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

Greater Fall River 
Health Update
June 2, 2016

Click here for the WalkFallRiver web site

 
Local professionals came together at the Boys and Girls Club for their 39th Annual Spring Training of the Greater Fall River Child Protection Council (CPC) on June 1, 2016. The event, titled "The Ripple Effect" focused on the ever-widening impact of opioid overdose deaths throughout the community. The event was moderated by City Substance Abuse Prevention Grants Coordinator Michael Aguiar, with opening remarks by Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia II. Panelists, including SSTAR Prevention Services Director Laura Washington, Southcoast Health Behavioral Health Outreach Coordinator Rachel Davis, Seven Hills Behavioral Health Community Health Services Director Connie Rocha-Mimosa, and Saint Anne's Hospital Addictions Nurse Specialist Stephanie Perry presented on the issue from each of their perspectives. Formed in 1976 as a project of the Clinical Social Work Department of Saint Anne's Hospital, the Child Protection Council deals with issues and problems related to the network of children's protection care. Click here for a one-hour video of the panel presentation and here for a 45-minute video of the Q&A session. Click here for more photos and text describing the event..
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 Peace By Piece event offered an opportunity to bring Phil Boyte of Learning for Living to conduct a session of Breaking Down the Walls, a program designed to unify, empower and engage students in creating a positive climate at school. Phil's techniques help to reveal truths that stimulate self-reflection and community-building among students. Phil established Learning for Living in 1984 from his vision for building communities of care on campuses around the country. He brought his unique approach to building and strengthening relationship skills on May 27, 2016 to over twenty-five human service professionals and volunteers and over 140 students recruited from Fall River Public Schools. Click here for an hour video of the morning session and here for a 48-minute video of the afternoon session and here for more photos and text describing the day-long session.
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 learn from Phil Boyte of Learning for Living. Phil established Learning for Living in 1984 from his vision for building communities of care on campuses around the country. He brought his unique approach to building and strengthening relationship skills to about thirty human service professionals who work with youth in Greater Fall River. This 45-minute session got participants engaged in getting to know one another in ways they never had before, demonstrating how a caring culture can be created in schools and youth programs.Click here for a 47-minute video of the event and here for more photos and text.
Over 250 parents and students came to the Fonseca Elementary School on May 24, 2016 for a Family Fun Night organized by Partners School Wellness Coordinator Marcia Picard. The program engages both adults and children 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 joined Fitness Leaders Mike and Suzanne Ramos to engage in some fun movement to music as well as Saint Anne's Hospital Nurse Rose Couto to learn about healthy food choices. Participants also had the opportunity to speak with representatives of fifteen agencies including  Partners for a Healthier Community covering its Soda-Free Challenge.. Click here for a 30-minute video of the event and  here for more photos and text about the event.
The American Heart Association of Southern New England held their annual Heart Walk at Mass-Dartmouth on May 21, 2016 to raise much-needed funds and to give people a chance to get some heart-healthy exercise in the process. "I'm here because I lost both my parents four and a half months apart to heart disease," noted Pauline Pavao of Dartmouth. "I said I needed to do something to give back to the community, to give back to help raise awareness. This is something that everyone can come and enjoy," she added. She was joined by iHeart Radio’s Kristin Lessard, Nancy Donnelly's Fitness Studio, and Lifespan Cardiologist Samuel Dudley Jr. before the walk began around the UMass-Dartmouth Ring Road two times. According to Heart Walk Director Andrea Larocque, the walks are also a great opportunity for those who have made lifestyle changes to celebrate and to encourage others to take the pledge to live healthier lifestyles. Click here for a 19-minute video of the event and here for more photos and text.

 

The Presidential Youth Fitness Program is designed to help students lead active and fit lives both in school and later in life. It includes a health-related fitness assessment for each student and tools to help physical educators increase student fitness progress. Students are recognized every step of the way as they achieve their personal best for lifelong health and fitness. About sixty middle school students who excelled on their personal fitness scores were invited to the B.M.C. Durfee High School Luke Urban Field House on May 26, 2016 to compete for awards among their peers. Physical Education District Coordinator Brad Bustin organized the event with the help of many physical education teachers and members of the Durfee Girls' Basketball Team. The event challenged students on the Pacer or Beep Test, the Sit and Stretch Test. the Shuttle Run, and a test of push-ups and sit-ups in a one-minute period. First, second and third place male and female winners were recognized with certificates. Click here for a 30-minute video of the event and here for more photos and text.
A large crew of volunteers and employees from the Lowe's store in Dartmouth descended on the Seventh Street Community Garden on May 19, 2016 at the invitation of State Representative Carole Fiola to complete substantial construction for the new facility. Bank Street Neighborhood Association President Natalie Melo welcomed the group and thanked them for their labor and contribution of over $2,500 in materials, including construction of a tool shed and raised beds, including an area for wheelchair access. "This is a perfect example for the community to look at all of the agencies, both governmental and volunteer, and private corporations that have come together because of the vision that you had," stated Fiola. Greater Fall River Re-Creation Executive Director Grace Gerling thanked both her own Youth Outreach Team and YouthBuild Fall River for their efforts. Click here for a 15-minute   video and here for more photos and text.

