Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Para cambiar El Bronx hay que bajar unas libras

Con retos de salud pública, Senador pierde peso para motivar a residentes
José Acosta - El Diario NY


Photo from El Diario

NUEVA YORK — En el distrito senatorial 33 de El Bronx, el 68% de los residentes sufre de sobrepeso u obesidad. En ese porcentaje está incluido el senador estatal del área, Gustavo Rivera, quien ya ha rebajado 14 de las 20 libras que se propuso rebajar de junio a octubre con intención de mostrarles a sus representados que sí se puede.

La meta de bajar de peso del legislador forma parte de la Iniciativa de Salud El Bronx CAN (Cambiar Actitudes Ahora), un programa que la oficina del Senador y la presidencia del condado están llevando a cabo desde junio con el objetivo de educar a la comunidad sobre cómo crear mejores hábitos de salud.

"En El Bronx tenemos los peores índices de salud en todo el estado, altos índices de obesidad, diabetes, enfermedades del corazón, asma, y para llamar la atención del problema y hacer algo al respecto, me puse como ejemplo para bajar de peso", dijo Rivera, quien en junio pesó 299 libras y el domingo, en el tercer evento mensual de la campaña realizado en el parque St. James, pesó 285.

El senador de 35 años dijo que desde niño no fue disciplinado a la hora de empuñar la cuchara, debido en parte, según aseguró, a cuestiones culturales, ya que cuando iba a casa de su abuela siempre le ponían más comida en el plato.

"Hay cosas que podemos hacer todos los días para ser un poco más saludables, como añadir más verduras y frutas a la dieta, comer con menos sal, grasa y azúcar y porciones más pequeñas, hacer ejercicios regularmente, y subir las escaleras en lugar de tomar el ascensor", dijo Rivera.

Como parte de El Bronx CAN el domingo pasado se realizó una feria de salud con personal médico del hospital Montefiore, que incluyó toma de la presión arterial, clases de Zumba, preparación de platos saludables, etc.

"En octubre vamos a incluir las escuelas, para que los jóvenes aprendan a tomar mejores decisiones nutricionales y físicas", dijo Rivera.

"También queremos llevar la iniciativa a todo el condado, y uno de los planes es aumentar el número de mercados de productores, para que más vecindarios tengan acceso a verduras y frutas frescas", reveló.

Un estudio realizado en marzo de este año por la Universidad de Wisconsin y la Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, encontró que en El Bronx el 26% de los adultos está en mala forma física, comparado con el 16% a nivel nacional. Y en el condado ocurren 8,139 muertes prematuras por 100,000 personas, mientras el promedio estatal es de 5,933 muertes.

Otro estudio, realizado por el gobierno local en 2008, encontró que 9 de los 12 distritos comunitarios de El Bronx cuenta con muy pocos supermercados, forzando a una gran franja de residentes a depender de comida no saludable pero barata.

Una de las que tomó el reto de mejorar su salud con El Bronx CAN es Dilletta Pina, quien comenzó en junio con 168 libras y gracias al programa ha rebajado seis libras.

"Con El Bronx CAN uno aprende a encontrar lugares donde se pueden conseguir frutas y verduras frescas, cómo cocinar comida más saludable, hacer ejercicios, y conectarse con centros de salud para charquearse la presión arterial, la diabetes, etc.", dijo Pina.

La participante dijo que el programa le está dando resultados, "porque ahora siento que respiro mejor, subo las escaleras en lugar de tomar el ascensor y no me siento agotada, duermo más tranquila y mi presión arterial ha mejorado".

El programa se hará todos los años. Más información: www.bronxcan.com

En El Bronx tenemos los peores índices de salud en todo el estado de Nueva York".

Senador Estatal Gustavo Rivera

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Grow to Learn Awards 36 Grants to NYC School Gardends



