Click here for the 20th Anniversary Video "Improving Health in Greater Fall River"

Healthy City Fall River
Update - April 3, 2014

Click here for a pdf copy of the Spring 2014 CONNECTION Newsletter

Over 100 homeless families have been placed in motels in Swansea and Somerset by the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). Restrictions only allow microwave ovens and a small refrigerator for each unit, making cooking a healthy meal a huge challenge. To address this problem, volunteers and members of the Swansea First Christian Congregational Church held a Healthy Cooking Day at the Church and arranged transportation so that families could get some ideas about how they can shop wisely and prepare healthy microwave meals. Volunteers Dawn and Raymond Pelletier arranged for chefs from Kajuns Hot Dogs, PieZoni's, Bristol Community College Culinary Arts and Johnson and Wales, and financial support from Cabot Cheese to bring free food and demonstrate a number of easy meals to over 178 people. Click here for a  video of the event and here for more photos.
All Generations Fitness Instructors Susan Eldridge and Nicole Aftsomer led participants in the the twenty-second Fitness Challenge of the 2014 season through an hour of kicks, punches, deep knee bends and leg lifts before gathering the group for a circle exercise in passing a medicine ball. "I always like the creative program that All Generations comes up with," commented Partners Challenge Manager Brittany Bertone. The Challenge is sponsored by Partners  along with Greater Fall River Re-creation, Saint Anne's Hospital, and 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, Striking Beauties, TKO Fitness, Wiggle Kids, and the Fall River YMCA. Click here for a  nine-minute video and here for more photos.
Over 100 advocates heard the call of the South Coast Bikeway Alliance, who is moving forward with a plan for a bikeway from Providence to Provincetown, and attended their fourth annual Summit at Fort Taber in New Bedford on March 27, 2014. The Summit focused on "Building the Southcoast Bikeway" and featured Adventure Cyclist Willie Wier. The program included New Bedford Mayor John Mitchell, South Coast Bikeway Committee Chair Robert Espindola of Fairhaven, David Watson of MassBike, Eric Weis of the East Coast Greenway, Fall River Bicycle Commitee Chairman Brian Pearson, Fall River Mass In Motion Coordinator Julie Kelly, and Fairhaven, Marion, Mattapoisett, Rochester and Middleboro Representative Bill Straus, who chairs the Joint Committee on Transportation. Mr. Wier, who has cycled around the world, shared some of his adventures. Click here for more photos and text.. 
Southcoast YMCA Intake Coordinator Susan Spano Piacenti welcomed participants in the 12-week LiveSTRONG program for cancer survivors to their final "graduation" session at the Fall River Y on March 28th. "This group has spent twelve weeks here working out and learning about health and fitness and nutrition," stated Piacenti. "I'm very proud of them, and, as always, we had fantastic results." She invited any cancer survivors to contact her to enroll in a future class.LIVESTRONG at the YMCA is a twelve-week, small group program designed for adult cancer survivors. This program fulfills the important need of supporting the increasing number of cancer survivors who find themselves in the transitional period between completing their cancer treatment and the shift to feeling physically and emotionally strong enough to attempt to return to their normal life or their "new normal".Click here for a short video and here for more photos.
Senior citizens from Fall River and surrounding towns gather at the Veterans' Memorial on Bank Street on the last Friday of every month to dance to live music by Al Deston and his band. The one held on March 28, 2014 was the first one scheduled by Re-Creation (CD-REC) since the first of the year due to the snowy winter weather on the January and February dates. Re-Creation staff provided refreshments and a soup and sandwich lunch. Dancing provides a terrific opportunity for older persons to get some moderate exercise while enjoying a fun social event. "We have a great time every month," commented band leader Al Deston. "I wish more people would try this," he added. Click here for photos of a previous event. Click here for a short video of the dance and here for more photos and text.
Members and participants in the Social Capital Inc. organization celebrated the work of this year's volunteers at the 7th annual Social Capitalist Luncheon held at the Sheraton Boston on March 26, 2014 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 City Year Senior Vice-President and Dean Charlie Rose and YMCA of Greater Boston CEO Kevin Washington. United Neighbors of Fall River Executive Director Wendy Garf-Lipp delivered the fundraising address appealing for donations to train emerging community leaders. Click here for a 23-minute video of SCI President and Founder David Crowley's opening remarks and Wendy Garf-Lipps fundraising appeal and here for more photos.
