Minutes for the Meeting of April 11, 2003
Present Michael Coughlin, Michelle Rapoza, Pat Fanning, Lynda
Sampson, Joan Gancarski, Myrna Santos, Bea Medeiros, Karen Statser, Mark Nussman,
Billie Jane Valente, Marcia Picard
A meeting of Partners for a Healthier Community was held on Friday, April 11, 2003 at South Coast Hospital. Chairperson Karen Scott Statser called the meeting to order at 8:45 AM.
The minutes of the March 14, 2003 Steering Committee were circulated in advance.
Financial report for March 2003 was circulated.
REPORT OF WORK GROUPS
Access to Health Care
The group is currently working on the barriers to healthcare survey. We are working with Family Service Association to utilize their survey-scanning equipment. The group is also exploring having the survey translated into other languages. They will target areas such as supermarkets, cultural centers, etc. It is hoped that the survey will be ready around June.
The group is in the process of working on the childhood obesity project and various grants.
The title of the poster contest is "Dreaming of a Better Tomorrow". This will tie in nicely with the Healthy City Initiative. We still do not know if Heritage Park will be open for the awards ceremony. The Mayor’s Youth Summit is May 17th. We have received a substantial grant that will eliminate some of the cost. Information is going out soon to encourage youth to attend and we will be able to provide transportation. Teachers are using this as an incentive in English class. A letter will be going out to various agencies asking them for a two-hour commitment to set up a table.
Health City Initiative
The Initiative is moving along well. There was a Design Team meeting on April 3rd that was well attended with a very positive response. There are now three groups: the Outreach Work Group will be informing the community about the Initiative and taking their input back to the group by the end of August; The Vision to Action Work Group will gather the data from the Outreach Group’s activities to identify and select priorities that will be carried out hopefully in the first year; The Resource Work Group will identify the existing human, financial and in-kind assets and resources that can contribute to the other groups. As this moves along it will be very important to pay attention to similarities between the Health City Initiative and CHNA, as parallel groups do not make sense. It will be important that Initiative remains a community activity, not a CHNA or Mayor’s office activity. It is encouraged that CHNA members are involved as much as possible. There will be a Design Team meeting on June 26th. There is a good amount of info on our website at www.grfrpartners.com .
Regional Center for Healthy Communities
The Center is down to one person. Two positions are vacant and will hopefully be filled soon. The library at the DA’s office is up and running, and many attended the open house last month. Brockton is functional at least four days per week with volunteers overseeing the collection.
DPH Commissioner Christy Ferguson visited Fall River with a Regional Forum at BCC. A presentation was done on the reorganization proposal. The state is trying to meld Veterans Affairs with elder programs and the Veteran’s office clearly wants to remain a separate entity. Most of the time was spent discussing health and human services. The Forum was very well attended. There was discussion about supporting prevention but it was made clear that their need to be cuts somewhere.
Family Service Association was awarded a grant to continue the Peer Mediation program. They are currently looking for three full time staff to work in the four middle schools. This can be a Bachelor’s level person with experience in peer leadership with that age range. The position is guaranteed until 6/04 with a good possibility of renewal.
Westport is smoke free as of 5/15. Rhode Island recently voted against smoke free environments. Boston will have 33 communities smoke free as of January. Although tobacco control money is no longer being used as intended, it is very important that tobacco prevention remain strong.
The WELL Project has ended its five-year grant and completed the Service Map. Copies were distributed to those attending and can be obtained by calling Bea Medeiros at SSTAR.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:30 am. The next meeting for the Partners for a Healthier Community will be held on Friday, May 9, 2003 at the Charlton site of Southcoast Hospitals Group, in the Jackson Conference Room.