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

Greater Fall River 
Health Update
March 1, 2017

Click here for the new WalkFallRiver web site

 
The Fall River School-Community Partnership held another in a series of educational presentations on February 28, 2017, this time with Nwando Ofokansi, Education Programs Coordinator for the Katie Brown Educational Program.  Nwando spoke on "Community Relations and Allyship" to a large group of educators and human service professionals at Diman Regional Vocational High School. Allyship, as defined by the Anti-Oppression Network, is an active, consistent, and arduous practice of unlearning and re-evaluating, in which a person of privilege seeks to operate in solidarity with a marginalized group of people  The School-Community Partnership consolidates all youth development planning and coordination activities for the Fall River Schools has created a single group to oversee all issues that affect youth, including youth substance abuse and violence prevention and any intervention involved in preventing youth risk behaviors. Click here for a two-minute video of part of the presentation and here for more photos and text.
The sixth week of the Tenth Annual Greater Fall River Fitness Challenge  brought 82 participants  to Kuss Middle School on February 25, 2017 for a one-hour workout led by Greg Medeiros of Fitness Fusion that included jumping jacks, curls with hand weights, knee lifts, squats, sit-ups or leg lifts, and wall sits before finishing with some stretches. Sponsored by Greater Fall River Re-creation, Partners for a Healthier Community, Saint Anne's Hospital, Southcoast Hospitals, the Challenge includes programs provided by Cat Studio,  Fitness Fusion, Tabi's Transformations, General Fitness. Greater Fall River Re-creation, Salt Fitness Cafe, TKO Fitness, Vitality Fitness and both them Swansea 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. Those who have registered by the end of January are eligible for cash prizes to be awarded at the Challenge Finale on April 21st. Click here for a thirteen-minute video and here for more photos and text.
Partners Executive Director Dr. David Weed presented another session in the series on "How to Lose Weight Without Going Hungry" as part of  the Greater Fall River Fitness Challenge. The series is offered to Challenge participants who are attempting to lose weight in the Challenge through exercise, though research is clear that exercise is not a good for long-term weight loss. Low carbohydrate, high fat diets, on the other hand, have repeatedly been  demonstrated to lead to significant weight loss, especially when compared to low-fat, calorie-restricted approaches. In this session, Dr. Weed and Southcoast Registered Dietitian Amanda Raposo talked about the challenges of maintaining a low-carb, high-fat diet when one eats away from home. Click here for a 49-minute video of the presentation and here for more photos and text.

Partners for a Healthier Community, Inc. was invited by Pam Wildnauer, Program Director of the Citizens for Citizens (CFC) Head Start Program, to provide a staff workshop on February 22, 2017 on healthy snacks for preschoolers. Partners Steering Committee Secretary and United Neighbors of Fall River, Executive Director Wendy Garf-Lipp, Partners' School Wellness Coordinator Marcia Picard, and Partners Executive Director Dr. David Weed presented the hour-long session to help Head Start teachers make better choices for snacks served in school. Unlike school meals, the government does not prescribe the contents of snacks that parents serve, so the session was designed to help teachers advise parents on good choices. Wendy began the session by asking groups of teachers their ideas of what constitutes the components of a healthy snack. She then challenged them to rate a series of common snack items and to suggest which ones meet those criteria. Click here for a 53-minute video of the presentation and here for more photos and text.