 

One hundred eighty-one parents and students came to the Watson Elementary School on May 12, 2016 for a Family Fun Night organized by Partners School Wellness Coordinator Marcia Picard. The program engages both adults and children 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 led in twenty-minute sessions of fun movement to music led by Fitness Leader Mike Ramos and Fall River School Physical Education Teacher Jason Springer. A twenty-minute session on nutrition was led by staff from the UMass SNAP-ED Nutrition Program who prepared a couscous dish. Participants also had the opportunity to speak with representatives of eleven agencies including Partners for a Healthier Community covering its Soda-Free Challenge. Click here for a 36-minute video of the event and here for more photos and text.
Members and guests of the Southcoast Worksite Health & Wellness Collaborative met at the UMass-Dartmouth Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship on May 12, 2016 for the Seventh Annual Conference. The event featured Keynote Speaker Mari Ryan MBA, MHP, CWWPC, CWP, CEO of Advancing Wellness who brought participants up-to-date on the Working on Wellness Program of the Mass. Department of Public Health. Her presentation was followed by a presentation on trends in worksite wellness by Julie Jennings of Sylvia Insurance Company, a wellness break with Jessica Webb of Anchor Yoga and Meditation, and a presentation on healthy vending policy development by Gina Deluca of the RI Department of Health. Click here for a  57-minute video of Mari Ryan's presentation, here for a 37-minute video of Julie Jenning's presentation, here for a 17-minute video of Jessica Webb's presentation, and here for a 35-minute video of Gina Deluca's presentation and here for more photos and text.
Staff from the UMass Extension SNAP-ED Program came to the Fonseca Elementary School on May 12, 2016 to teach lessons on nutrition in kindergarten, and first, second and third grade classes. These 30 or 45 minute classes are offered for four weeks each year to teach students basic information on nutrition that can help children make healthier food choices.  UMass Extension Nutrition Educators Carole Guerin, Sue Loughlin, Carrie Gippo, and Jessica Tabaczynski were among the team that came to the school during that month long series. Throughout Southeast MA, seven SNAP-ED nutrition educators provide classroom education for children in elementary and middle schools in Brockton, Randolph, Fall River, New Bedford and Taunton. In addition, this same staff provides nutrition education programs to families and parents, students in after school and summer school programs, and food demonstrations at farmers' markets. Click here for a five-minute video and here for more photos and text.
Students at the Resiliency Preparatory School participated in a day-long Youth Empowerment Conference held at the School on May 11, 2016 and sponsored by People Incorporated. Following opening remarks by Principal Magdalena Reis, State Representative Carole Fiola began the day with her remarks about succeeding in life, followed by Navy Corpsman Joshua Chiarnini, Boys and Girls Club Executive Director Peter McCarthy, Kuss Middle School Vice-Principal Bob Hargraves, Lead the Baseline CEO Aaron Wilson, Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia II, and Jesse Green "The Machine". English Teacher and Guidance Intern Jan Doyle stated that "we chose those speakers to inspire them to pursue their dreams, go after their goals, and give them their own stories of how they found success." The day also included lunch and recreation in front of the school and fun inflatables and an interactive rain forest reptile show Click here for an hour-long video of the event and here for more photos and text.
About a dozen volunteers and employees of the Fall River Department of Community Maintenance joined forces on May 7, 2017 for the first clean-up of the new recreation area in the center of Fall River. Work on the Quequechan River Rail Trail Project is on track for completion in the summer of 2016. Dedicated to Fall River resident, local historian and retired city planner Al Lima, work continues on the final two stages of the current path that begins at the Westport Town line along South Watuppa Pond. The project has constructed a bicycle and walking path that runs over a former railroad bed to connect with Britland Park and Rodman Street. The rail trail project was funded by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and by the Gateway City Park Program of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. The project follows a plan for a Quequechan River Greenway that includes improvements to Britland Park as well. Plans were first presented in April, 2011 and reviewed in 2012 along with other efforts to make Fall River more bicycle-friendly. Click here for a four-minute video of the clean-up and here for more photos and text.
The Greater Fall River Fitness Challenge held its ninth Finale at the Eagle Performing Arts Center on May 6, 2016 celebrating the conclusion of the four-month series that began on January 9th with over 500 enrolled. Partners Health and Wellness Coordinator Annemarie Holly thanked the participating organizations, including All Generations Fitness, the Fall River YMCA, Fitness Fusion, FitWorks Online, General Fitness. Greater Fall River Re-creation, and TKO Fitness.. The series was sponsored by Partners, Re-Creation, Saint Anne's Hospital, and Southcoast Health. School participants were honored by Partners School Wellness Coordinator Marcia Picard for involving over 6,000 children in special fitness activities this year. The top winning teams were "Sunday Funday" in third place, "BCC Bombers" in second place, and "Mission Slimpossible" in first place. Danika Guadalupe and Lance Tehan took the top women's and men's places and a $500 check each. Altogether, 1,035 pounds. were lost collectively by the participants. Click here to see the video of the event and here for more photos and text.
