August 2016 Newsletter
Celebrating America’s Health Centers, August 7-13

There are numerous reasons to celebrate America’s Health Centers. At the top of the list is their unique 51-year history of delivering high quality, affordable, cost-effective community- and patient-centered health care and social support services in high need communities throughout the united States.

During National Health Center Week (#NHCW16), Bronx Community Health Network proudly joined 1,375 health centers and 24+ million patients in “Celebrating America’s Health Centers: Innovators in Community Health”. At our Annual Community Health Recognition Dinner, we presented awards to our health center and community champions, who exemplify the health center spirit and tradition. We were especially delighted to present awards to 6 health center patients, who met or exceeded their health goals, and are now enjoying much healthier lives! Bronx residents are determined and resilient! #Not62!

Congratulations and sincere thanks to BCHN partners, Union Community Health Center, O+Festival, Montefiore Health System, Urban Justice Center, Fordham Road Business Improvement District and NYC Department of Transportation and several CBOs. Despite sweltering heat, we successfully hosted a joint Health & Wellness ExpO+ at the newly re-designed, community-and eco-centric Fordham Plaza, where we were joined by Senator Rivera, NYS Assembly Member Victor Pichardo, and NYC Council Member, Ritchie Torres.

America’s health centers are fortunate to have great bi-partisan support. Special thanks to our elected representatives for NHCW proclamations and greetings: NYC Mayor Bill deBlasio, Bronx NYS Speaker of the Assembly, Carl E. Heastie, NYS Senator Jeffrey D. Klein, NYS Assembly Member LaToya Joyner, Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., and NYC Assembly Member Vanessa Gibson. Read on for more about #NHCW16 celebrations and other BCHN activities in the Bronx.


Health & Wellness ExpO+ at Fordham Plaza

What do you get when a group of progressive Upstate New York artists join their brand of arts and wellness with Bronx health centers and other public and private partners? You get the #NHCW16 Health & Wellness ExpO+ at Fordham Plaza on August 13.

“This celebration highlights the breadth of services of Bronx Community Health Network, Union Community Health Center, Fordham Road BID and NYC DOT along with the wellness offerings and creative talents found within the Fordham Road neighborhood,” said Joe Concra, executive director of the nonprofit O+ Festival. ( Pictured: O+ Festival's Liz Harrington, Micah Blumenthal, Joe Concra and Denise Miranda with Senator Gustavo Rivera. Photo Credit: Justine Reyes)

Bronxites participated in health screenings and wellness activities including music, Dance Xross Fitness, Yoga, Gong (sound healing), Zumba and Martial Arts. (Photo Credit: Justine Reyes)

"We need to improve health outcomes in the Bronx, and I want to thank Union Community Health Center and Bronx Community Health Network for working toward making the Bronx being last in health outcomes a thing of the past," said New York State Assembly Member Victor M. Pichardo, who represents Assembly District 86. (Pictured above with BCHN CEO Eleanor Larrier. Photo Credit: Justine Reyes)

"If it wasn't for Union Community Health Center and Bronx Community Health Network, and many other community health centers all around the Bronx, we'd have a lot more people that aren't healthy. Because of our health centers, people that are uninsured and unhealthy have access to healthcare," said New York State Senator Gustavo Rivera, who represents the 33rd Senate District.

“As providers, policy makers and trusted safety-nets in the Bronx, we have a tremendous responsibility to increase access to quality healthcare by spanning our presence across a wider demographic within our catchment areas,” said Union Community Health Center CEO Dr. Douglas York. (Photo Credit: Justine Reyes)
11th Annual BCHN Community Health Champions Recognition Dinner
BCHN's annual Community Health Champions Recognition Dinner was held on August 11 at the Montefiore Medical Center Grand Hall. Every year during National Health Center Week, BCHN recognizes patients who have made remarkable strides in meeting their self-management goals, and honors partners who have made a significant contribution to the Bronx community.

The evening included a dance performance by the children from Belmont Community Day Care Center (see photo above), National Health Center Week proclamations from local elected officials, and a presentation on BCHN's Impact on Community Health in 2015.