Over thirty elementary, middle and high school kids came to the first day of a three-day basketball camp during the winter school vacation on February 21, 2017. Students had the chance to learn new skills and to sharpen their game through both instruction and free play. The event 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 his friend, Jason Springer. A number of volunteers, including Ronald Cabral, assisted with 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 three-minute video and here for more photos and text.
The Gates of Hope Food Pantry in the former Davol School on Flint Street was the recipient of the first delivery of frozen food donated by Harvard-Pilgrim Health Care in December, 2016. A $10,000 grant was awarded to Fall River's Mass in Motion Program and Partners for a Healthier Community, Inc. to purchase freezers for the City's food pantries as well as $2,000 for frozen food to stock the freezers. "We're very grateful for this grant," explained Faith Scallion who operates the Flint Street facility. "We often receive donations of frozen food but have no way of storing it so it can be distributed to families in need. This donation is wonderful," she added. Frozen food is known to be as or even more nutritious than fresh produce and is usually less costly and less wasteful, especially for single persons. Gregory Byrne of Harvard-Pilgrim Health Care was on hand on February 17th to see the operation in action. Click here for a one-minute video and here for more photos and text.
The fifth week of the Tenth Annual Greater Fall River Fitness Challenge  brought 83 participants  to Kuss Middle School on February 18, 2017 for a one-hour Fuze Cardio Dance workout led by Jessica Williams and Luciana Reed of Cat Studio. Sponsored by Greater Fall River Re-creation, Partners for a Healthier Community, Saint Anne's Hospital, Southcoast Hospitals, the Challenge includes programs provided by Cat Studio,  Fitness Fusion, Tabi's Transformations, General Fitness. Greater Fall River Re-creation, Salt Fitness Cafe, TKO Fitness, Vitality Fitness and both them Swansea 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. Those who have registered by the end of January are eligible for cash prizes to be awarded at the Challenge Finale on April 21st. Click here for a twelve-minute video and here for more photos and text.
Partners Executive Director Dr. David Weed presented another session in the series on "How to Lose Weight Without Going Hungry" as part of  the Greater Fall River Fitness Challenge. The series is offered to Challenge participants who are attempting to lose weight in the Challenge through exercise, though research is clear that exercise is not a good for long-term weight loss. Low carbohydrate, high fat diets, on the other hand, have repeatedly been  demonstrated to lead to significant weight loss, especially when compared to low-fat, calorie-restricted approaches. In this session, Dr. Weed talked about cereals and fiber, pointing out that, while cereals do not belong in a low-carbohydrate diet, fiber does and can be obtained in fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Click here for a 36-minute video and here for more photos and text.
Massachusetts Safe Routes to School (SRTS) held a Winter Forum on February 16, 2017 at the Union Station in Worcester to explore what equity means in the context of Safe Routes to School. Partners School Wellness Coordinator Marcia Picard was invited to present her experience in Fall River in developing walking school bus programs at four schools over the past three years. Her case study looked at how programs at the Doran, Letourneau, Fonseca and Viveiros schools began and what is keeping them sustained over time. "We worked with schools where we thought we could improve attendance," stated Picard. "The fact that there's a possibility that you can improve your attendance rate, that's what resonated with the school system, not the physical fitness," she added. Following Picard's remarks, Michelle Norman of the Springfield Public Schools and Martha Hevenor of the Cape Cod Commission talked about their challenges and their successes. Click here for a 22-minute video and here for more photos and text.
The Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) received a two year planning grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to collect baseline data and design a longitudinal research study that will measure the impact of environmental conditions, particularly mixed-income, mixed-use, transit oriented real estate development (“TOD”) projects, on health in nine Eastern  Massachusetts neighborhoods. The research study will track environmental conditions and health in neighborhoods targeted for investment in such TOD projects compared to environmental conditions and health in control neighborhoods with similar demographics, built environments and health outcome characteristics over a five- to ten-year period. The study tracks neighborhood changes across multiple domains to include economic, social, behavioral, environmental, and health outcome indicators. On February 15, 2017, members of the survey teams from Fall River and New Bedford met at the Fall River YMCA to a first report of the findings of the survey.  Click here for a 12-minute video and hear for more photos and text.