Today, GrowNYC and the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City announced $59,044 in mini-grant funding awarded to 36 New York City public and charter schools looking to build, maintain, or expand their garden programs. Forty-one percent of grant funds distributed are supporting schools located in District Public Health Office zones, areas designated by The NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) as experiencing the highest rates of diet-related illness: the South Bronx, Central Brooklyn and parts of Harlem.
potting a plantThese mini-grants, in amounts up to $2,000, are part of Grow to Learn: Citywide School Gardens Initiative. As part of the initiative, schools can not only apply for a mini-grant, they can register their garden and become eligible to receive materials and expert advice from GreenThumb, the community garden division of the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation.
"Thanks to support from Bank of America and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, we were able to help 36 schools this round -- who would not otherwise have the resources to do so -- break ground on new gardens or expand or spruce up existing gardens. Now our youngest residents living in communities disproportionately affected by high rates of obesity and diabetes will get outside, get active, grow, and taste -- in some cases for the first time -- a strawberry or a tomato they grow themselves," said GrowNYC executive director Marcel Van Ooyen.
Studies demonstrate that gardens connect children to the natural world, provide hands-on learning opportunities, instill environmental stewardship, transform children's food attitudes and habits, and increase physical activity. While New York City's public education system includes about 1,600 schools serving 1.1 million students, there are fewer than 400 school gardens. In just one year, Grow to Learn is proud to have fostered a 15 percent increase in school gardens across the city.
School garden programs come in many sizes, shapes, and locations, including classrooms, schoolyards, and partnerships with urban farms or community gardens, all of which are eligible to apply.
For example, PS 146 in East Harlem will use their Grow to Learn Mini-Grant to expand their garden and purchase tools for kids, stepping stones, indoor growing lights, and seed starts so students can see the entire plant cycle. They'll also send some of their teachers to the New York Botanical Gareden for professional development so they can better use the garden as an extension of the classrooms, fostering conversations across all grade levels to occur as students make connections around food. The cafeteria plans to incorporate vegetables and herbs grown into meals for students.
"We are excited to embark on the edible garden experience through our Grow to Learn grant. Students here have been learning about healthy foods and healthy choices for a few years now and it is exciting that they will finally be able to take part in growing their own food. As a culture we have become far removed from what food is and where it comes from that we are excited to be involved in a program teaches to the whole child in an effort to brings whole foods into the classrooms and bodies of our students who are the future of the world," said Beth Reed, PS 146 wellness coordinator.
"The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation is thrilled to support the installation of food gardens at schools in New York City neighborhoods that are disproportionately affected by high rates of nutrition-related chronic diseases," said Andrew Bowman, program director for the foundation's Environment Program. "These gardens will provide students with hands-on experience that could fundamentally change their relationship with food."
Schools can go to www.nyc.gov/growtolearn (or www.growtolearn.org) to access information on how to plan a garden, register a garden, ask technical gardening questions, apply for a mini-grant, connect with educational resources, and get inspired by success stories.

Grow to Learn Mini-Grant Recipients

MANHATTAN
P.S. 964
P.S./ M.S. 278
P.S. 126
P.S. 84
P.S. 175
P.S. 146
P.S. 166
P.S. 48 H.S.
Harlem Renaissance H.S.
The Urban Assembly School for Green Careers

BRONX
P.S. 121
P.S. 54
P.S. 176
P.S. 48
P.S. 226
P.S. 66

BROOKLYN
P.S. 251
P.S. 32
M.S. 88
IS 259
P.S. 165
P.S. 65
P.S.127 - The McKinley Park School
H.S. Boys and Girls
Abraham Lincoln High School
Academy for Environmental Leadership
Automotive High School
H.S. World Academy for Total Community Health
M.S. Mott Hall IV/K522
M.S. Urban Assembly Institute of Math

QUEENS
H.S. Robert F. Kennedy Community
The Renaissance Charter School
P.S. 50 Talfourd Lawn

STATEN ISLAND
P.S. 861 School of Civic Leadership
H.S. Concord
P.S. 80 - Michael J. Petrides

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Market at Montefiore: Caring beyond hospital walls

By Gloria Pazmiño – Bronx Free Press

Lining the courtyard just off the side to the main entrance to the hospital is the Montefiore Hospital Farmer’s Market, a new initiative by the hospital to extend their comprehensive care to include healthy nutritional options for staffers and community residents, in addition to providing open community space that all can enjoy together.

The care that patients receive at Montefiore Hospital reaches far beyond the hallways and medical facilities of the campus.

Step into the hospital garden, by the campus’ main entrance on East 210th Street and Rochambeau Street, at lunchtime on any Thursday from now til late October, and you will find an abundance of colorful fruits and vegetables, and freshly prepared foods that are in keeping with the season.

Montefiore's President and CEO, Steven Safyer, MD, envisioned the farmer’s market as part of a comprehensive plan to promote healthier nutritional options for Bronx residents.

Paul Ammirato, Director of Engineering at Montefiore, was responsible for making the market a reality. He explained that the vision for the market is part of larger plan to bring fresh food and healthy initiatives to the patients.

“This is our third year holding the market. We’ve learned that it has really turned into a space for the community, the patients, and the associates of the hospital,” said Ammirato. “We are a healthcare organization and that [health] is exactly what we want to promote.”

As Dr. Safyer envisions it, with conscientious choices, the larger community can avoid being treated for many of the preventable side effects that emerge from conditions like obesity, hypertension and diabetes, all of which the Bronx has high numbers in.