Below is a list of this year's honorees:

Community Health Leadership Award
New York State Senator Gustavo Rivera

Patient Health Champion Awards
Comprehensive Family Care Center: Michelle Stevenson (Pictured top left)

Williamsbridge Family Practice: Maxine Tomlinson (Top right)

University Avenue Family Practice:
Maria Rodriguez (Middle left)

Family Health Center:
Libertad Betances (Middle right)

Castle Hill Family Practice: Fatou Touray (Bottom)

West Farms Family Practice: Jeanette Nunez

Community Partner Awards
Belmont Community Day Care Center (Pictured top left)

Argus Community Access II Care Coordination Program (Top right)

Community Service Awards
Melinda Marquez, Program Director, Community & Population Health, Montefiore Medical Center (Middle left)

Luz Ledesma, Patient Educator, Montefiore Medical Center (Middle right)

Twiggy Rodriguez, Administrator of Primary Care, Specialty and HIV Community Health Services, Acacia Network (Bottom left)

Jonas Attuh-Mensah, Operations Manager, West Farms Family Practice (Bottom right)

Lucy Aponte, Founder, Friends of Soundview Park

BCHN News & Resources
Walking Group at Devoe Park
Walking is a great way to get fit, and has been shown to improve blood pressure, cholesterol, stress, and depression. The Wednesday walking group with Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) patients from University Avenue Family Practice understands that value, and now they are taking on a new route. Through a collaboration with the Bronx REACH CHAMPS Parks & Open Spaces Coalition, the patients now head to Devoe Park, and spend an hour walking on the path along the outer edge of the park. The two major goals of the DPP are achieving a minimum of 7% weight loss/weight maintenance and a minimum of 150 minutes of physical activity similar in intensity to brisk walking. The walk serves to meet both goals. Patients are enjoying the new path, and the team is considering adding another day to the schedule, one that is open to community members.

Mock Farmers' Market Walk with Community Learning Schools

The BCHN outreach team recently met with resource coordinators of Community Learning Schools in the Bronx. The coordinators were interested in experiencing a "mock" farmers' market walk to the nearest market, to see if the walks would be feasible for parents of their students. They would like to encourage the parents to consider their health, and exercise more, which would in turn trickle down to their children.

Pictured: Community health worker Emma Torres encourages Morris Heights Health Center patient to shop at the farmers' market.

Collard greens are one of the healthy items now in season which can be purchased at the farmers' market. The leafy greens are valued for their cholesterol-lowering qualities and are packed with fiber, protein, and antioxidants. Many Americans tend to overcook collard greens, which leave them unappealing in taste, texture, and smell, and take away much of the nutrient value. However, when cooked to a perfect crunchy-tender texture, they’re absolutely delicious and packed with nutritious benefits. Check out the recipe below, from the NYC Green Cart Fresh Food Pack, to find out how to prepare collard greens with spicy African peanut sauce. Yummy!


Comprehensive Family Care Center Receives Proclamation
Montefiore's Comprehensive Family Care Center (CFCC) received a proclamation from Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. on August 11 in recognition of World Breastfeeding Month. The event educated employees, new mothers and the community about the benefits of breastfeeding. Bharati Kemraj from the Borough Presdent's office presented the proclamation to health center staff. CFCC joined the Bronx Community Health Network in 1997.

Salt Matters at Bay Eden Senior Center
On August 16, community health workers, Yaritza Holguin and Ndeye Ngom, facilitated a Salt Matters workshop at Bay Eden Senior Center. Participants learned about the negative impact sodium can have on their blood pressure, and why it is important to manage daily salt intake. They also discussed general concepts related to heart health, including controllable (diet, physical activity, adherence to wellness plans) and uncontrollable (age, ethnicity, race, gender) risk factors. The senior participants were very engaged during the workshop, and provided feedback and related tips that were beneficial to their peers.