The fourth week of the Tenth Annual Greater Fall River Fitness Challenge  brought dozens of participants to General Fitness on February 11, 2017 where participants could choose between Zumba led by Pauline Sousa and spinning led by Lynette Gomes. Sponsored by Greater Fall River Re-creation, Partners for a Healthier Community, Saint Anne's Hospital, Southcoast Hospitals, the Challenge includes programs provided by Cat Studio,  Fitness Fusion, Tabi's Transformations, General Fitness. Greater Fall River Re-creation, Salt Fitness Cafe, TKO Fitness, Vitality Fitness and both them Swansea 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. Those who have registered by the end of January are eligible for cash prizes to be awarded at the Challenge Finale on April 21st. Click here for a ten-minute video and here for more photos.
Partners Executive Director Dr. David Weed presented another session in the series on "How to Lose Weight Without Going Hungry" as part of  the Greater Fall River Fitness Challenge. The series is offered to Challenge participants who are attempting to lose weight in the Challenge through exercise, though research is clear that exercise is not a good for long-term weight loss. Low carbohydrate, high fat diets, on the other hand, have repeatedly been  demonstrated to lead to significant weight loss, especially when compared to low-fat, calorie-restricted approaches. In this session, Dr. Weed talked about why fat does not cause heart disease and is actually protective, while refined carbohydrates and sugars produce Very Low Density Lippoproteins (VLDL) that are associated with the development of cardiovascular disease. Click here for a 36-minute video of the presentation and here for more photos and text.
The Massachusetts Teachers Association’s (MTA) Division of Training and Professional Learning and Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III teamed up to offer a Safe School Summit, a day of continuing education on February 11, 2017 at Bristol Community College. Topics included creating trauma-sensitive classrooms, fostering resilience, building a suicide-safer school district and more. The program was designed for teachers, education support professionals, principals, school adjustment counselors, school resource and law enforcement officers, school nurses, superintendents, deans and community partners. Safe School Summits bring together educators, elected officials, law enforcement and judicial personnel, social and health services providers, parents and community members to discuss and develop strategies that ensure safe, healthy school climates conducive to learning and teaching.  Click here for the Herald News article and here for more photos and text.
Winter Storm Niko, the 14th named winter storm of the 2016-17 season, cranked up in the Northeast and New England on February 9, 2017, dumping more than a foot of snow in some areas and bringing blizzard conditions to parts of the coast. Boston officially reached blizzard criteria for the first time in two years. As a result, schools were closed in the city Thursday and Friday, and hundreds of flights were canceled at Boston Logan International Airport. Snowfall totals in Fall River neared the one foot mark and resulted in parking bans and snow shoveling pain. It also provided dozens of adults and children the chance to get out to enjoy some sledding at Kennedy Park, a perennial favorite for those seeking great hills and no traffic worries. A stop by the Park on Saturday morning following another three inches of snow overnight found children, young adults and families having a winter blast and getting some great exercise at no cost. Click here for Herald News photos and here for more photos.
The second Family Fun Night of the new year took place at the William S. Greene Elementary School on February 8, 2017. Partners School Wellness Coordinator Marcia Picard welcomed 260 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 by the UMass Extension Nutrition Education Program and one on movement with Kim Ferrara and Ashley Field of WiggleKids. Participants also had the opportunity to speak with representatives of eighteen agencies including Partners for a Healthier Community covering its Soda-Free Challenge. Click here for a 30-minute video and here for more photos and text.
Dozens of volunteers came together at the Boys and Girls Club on Bedford Street on February 6, 2017 to stuff envelopes for A Wish Come True's annual fundraiser. The group helped to get over 22,000 envelopes stuffed with notices of the April 29th fundraiser at the Venus deMilo Restaurant. For more than 23 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.” A Wish Come True, Inc. was the first organization of its kind in this area, granting wishes to 12 children in the first year and now averages approximately a wish a week. 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 3-minute video and here for more photos & text.
The third week of the Tenth Annual Greater Fall River Fitness Challenge  brought 120 participants to Kuss Middle School on February 4, 2017 for a one-hour workout led by Greg Medeiros of Fitness Fusion. Greg put a dozen teams through a series of challenging moves that kept everyone's heart beating right up to the cool down at the end. Sponsored by Greater Fall River Re-creation, Partners for a Healthier Community, Saint Anne's Hospital, Southcoast Hospitals, the Challenge includes programs provided by Cat Studio, Fitness Fusion, Tabi's Transformations, General Fitness. Greater Fall River Re-creation, Salt Fitness Cafe, TKO Fitness, Vitality Fitness and both them Swansea 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. Registration is open through the end of January. Click here for a 14-minute video and and here for more photos and text.