Kim Baenisch, Executive Director of Trips for Kids Marin (California), paid a visit to the Fall River Boys and Girls Club on May 5, 2016 to assist them in the development of their chapter of the international program that has opened the world of cycling to over 140,500 at-risk youth since 1988 through mountain bike rides and Earn-A-Bike programs. The over 85 Trips for Kids chapters that have been established combine lessons in confidence building, achievement and environmental awareness through the development of practical skills, and the simple act of having fun. "I'm here to see what you've got going on and learn from what you've been doing," stated Baenisch. "We want to know how we can better support Boys and Girls Clubs like yours. That has always been a dream of our Founder, Marilyn [Price], to see a chapter in every Boys and Girls Club." The three met for over an hour to discuss the particulars of ways the organization can support efforts in Fall River and to take back ideas from what is being done locally that could help other chapters around the country. Click here for a 14-minute video and here for more photos and text.
One hundred parents and students came to the South Elementary School in Somerset on May 5, 2016 for a Family Fun Night organized by Partners School Wellness Coordinator Marcia Picard. The program engages both adults and children 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 joined WiggleKids Leader Kim Ferrara for fun sessions with pool noodles and Chef Jessica Williams of Creating Healthy Solutions to learn how to make smoothies using tofu. Participants also had the opportunity to speak with representatives of ten agencies including the Children's Advocacy Center, Greater Fall River Re-Creation, HealthFirst Dental Clinic, JRI Foster Care and Adoption, People Incorporated, Saint Anne's Hospital, Southcoast Health, the WIC Program, and the Swansea YMCA, along with Partners for a Healthier Community covering its Soda-Free Challenge. Click here for a 30-minute video of the event and here for more photos and text.
The Massachusetts Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program promotes healthy alternatives for children and parents in their travel to and from school and educates students, parents and community members on the value of walking and bicycling. About 6,000 students from all eight of the City's elementary schools, two community schools, all five of the middle schools, and the two high schools participated in the Massachusetts Walk and Bike To School Day on May 4, 2016, by walking either to or around their respective schools. "This event is designed to encourage more students to find a way to build walking into their daily routine, whether it's by walking to school or by getting regular exercise during some other time of the day," stated School Wellness Coordinator Marcia Picard who helped to organize the events along with school officials. Click here for a seven-minute   video and here for more photos & text.
Families from Fall River and Somerset with little access to transportation were invited by members of the Seventh Day Adventist Church on North Main Street to watch a healthy cooking demonstration, get their hair cut and styled and give their children some healthy activity on May 1, 2016. Partners Community Outreach Manager Jack Shipley organized the event with the help of volunteers from the Church and transportation funding from a Vela Foundation grant. Dietetic Intern Lexi Cournoyer gave a step-by-step demonstration on how to make a sweet potato with a chili topping and broccoli. Volunteers from Salon 812, Vanitay Salon and Spa and Giselle Hair Studio were also on hand to cut and style hair and staff from the HealthFirst Dental Program  and the WIC Program were also available. Click here for an five-minute video of the event and here for a 27-minute video of the cooking demonstration and here for more photos and text.
Members and friends of NAMI of Bristol County gathered on April 28, 2016 at the Baptist Temple Church on Eastern Avenue in Fall River for a forum and community discussion about mental illness. Chapter President Brenda Venice introduced Baptist Temple Church Pastor Michael Johnson who talked about his own experience as a father of a son with mental illness. Following the airing of two videos, one on the NAMI Connection recovery support group where people with mental illness learn from one another's experiences, Ms. Venice called on Gary Ares and Annette Rego for their own personal stories of dealing with mental illness and substance abuse. Ms. Venice then introduced Case Manager Elsa Maldonado-Soler and Registered Nurse Monique Coe of Caregiver Homes who described their services. The program concluded with an invitation for audience members to respond to a series of questions posed by Ms. Venice. Click here for a one-hour video of the event and here for more photos and text.

 
Over half of Americans now have diabetes or pre-diabetes. If you’re one of them, you should attend this presentation!

A free one-hour presentation at the Fall River YMCA, 199 N. Main Street

Saturday, June 18th @ 10:00 a.m.

No registration required!

For more information, email drweed@cox.net

A Low-Carbohydrate, Whole-Foods Approach to Managing Diabetes

Many clinicians continue to prescribe a low-fat meal plan for diabetes management. While this approach works well for some people, its carbohydrate content may be too high for people who are trying to optimize their blood glucose control or for people who prefer to eat fewer carbohydrates. 

Research has demonstrated that carbohydrate restriction improves insulin resistance. Since 2008, the American Diabetes Association has recognized that low-carbohydrate diets may be effective for weight loss and blood sugar control in people with diabetes and pre-diabetes. 

This one-hour presentation by David S. Weed, Psy.D., Executive Director of Greater Fall River Partners for a Healthier Community, Inc,.will provide a brief review of the research on carbohydrate restriction, discuss its role in diabetes management, and offer practical guidance for those interested in following a low-carbohydrate eating pattern.


 

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.