BCHN on 'Heart of Mind' Radio
On July 30, BCHN community engagement policy analyst, Paulette Spencer, and public relations specialist, Roger Newcomb, were guests in an episode of "Heart of Mind Radio" on the Progressive Radio Network. On August 6, CEO Eleanor Larrier discussed BCHN's programs, #GoHealthy in the Park programming, and more. Listen here.

Nutrition Workshop at Fordham Towers

Members of the Fordham Towers Tenants Association are currently learning about healthy food options that can be adopted at meetings, special events, and in vending machines. The organization is working with BCHN's community health programs developer, Renee Whiskey, as part of the Bronx REACH CHAMPS Worksite Wellness program.

On August 18, Chef Geneva Wilson conducted a nutrition workshop for the group at Fordham Towers, and demonstrated how to create a healthy meal at home or work using the My Plate Planner. MyPlate illustrates the five food groups that are the building blocks for a healthy diet using a familiar image – a place setting for a meal. "Before you eat, think about what goes on your plate, in your cup, or in your bowl," Chef Wilson advised.

For healthy ethnic variations, check out the Criollo and West African plates below, created by the Institute for Family Health.

On August 4, FOX 5 visited New Way Deli (111 E Kingsbridge Rd) to shoot a segment on the Bronx REACH CHAMPS store. Amanda Parsons, the VP of community and population health at Montefiore, discussed the high rate of obesity and diabetes in the Bronx. "It's about community education," added program supervisor Nicole Joseph. New Way Deli is expected to receive a proclamation from the Bronx Borough President's Office next month for completing all seven steps in the Shop Healthy requrements. Shop Healthy NYC’s goals focus on increasing the inventory of healthy products and encouraging their consumption through prominent placement and promotion in a supermarket, corner store or deli. Watch the segment here.

In an effort to address health disparities of Bronxites, Bronx REACH CHAMPS is inviting the community to #GoHealthy in the Park! Programming kicked off on July 30 in Devoe Park featuring gentle exercise and stress reduction techniques by Kathryn Davis at 10:00AM ,followed by a physical fitness class from N'Namdi Nelson at 11:30AM. The program moved to Seton Falls Park on August 6 (see photos below), St. James Park on August 13, and Shoelace Park on August 20. A nutrition workshop conducted by Chef Geneva Wilson was added to the program at Shoelace.

The Bronx REACH CHAMPS team recently spoke with Lucy Aponte, founder of the Friends of Soundview Park, about her journey to bring programming and activities to the park starting in 2001. Ms. Aponte's persistence and determination eventually paid off in helping to revitalize Soundview Park, which features new programs and equipment that have made the beautiful location a hit with the community once again. Watch the video below to find out more.

BCHN Events Calendar

August 27 - #GoHealthy at Poe Park
#GoHealthy in the Park moves to Poe Park.

10:00 AM Gentle Exercise and Stress Reduction Techniques with Kathryn Davis
11:00 AM Nutrition Workshop with Chef Wilson
11:30 AM Fitness Class withN'Namdi Nelson

September 15-18 - 4th Annual U.S. Conference on African Immigrant Health
The Office Minority Health Resource Center (OMHRC) and partner organizations are organizing the 4th Annual United States Conference on African Immigrant and Refugee Health (USCAIH 2016), under the theme: Health Behaviors of African Immigrants and Refugees: Rethinking Integration, Challenges and Empowerment.

Increasingly, African immigrants and refugees are experiencing deep and pronounced disparities in the areas of behavioral health, chronic diseases, infectious and emerging diseases and access to care.

Building on the successes of previous USCAIH conferences, USCAIH 2016 will bring together members of the community, health researchers, academics, public health workers, advocates, provider and community organizers to shed light on, enhance and advance the body of scholarship, best-practices and expertise in the increasingly complex field of African immigrant and refugee health.

USCAIH 2016 will offer a multi-disciplinary platform, grounded in the determinants of health framework, to further understand the underpinning obstacles that stand in the way of optimal health in African immigrant and refugee communities in the United States.


To learn about upcoming events and locations check out the BCHN events page, or to arrange for BCHN representatives to be at your upcoming event, contact us.

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