And despite the overcast sky on a recent weekday, during the lunch time rush, the Farmer’s Market did brisk business with a host of residents, and nurses and doctors who stopped in for a bite.

For Yona Amsalem, owner of Yona’s Gourmet Delights in Brooklyn, business was good on that day.
Standing under a tent, while offering quiche, carrot cake, and potato pastries she said that she enjoyed being part of the Montefiore Farmer’s Market because it was always a good turnout. “I would stay here all week if I could. The customers are all very nice and everyone loves the spinach quiche,” said Amsalem.

“The market provides another great option for lunch, and it’s in a really nice space where you can retire from work for a few minutes,” said Elizabeth Armstrong, a social worker at the hospital. “This is my third time visiting, and every time I’ve bought something really tasty. Today it’s carrot cake.”

Over on the opposite end of the courtyard, Eddie Leon stood behind a series of boxes filled with several varieties of nuts. Among them was the “Dr. Oz’s Box,” an arrangement of six different types of nuts used to battle high cholesterol, high blood pressure and other ailments ,as per the recommendations of the television medical guru.

“I also have the sweet box, the salty box, the roasted box, and the raw box,” said Leon, who hasn’t missed a day at the market. He says every Thursday so far, both hospital staff and neighborhood residents come looking for their regular “fix,” as he put it.

“Nuts make for great snack because they have nutritional value,” he added.

So we offer the sweet and the healthy, depending on your needs.”

Perhaps one of the largest impacts the market has had locally has been the creation of the “Eat Healthy Shop Smart” initiative.

The program, geared towards cancer patients who visit the hospital for radiation treatments, is designed to provide expert advice for patients on how to choose fresh and healthy food to help fight their disease and minimize the side effects of treatment.

“The patients come down with the oncology nutritionists and they get to learn about which fruits and vegetables can help them on their road to recovery. Each patient is guided through each table where they learn the benefit of each food depending on their unique needs,” said Ammirato.

Hector Reyes, who sets up his tent in the center of the market, offers everything from kale, zucchini, tomatoes, avocadoes, to peppers, all depending on the month. Reyes also offers fresh fruit throughout the summer, which he said was very popular among the staff and patients. He also sets out the flowers of the season, to the delight of many passerby.

By all accounts, the hospital’s farmer’s market has become both a focal and nutritional point for local residents and hospital staff, far surpassing the expectations of the people who worked to create it three years ago.

“The market has really turned into something the entire neighborhood looks forward to,” said Ammirato, adding that they also host summertime concerts that offer entertainment for the community. “It has really helped to further our mission for healthy living and nutritional education, and that is our main goal.”

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Attend the Next Bronx CAN Health Initiative Check-In This Sunday

Bronx CAN Sept. 25th Check-in

THE BRONX CAN HEALTH INITIATIVE

Join Senator Gustavo Rivera for a Health Fair Sponsored by Montefiore Medical Center
in conjunction with the Bronx CAN Partners

 
For more information or to register, call the Office of State Senator Gustavo Rivera at 718-933-2034 or email [email protected] 

Bronx CAN Partners:

Elected Officials: State Senator Gustavo Rivera - District 33
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

Community Organizations: CIR/SEIU - Committee of Interns and Residents
St. Barnabas Hospital
Montefiore Medical Center
Mary Mitchell Family and Youth Center
Green Bronx Machine
American Heart Association/ American Stroke Association
WHEDco - Women's Housing and Education Development
Bronx Health REACH
NYC Dept of Health & Mental Hygiene - Bronx District Public Health Office
Bronx Breathes
Bronx Smoke-Free Partnership
NYAM-DASH NY Obesity Pervention Policy Center
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Marc Academy and Family Center
Green Apple kids
Union Community Health Center
Harvest Home Farmers Market
United Federation of Teachers
Community Board 7 Health & Hospital Chair
3 Graces Medical Practice
ABADA-Capoeira Bronx
VAMOS Unidos
Veggication

Friday, September 9, 2011

Sen. Rivera Launches Free Exercise Classes at Poe Park


Senator Gustavo Rivera (D,WF-Bronx) launched Free Exercise Classes at Poe Park (East 192nd Street at Grand Concourse) as part of the Bronx CAN Health Initiative. These weekly exercise 6:30PM classes will allow members of the community to come out and exercise at no cost throughout the month of September. The next two classes will feature Capoeira (a mixed martial art dance) from ABADA - Capoeria NY.

The Free Exercise Classes are part of the Bronx CAN Health Initiative, which Senator Rivera launched in conjunction with Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and Bronx community organizations in June. The weekly exercise classes will be held every Monday for the month of September. The Bronx CAN Health Initiative is focused on preventative medicine and access to affordable healthcarea for the month of September.