April 2017 Newsletter
April is National Minority Health Month!

“Without health and long life, all else fails.” Dr. Booker T. Washington wrote these words in a letter to leading African American newspapers in April 1915, proposing the observance of “National Negro Health Week.” This proposition became the foundation for National Minority Health Month, observed every April in the United States.

This year, Bronx Community Health Network is joining the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health and partners throughout the nation to “Bridge Health Equity Across Communities,” raising awareness about health disparities and encouraging communities to bolster collaborations, reach across sectors, and address the social, economic, and environmental factors that influence the health of our communities – the social determinants of health.

All people, regardless of where they live or where they come from, should have the opportunity to reach their full potential for health. Creating environments that promote physical activity helps prevent and control chronic diseases, reduce disparities, and improve healthy lifestyle options. Aspects of neighborhood environments, such as the presence of walkable sidewalks, playgrounds, proper lighting of streets, after-school physical activity programs for youth, and availability of affordable nutritious foods can promote and encourage healthy behaviors like physical activity.

BCHN News & Resources
BCHN Travels to D.C. for NACHC Policy and Issues ForumFrom March 29-April 1, health cen­ter lead­ers from around the country joined deci­sion-mak­ers and pub­lic health lead­ers in the heart of Wash­ing­ton, D.C. to focus on the future at the NACHC Annual Pol­icy and Issues Forum. Health care issues are front and center as the new Administration and lawmakers on Capitol Hill assess health policies and consider proposals to restructure key federal programs, such as the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid, and Medicare.

The P & I Forum is an oppor­tu­nity for clinicians, board members, consumers, executives and many other community health leaders to bring per­spec­tives to Mem­bers of Con­gress and offer con­struc­tive solu­tions to the issues at hand. Par­tic­i­pants will also have the oppor­tu­nity to hear from gov­ern­ment offi­cials, some of the nation’s lead­ing health­ care experts, and their peers.

Representing BCHN this year were Board of Directors vice president Richard Thomas, chief executive officer Eleanor Larrier and chief financial officer Sharon Edwards (pictured above), and board members Millie Pacheco and John Ruiz.


REACH Grantees Meet with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s Staff
On March 17, chief executive officer Eleanor Larrier and community engagement/policy analyst Paulette Spencer of BCHN's Bronx REACH CHAMPS Coalition joined two other New York REACH grantees at Senator Kirsten Gillibrand's NY office to showcase the work REACH grantees are doing throughout New York City. The Institute for Family Health’s Bronx Health REACH team included members from Walker Memorial Baptist Church, Church of God of Prophecy, and Christ the King Catholic Church. New York University School of Medicine's REACH FAR project representatives were also on hand as the grantees shared successes with evidence-based, community interventions that increased the number of grocery stores and restaurants that now carry more healthy choices, expanded opportunities for physical activity in child care, schools and parks, and provided linkages to resources for managing chronic health problems. The REACH grantees are working with African American, Latino and East Asian communities in the Bronx, Queens, Manhattan and New Jersey.

The community residents in attendance shared their perspectives on how REACH work is impacting their lives. Sandra Jenkins shared the Church of God of Prophecy experience with REACH, noting that at past church events soda would always be the beverage of choice. But over the past year she has noticed that water is now the preferred beverage, and soda is virtually untouched. Flora Goldston observed that now many parishioners at Walker Memorial Baptist Church are exercising more, visiting farmers' markets, and having their blood pressure checked regularly. Ousman Laas and Gregory O. Smiley, from Senator Gillibrand's senior health staff, assured the group that the senator supports the important work they are doing and encouraged them to continue to share their success stories.

REACH is a national program administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to reduce racial and ethnic health disparities.

Photo courtesy of Bronx Health REACH.

University Avenue Family Practice Walking Group Shows Off New Pedometers
A walking group of patients
is enjoying the new season even more than usual, thanks to the addition of Bronx REACH CHAMPS pedometers. Every Wednesday morning, the enthusiastic group walks from Montefiore's University Avenue Family Practice, a member of the Bronx Community Health Network, to Devoe Park. "Incentives like pedometers and water bottles are key factors in keeping the group motivated, and ready for the next walk," said the leader of the walking group, BCHN community health worker Pedro Gonzalez.


Outreach Team Partners with Sauti Yetu Center for Health Insurance Event
On April 13, community health worker Ndeye NGom-Mbacke and health educator Arousiag Markarian led a health insurance enrollment event at Sauti Yetu Center for African Women. They are pictured above with Hager Shawkat, Sauti Yetu Center's program officer for community wellness.