 

Partners Executive Director Dr. David Weed and Katie Beth Wright presented another session in the on "How to Lose Weight Without Going Hungry" to 25 participants on February 4, 2017 as part of  the Greater Fall River Fitness Challenge. The series is offered to Challenge participants who are attempting to lose weight in the Challenge through exercise, though research is clear that exercise is not a good for long-term weight loss. Low carbohydrate, high fat diets, on the other hand, have repeatedly been  demonstrated to lead to significant weight loss, especially when compared to low-fat, calorie-restricted approaches. Dr. Weed explained why grains, such as found in bread and other baked goods, often leads to weight gain while low-carb food choices can result in weight loss. Click here for a 47-minute video of the presentation and here for more photos and text.

 

The Fall River Youth Violence Prevention Task Force identified safe spaces for young people to gather in the community as  one of the top priorities for youth. As a pilot event that will help the task force launch a safe places initiative, the Mayor's Youth Council and the Citizens for Citizens Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program worked with the  Fall River Boys and Girls Club to create a Teen Night at the Club on Friday, February 3, 2017 from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. The event was a free fun night for high school students with a three on three basketball tournament with prizes, music, pizza and more. Close to a hundred teens showed up for the three-hour event that was staffed by volunteers from the Club, the Youth Council and CFC. "We're going to be planning a bunch of Teen Nights throughout the rest of the year, and this is the first one to kick off" stated Club Teen Director Mimi Larrivee. Teens will pay $20 to cover costs of food and beverages for the entire series.  Click here for a three-minute video and here for more photos and text.
On February 1, 2017 eight female students from Diman Regional and Durfee High Schools attended the first of several Women Action Voices Empowerment (WAVE) group meetings that will be inviting women community leaders as special guests. City Councilor Linda was the first of those guests, and she spoke about growing up in Fall River, her employment experiences, and her leadership role in the City Council. The students then had the opportunity to ask questions of Ms. Pereira. The WAVE group is a project of United Neighbors of Fall River and Partners and is led by SCI Volunteer Jay Wong and Diman Regional Adjustment Counselor Michaela Hetzler. The group teaches health, guidance, advocacy, empowerment and academic support to participants. Click here for an eight-minute video of the beginning of the meeting and here for more photos and text.
Children at the Frank M. Silvia Elementary School were invited to spend time during their school day engaged in play on Global School Play Day, February 1, 2017. According to Peter Gray of Psychology Today, children are designed, by nature, to spend huge amounts of time playing freely. That's how they develop social, emotional, and physical skills, and it's how they become creators and innovators. It's how they learn to take charge of their own lives. Today's children have less opportunity to play than their parents had and far less opportunity than their grandparents had, and we are seeing the consequences. Rates of childhood anxiety, depression, and suicide are at all-time highs; creativity is declining, and so is empathy. The Silvia School was one of hundreds of schools across the world to take part in "School Play Day, spending about 45 minutes throughout the day using their imaginations and improving team building. Click here for a six-minute video and here for more photos and text.
The Leduc Center for Civic Engagement at UMass-Dartmouth, the Southeastern MA Food Security Network (SMFSN), the Southeastern Massachusetts Agricultural Partnership (SEMAP), Coastline Elderly Services, and the Marion Institute  collaborated to hold a three-hour forum at the Charlton College of Business Learning Pavilion and Auditorium on February 1, 2017. Following a Keynote by Project Bread Executive Director Ellen Parker, seven local innovators presented short summaries of their innovations and challenges, and four expert panelists responded and answered questions from the audience of about 150. All enjoyed light, locally-sourced cuisine prepared by the University food service. The SMFSN is a coalition of food pantries, farms, foundations, and social service agencies working together to promote food security in Southeastern Massachusetts. Click here for the Standard-Times article. Click here for a two-hour video and here for more photos & text.
Seniors at the Hillman Street Senior Support Center heard Partners for a Healthier Community Executive Director Dr. David Weed give a 45-minute presentation on low-carbohydrate, high-fat diets for both weight loss and resolution of diabetes on January 31, 2017. Dr. Weed gave most of his 60-minute talk on the subject so that those in attendance could learn why eating more fat and fewer carbohydrates such as bread, potatoes and sugar-sweetened beverages and desserts can help to normalize blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Dr. Weed's presentation is based on over ten years of research that largely contradicts what most people have learned about healthy diets. "What we've been told about the health effects of dietary fat and not been told about the effects of sugar and refined grains has resulted in forty years of increased weight gain and metabolic disorders in America and around the world," stated Dr. Weed, a clinical psychologist who has both studied and followed a low-carbohydrate diet for the past eight years. For more information about low-carb diets go to his web page. Click here for a 47-minute video 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 www.healthycityfallriver.org. To see all of the web pages describing Healthy City activities, go to http://www.gfrpartners.com/HealthyCity-related16.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.