Southeastern Regional Transit Authority Executive Director Erik Rousseau was the guest speaker at the Fall River Youth Leadership Council's monthly meeting held at the Fall River Students at B.M.C..Durfee High School on March 26, 2014. This month's meeting focused on transportation. Participants had the opportunity to discuss this top youth concern as well as to gain more knowledge about the public bus transportation system. This contributes to the Council's project of drafting a Youth Master Plan. Fall River Mass In Motion Coordinator Julie Kelly was on hand to support the project as part of her efforts to encourage alternatives to automobile transportation. Click here for more photos and text describing the meeting with Mr. Rousseau and members of the Youth Leadership Council.
Surveys conducted by the Public Health Advocacy Institute (PHAI) at the Northeastern University School of Law show a high demand for smoke-free policies among residents.  PHAI is working with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to encourage the voluntary implementation of building-wide smoke free rules in multiunit dwellings. Jack Shipley of the SouthCoast Healthy Housing and Workplace Initiative (SCHHWI) invited Attorney Christopher Banthin to speak to local landlords and property managers at a forum held on March 26, 2017 in the Fall River Government Center Hearing Room. The presentation was part of a two-year SCHHW initiative of Voices for a Healthy SouthCoast that was announced in September, 2012, following the receipt of a$1 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to develop smoke-free housing and worksites in Fall River, New Bedford and Wareham. Click here for a 57-minute video of the presentation and here for more photos and text.
Saint Annes Hospital Diabetes Educator Rose Couto, R.N, held a diabetes screening event in the Hospital lobby on March 25, 2014, designated by the American Diabetes Association as Diabetes Alert Day. Both Hospital staff and members of the general public were invited to complete a simple questionnaire about weight, age, family history and other potential risk factors for pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes and then had their blood sugar level tested. Many of those tested were Portuguese-speaking. "There's a very high incidence of diabetes in the Portuguese population," noted Ms. Couto, Those who tested high on the screening or on the blood sugar test were referred to their physician for further evaluation. A similar screening was also held  that day at the Southcoast Hospitals on the same day. Click here for a  video and here for more photos
Senior citizens at the Niagara-Maplewood Senior Center have two chances a week to maintain or increase their physical fitness by participating in either a yoga or an exercise group led by a Richard Simmons videotape. Fall River YMCA staff member Susan Spano Piacenti leads the twice-weekly forty-five minute group, and another group follows the instructions of Richard Simmons on a videotape right after. "These groups have been going for over two years," stated Center Director  Patti Linhares. "It's a very dedicated group," she added. Another group led by a Zumba instructor runs every Tuesday at the Flint Senior Center. Pauline Gousie who helped to arrange the series, which will be presented at the South Main and North End Senior Centers as well. Click here for a short video of the classes and here for more photos.
YMCA Southcoast  CEO Gary Schuyler and Vice-President of Operations Nancy Bonell announced a new program to reduce the burden of type 2 diabetes, one of the nation's costliest chronic diseases, at an event held at the New Bedford YMCA"s second floor indoor track on March 25, 2014, Diabetes Alert Day. The Y's Diabetes Prevention Program was described by a series of speakers including YMCA CEO Gary Schuyler, Southcoast Hospitals Certified Diabetes Educator and Exercise Specialist Michael See and Saint Anne's Hospital Certified Diabetes Educator Rose Marie Couto. Based on effective efforts researched by the National Institutes of Health, the program helps people adopt healthy eating and physical activity habits that have been proven to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Click here for more photos and text.


Join the Fall River V-DAY Committee for 

our performance of 


at the Eagle Performing Arts Center, 35 N. Main Street, Fall River

Saturday, April 5th, 8:00 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased for $15 at door or by contacting:
Annemarie Holly- 
Suzanne Ramos-

Free Give-Away and Live Music!

Don't miss the last Winter Market Saturday April 5th, 1:00-3:30 p.m.

Main Street Bakery & Cafe

Quansett Gardens

Paradise Hill Farm

Barken Crafts

Beachouse Baking Company

Douglas Honey

Cynthia's Closet

Local Resources 



Click here
for more information and to register for the conference

Click here for a conference flier

The Southcoast Worksite Health & Wellness Collaborative presents its

5th Annual Worksite Wellness Conference

"New Frontiers in Workplace Wellness"

Thursday, May 1, 2014, 8:00 a.m.- 12:00 p.m.
Advanced Technology & Manufacturing Center
151 Martine Street, Fall River, MA

Registration: $35 ($15 for students)
includes a healthy breakfast


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.