BCHN and Planned Parenthood Host HIV/Naloxone Event at West Farms

On April 11, BCHN teamed up with Planned Parenthood to offer free oral rapid-HIV testing at Montefiore’s West Farms Family Practice, a member of the Bronx Community Health Network. The event included games and giveaways, as well as Naloxone training from community health worker Yaritza Holguin. Also participating in the event from BCHN were CICERO program coordinator Eric Machicote, community health worker Ndeye NGom-Mbacke and health educator Arousiag Markarian.


Join/Support the BCHN CICERO Warriors AIDS Walk New York Team!

A team from BCHN and the Engage-NYC/CICERO program will be participating in AIDS Walk New York 2017. AIDS Walk New York is a 10k fundraising walk starting and ending in Central Park. This event benefits GMHC and dozens of other tri-state area AIDS service organizations.

On May 21st we will be joined by Quest Diagnostics to raise vital funds for the most marginalized populations in our community.

As a premier sponsor for AIDS Walk New York Quest Diagnostics is dedicated to helping all of the AIDS walk community programs achieve their goals in providing HIV testing, care management and treatment. This year Quest is deepening their impact by sponsoring individual walking teams like BCHN’s Cicero Warriors. Quest Diagnostics has planned some very exciting day of activities that you will not want to miss out on. Be sure to check the BCHN news blog next week for specifics on the activities.

You can join BCHN for the walk, or support the team with a donation at https://ny.aidswalk.net/bchncicerosoldiers.


BCHN Naloxone Workshop Featured in Voices of NY

A February Naloxone workshop at Argus Community, conducted by BCHN community health worker Yaritza Holguin, was featured in a recent Voices of NY story about the opioid crisis in New York. During the training, Alterra Jackson (pictured above) and other local residents learned how to administer Naloxone, a lifesaving medication that blocks opioid receptors and thereby reverses an opioid overdose. Listen to the Voices of NY story here.

Photo above courtesy of Stephanie Daniel.


Graduates Celebrate as Inaugural Qigong Train-the-Trainer Series WrapsThe inaugural Bronx REACH CHAMPS Qigong Train-the-Trainer series concluded with the final sessions on April 17 and 21. Led by Kathryn Davis, nearly two dozen students were trained during the classes, held on Mondays and Fridays, and officially became certified facilitators of Qigong Stress Reduction through Movement and Meditation. The newly certified trainers will soon receive first aid training before kicking off classes of their own in the Bronx, and throughout New York City.

Chef Wilson Recipes Featured in Associated Circular
If you saw the Associated Supermarket circular last week, you may have noticed Bronx REACH CHAMPS on the flap, offering a healthy recipe and highlighting some healthy items on sale. Chef Geneva Wilson will be selecting recipes in the coming months that will be featured in the circular on a regular basis. Below is a sneak peek of one that will be featured in May.


Prep time: 30 minutes
Makes: 4 Servings

1 cup (4 oz) whole-wheat rotini pasta, uncooked
1 ripe mango
1 cup raspberries
1 cup blueberries
2 cups Fresh Baby Spinach
1/2 cup reduced-fat feta cheese

For the vinaigrette:
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon poppy seeds
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. In a small bowl, whisk vinaigrette ingredients; set aside.

2. Boil water and cook rotini according to package instructions. Drain cooked rotini and rinse in cool water.

3. While rotini is cooking, cut mango into chunks, removing peel and pit.

4. Place salad ingredients in a large bowl; drizzle with vinaigrette. Toss gently.

Serving Suggestions: Serve with an 8oz glass of non-fat milk

BCHN Events Calendar

Saturday, April 29 - Daffodil Blooming Party & Cleanup at Devoe Park
Join the Fordham Hill Owners Corporation and members of the Bronx REACH CHAMPS Coalition on Saturday, April 29 at Devoe Park to celebrate the blooming of daffodils planted in November. Over 1,000 daffodil bulbs, donated by The Daffodil Project, were planted during the fall event, and began popping up in late March. In addition to enjoying the lovely new daffodils, community residents and local organizations will help make Devoe Park even more beautiful by cleaning up the park, starting at 10:30 AM.

Wednesday, May 3 - Bronx Job Fair
Meet employers in healthcare, direct support, technology, civil service, security, education at more at the Bronx Job Fair on Wednesday, May 3. The event is being held at SUNY Bronx Educational Opportunity Center (1666 Bathgate Avenue).

Friday, May 19 - Bronx Week Health Day
BCHN's Bronx REACH CHAMPS Worksite Wellness initiative will once again be a key partner in the Borough President's annual Health Day event. On Friday, May 19 from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM, local elected officials are scheduled to compete in a game of stickball, while BCHN team members will be offering community residents education on ways to create and foster a healthy work environment.

Tuesday, May 23 - BCHN Symposium & Annual Meeting


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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