Minutes for the Meeting of April 11, 2008


BJ Valente

Fran Fuller

Joan Gancarski

Mike Coughlin

Bea Medeiros


David Weed

Pat Fanning


Marcia Picard

Karen Scott-Statser


Roger Dextradeur

Russell Munson

Stephanie Patton

A meeting of Partners for a Healthier Community was held on Friday, April 11, 2008 at the Surgical Conference Room at Charlton Hospital in Fall River.  BJ Valente called the meeting to order at 8:30 AM.  


The minutes of the March 14, 2008 Steering Committee were circulated in advance.

VOTED to approve the Minutes of the March 14, 2008 meeting of Partners for a Healthier Community as circulated.

Financial Report

Financial Report was circulated at the meeting.

VOTED to approve Financial Report through April 10, 2008.  (attached)

Report of Work Groups

Access to Health Care


Healthy Lifestyles

No meeting in March.

No date has been determined for their next meeting.

Healthy Youth

Jamison Souza was not at this meeting today.  BJ Valente reviewed some topics because she was at the meeting around plans for the Youth Forum…  

Youth Forum being planned for May 8, 2008.  This forum will be based around the “5 Promises” plus other goals.  (BJ gave a brief explanation of the 5 Promises). The hours will be between 8:00 AM and 2:00 PM which means kids will be out of school to meet.  There is a request for adults to also participate this year with students.

2008 Poster Contest – Making changes this year. Looking more towards making the 4 winning posters 1 from each town.  Also each of the 4 winners would then become “ambassadors” for the town they represented to have the poster displayed in strategic places.  As in years past the awards will be announced at a celebration following the June CHNA meeting.  Location for this year’s contest and meeting will be announced later. 

Healthy City Initiative

David spoke about the Fitness Challenge.  David updated the group on what occurred at the recent 7 Hills Walk Challenge. Bill Daponte was not feeling well and finally decided to visit the Emergency Room as he felt symptoms of a heart attack.  He has had open heart surgery and is recuperating well.  Everyone showed their concern for him and hope he will be well enough to attend the Spring Celebration on April 30.  

May 10 is the grand finale of the FR Fitness Challenge.  Winners will be announced along with the total pounds lost.  Still trying to get Mark from the Biggest Loser TV show to be a guest.

April 18 – 12:30 at Gramada Plaza in Fall River.  Press Conference around Fall River Walking.  The Mayor will be there and representatives from the American Heart Association.  At conclusion there will be a walk up North Main Street.  (If rain, the walk will be at CD Rec on Bank Street). 

American Heart Association [www.sneheart.org) A rally is planned for May 3 at Colt State Park to raise money for the AHA.  If you log on to the web site shown here you can monitor/track total miles walked for your team.

Walk to School  There will be a total of 6 schools  participating this year starting in the Fall.

Children in Balance -  Update ---

It was recently announced that Fall River received a $300,000.00 grant to be used in the School Department around healthier menus and nutrition education.  Schools have already begun to change menus in grades 1 – 6 which has almost doubled the food budget for next year. 

An important point made was that there will be lots of training for teachers and school personnel beginning at the end of June 2008 as this whole agenda must be set up by August for the school year in the fall.  Sue Sterrett has become heavily involved as one of the coordinators.

$175,000.00 of this grant went directly to educating teachers and buying the proper equipment.  So even though $300,000.00 seems impressive, it is easy to spend quickly.

More to come……….

April 30 – is the date for the Healthy City Celebration and Spring Awards   5 – 7 PM.  Commissioner Auerbach will attend – the Mayor also.  Important to have a large crowd in attendance - so talk it up.  The Commissioner will be talking about subjects that will influence decisions on the Mayor’s continued support.  Early arrival of some would help (4:00PM) for set up and registration.

Location is “Our Lady of Light Band Club” on Quarry Street across from Burlington Coat Factory. 

Sit down dinner -   $10.00 per person.       


Mike Coughlin:

Still working on coordination of the Web site that UMass Dartmouth and Jenny DiBlasi  from United Neighbors.  There appears to be some process of finding the funding for this web page idea The Mayor has confirmed the hire of Julie Kelly to be the Municipal Wellness Coordinator to oversee the initiative and allocation of grant money to the 7 communities involved.  Mike suggested that since Healthy Lifestyles and Access to HealthCare has been somewhat dormant it could be a new focus of these groups to get involved in this initiative.   Sue Sterrett should be consulted and BJ said she would contact chairpersons to discuss this before next meeting.

Stephanie Patton, MPH, CHES, Assistant Director of Southeast Center for Healthy Communities spoke on several upcoming events:

May 19 – Buttonwood Zoo 3:30 – 6:30 PM -  Youth and adults are invited to talk about health issues.

May 20 in Plymouth – Commissioner Auerbach will be there.

June 6 – Annual Prevention Conference at Sea Crest in Falmouth.

For more information on any of the above contact Stephanie at:

508-583-2350, Ext. 237 or spatton@hcsm.org

David Weed received a letter from the Massachusetts Tobacco Control in regards to an RFR.  Announced a Pilot Program to involve 3 communities, Fall River being one of them.  Efforts to increase indoor smoking laws.  Example:  public spaces in Apartment Buildings.

Medical Foundation coming to Fall River.  Mike Coughlin will be there.  Regarding enforcing laws around sales of tobacco to youth.  Mike will keep the group informed.

Fran Fuller – Diabetes Association is looking for an Executive Director.  They have been working without one and staff has been great but this position needs to be filled. 

BJ Valente:  She has received a letter and request from CD Rec about their fundraiser on April 26 called the “Spring Sprint” to enhance youth programs.  Partners have donated to this cause in past years.  A Bronze Sponsorship is $250.00.  It was motioned and approved.

Fran Fuller - May 10 – Diabetes Association Walk to raise money for Camp Kyle.  It is their major fundraiser and this year is the first year that they have had to charge a fee for camp attendance.  She will put together a letter to submit to ask for support for this cause.

DPH -  Public Health Unnatural Causes – a 4-hour documentary series that explores America’s racial and socioeconomic inequities in health.  Flyer was distributed.  $4000.00 has been set aside by DPH for the Fall River /New Bedford area to plan an event on this topic.  Plans must be submitted by June 30, 2008!  Much discussion followed about coordinating a meeting.  There seemed to be too much conflict in dates to meet at 7 Hills in Welby Park in New Bedford.  Marcia would have been able to attend their regular meeting on April 18 but it conflicts with the Youth Forum that she is attending – perhaps a change in date to April 25 ??  David will Email interested parties to see what they can do about meeting.

Meeting Adjourned at 10:00 am

Next Meeting – May 9, 2008

Southcoast Hospitals – Charlton Site



*  Change in meeting room location for April 11, May 9:

The Surgical Conference Room at Charlton has been reserved for the two displaced meetings. 


Enter through the main entrance and go down the main stairway to ground level.  Turn left.  The first set of double doors on your left will be Cardiac Surgical Services area.  There is a paddle on the wall to your right, which will open the doors.  The conference room is the first room on the left.  (There is an elevator in the main lobby just before the Admitting area that will take you to ground level if needed).

Links to Minutes of Previous Meetings

minutes of  3-14-08

minutes of  2-8-08

minutes of 1-11-08

minutes of 12-14-07

minutes of 10-12-07

minutes of 9-14-07

minutes of 8-10-07

minutes of 6-08-07

minutes of 5-11-07

minutes of 4-13-07

minutes of 3-9-07

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minutes of 1-12-07

minutes of 12-8-06

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minutes 3-11-05

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minutes 12-10-04

minutes 11-12-04


minutes 9-10-04

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