Minutes for the Meeting of February 13, 2004



Joseph Borges

Dr. Stewart Kirkaldy

Lynda Sampson

Elizabeth Connelly-Sylvia

Sue Lown

Myrna Santos

Michael Coughlin

Bea Medeiros

Karen Scott Statser

Tracy Desovich

Julie Miller

Sue Sterrett

Pat Fanning

Robert Oliveira

Sheryl Turgeon

Joan Gancarski

Marcia Picard

Denise Wright


Marin Vat


A meeting of Partners for a Healthier Community was held on Friday, February 13, 2004 at South Coast Hospital. Chairperson Karen Scott Statser called the meeting to order at 8:30 AM.


The minutes of the January 9, 2004 Steering Committee were circulated in advance.

VOTED to approve the Minutes of the January 9, 2004 meeting of Partners for a Healthier Community as circulated.

Financial Report

The Financial report for January, 2004 was presented.

VOTED to approve the Financial Report for January, 2004 as presented.


Access to Health Care

Paul Martin will join the next Access meeting to discuss finalization of the PC video. The survey was compared to surveys that are being used elsewhere, and was found to be different. The survey was presented to a staff person at Family Service Association who does the surveys for that organization and she made appropriate changes. The survey will be translated into Spanish, Portuguese and Khmer. The group will finalize it at the next meeting on February 18th from 8:30-10:00 at Health First 102 County Street.

Healthy Lifestyles

In looking at the description of the group that is on the website, it may be changed. The group may restate their mission statement targeting obesity and heart disease. The group will be developing a position paper on where they stand on issues. The location of meetings has been changed to Durfee High School in the library conference area. Still looking to recruit new members

Healthy Youth

The location of the next meeting has been changed to Durfee High School in the library conference area at 2:45 on 2/25. This change is only for this meeting, as it will involve students and we need to make it directly after school or they will not hang around. We did not have a complete list of who attends to let them know of the change, so pass the word. Met with Christian at the Mayor’s office to plan the Youth Summit on 5/1/04. We are trying to schedule a speaker to speak about choices. Catholic Social Services has a small grant that will help fund the speaker. We will be asking teens what it takes to get them to attend.

Health City Initiative

The Design Team has met recently. Plans being made for the Summit on 3/25. this will be held at BCC from 1:00 – 7:30. There will be a speaker, Judith Kurland, who inaugurated Healthy Boston. If she is not available, there will be someone who worked on this initiative with her. Breakout sessions addressing the five areas will be held. Dinner and entertainment will be provided. There is still a tremendous amount of planning to be done, but we expect this to be a great event.

Nominating Committee

The slate of nominees went out recently. Unfortunately, not as many responded as we had hoped. Officers are: Chairperson – Dr. David Weed; Treasurer – Joseph Borges; Secretary – Robert Oliveira. The position of Vice Chairperson has yet to be filled. Members nominated BJ Valente for this position. Slate membership and officers was accepted.

Partners for Clean Air

With most tobacco funding cut, Partners for Clean Air has consolidated the New Bedford and Fall River areas. Judith Kirkendal is the representative for Fall River. Elizabeth Connolly Sylvia is the director and serves the greater New Bedford area. Elizabeth joined our meeting to discuss what is going on in Massachusetts in terms of tobacco prevention. There is a bill pending that will go to the Governor’s office soon banning all worksite smoking. This will include all restaurants and bars and anywhere that employs more than one employee or more. St. Anne’s Hospital is currently doing a stop smoking program with their patients, but they may soon open this up to the community. Partners for clean air performs spot checks on local retailers when prompted to do so. These checks are not enforced with fines but just for survey purposes. The "Smoke Free Homes Initiative" is promoting smokers, especially with children, not to smoke in their homes. Judith will be attending future Steering Committee meetings.


Michael Coughlin announced that he will be leaving the Department and has accepted the position of Director of Health and Human Services for the City of Fall River. He will begin this position on March 8th.

SSTAR is offering a short-term treatment program for adolescents. This is roughly a five session program offering substance abuse treatment.

Project Aware is offering the "On Track" program, a program for women and adolescents offering case management and help navigating the system and staying connected.


The meeting was adjourned at 9:45 a.m. The next meeting for Partners for a Healthier Community will be held on Friday, March 12, 2004 – Jackson Conference Room – Charlton Memorial Hospital

The Mayor has recently met with Fall River and surrounding community officials in regards to the heroin problem in Fall River. David Weed will be writing a letter for us to send to the Mayor showing our support for this endeavor.

The Big Friends/Little Friends program, a mentoring program run by Family Service Association will be making its media debut next week.

Medicall has been refunded thanks to help from the South Coast Community Benefit Fund and Blue Cross/Blue Shield. Letters will be going out to area doctors recruiting their participation.


The meeting was adjourned at 9:45 a.m. The next meeting for Partners for a Healthier Community will be held on Friday, February 13, 2004 - Jackson Conference Room - Charlton Memorial Hospital.

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