-Free Challenge. Click here for an 28-minute video of the event and here for more photos and text about the event.
About twenty participants in the School Community-Partnership met together on February 10, 2015 in the Tradewinds at BMC Durfee High School to learn about Motivational Interviewing from Robert Jope, LMHC of the New Bedford Site Office of the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health. As Mr. Jope explained, Motivational Interviewing is a collaborative, goal-oriented style of communication with particular attention to the language of change. The techniques in this kind of communication are especially helpful in working with someone around a change in behavior, whether its the use of substances, a health-behavior change or some other problematic behavior. Mr. Jope outlined some of the principal skills and strategies that this type of counseling uses including the use of open questions, affirmations, reflective listening and summaries. Click here for an one-hour  video of Mr. Jope's presentation. Click here for his PowerPoint slides. Click here for photos and video from a previous meeting. Click here for more photos and text.
Following four weeks of the Mental Toughness process, program staff announced the 29 new YouthBuld Program students chosen to continue their participation in the Class of 2016 at a meeting on February 6, 2015. Believing that some in the classroom would not be chosen, all were relieved to learn that they were all going to have the opportunity to complete the nine-month program that includes G.E.D. education and vocational training. A loud cheer went up in the room when Program Director Carmen Richardi made the announcement as each of the students were hoping they would be selected. They then went into the next room to participate in a "Toast For Change!" ceremony where each offered their thanks for being included and their hopes for completing the program. "This is to a better me, a better future for me and my family, and also thank you to the staff," said Ryan Enos during her Toast,  Click here for a 13-minute video of the announcement and following ceremony and here for more photos and text.
People with mobility impairments often have difficulty finding opportunities to be active. Wheelchair-bound Paul Rebello thought there had to be some way to make local resources available to others with disabilities, so he made some phone calls which led to the opening of the Driscoll Skating Arena near B.M.C. Durfee High School to dozens of people who might never experience the fun of moving on ice. Working the State Representative Carole Fiola, arrangements were made to open the arena on February 5, 2017 to groups from around the area. Once arrangements were made, students from Durfee High School and people from the Southeast Center for Independent Living and the Crystal Springs School gathered at the private rink for an hour of fun on ice. Plans are now underway to arrange for a trip to the Bioreserve. Click here for a four-minute video of the event and here for more photos and text describing the event.
Mass in Motion Fall River Coordinator Julie Kelly pulled together a planning team on February 4, 2015 in response to a $9,850 grant by the Mass Council on Aging to explore ways to encourage walking among senior citizens in Fall River. The meeting also reviewed a plan to develop a permaculture garden at the Cottell Apartment Senior High Rise in the Flint. Julie introduced Partners Executive Director David Weed who reviewed a survey of neighborhood markets done in 2010 and Eric Andrade who described a senior citizen walk audit that he coordinated in 2014. The group then discussed the kinds of information that new surveys would need to capture in order to design incentives to encourage more senior citizens to walk to some of the neighborhood markets in the Flint and South End of the City. Lydia Silva, a local expert on Permaculture, then described a project she will coordinate in the spring to plant berries and fruit-bearing trees that could provide fruit and nuts that could be made available to the public with little or none of the work that community gardens require. Click here for a nine-minute video and here for more photos and text.
Parents of children at the Silvia Elementary School were invited to attend a Parent Cafe at the school on February 4, 2015 to engage them in dialogue with one another about their parenting experiences. Eighty-six parents and their children joined 25 staff at the free event that included a pasta dinner for the parents and their children, a separate activity session for the children and a structured group exercise that got parents talking about the Protective Factors that parents need to raise healthy and secure children. Similar sessions are being used across the country as effective vehicles for engaging parents, families, and communities in conversations that matter! Parent Cafes are fun, engaging, inclusive and culturally competent. They also provide a wonderful opportunity to hear parent and family voices and develop parent and family leadership in organizations and communities. Click here for a 24-minute video of the event and here for more photos and text.

 
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Health Equity in Action

Free training presented by the Community Health Training Institute. Tuesday, March 03, 2015, 9:00am - 3:30pm at the Mulligan Center for Health Promotion, Brockton, MA.

What does health equity mean on the ground? What does it look like to work together toward more equitable communities and how do we do it? This interactive training will prepare coalitions leaders and members to answer these and other questions. Participants will explore and share strategies for increasing meaningful participation of diverse populations in the planning and decisions of local health coalition initiatives.

Click here for more details and registration.


 
5th Annual South Coast Bike Summit

South Coast Bikeway Alliance 5th Annual Bicycle Summit 

Thursday, March 26th

White's of  Westport (from 6 PM-7:30 PM)

Featured speaker is Nicole Freedman, Boston's bicycle czar and former Olympic Competitor.  Networking begins at 5:30 PM with speakers beginning at 6 PM.

Click here for details and pre-registration


 

 

 

There's still time to sign up for the Greater Fall River Fitness Challenge! 

The 8th Annual Greater Fall River Fitness Challenge is half over, but you can still get in on the action for only five dollars for the remaining ten weeks of fun, fitness and nutrition training that will transform your life!

For more information and to register 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-related14.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.