Monday, July 30, 2012

No-Cost Digital Mammograms for Bronx Women Over 50

Bronx Community Health Network, Inc. would like to invite the women of the Bronx to sign up for NO-Cost Digital Mammograms and Clinical Breast Exams on Wednesday August 8, 2012 (10am- 5pm), in celebration of National Health Center Week.  Women over 40 years old, who have not had a mammogram within the last 12months, may call for an appointment. Please see attached flyer for distribution and details. No health insurance or payment required.

An Appointment is necessary! Call 1-877-628-9090 or 718-405-7720

Look for the mobile van at:
Family Health Center
360 East 193rd Street
Bronx, NY 10458

Coordinated by:
The American Italian Cancer Foundation
Bronx Community Health Network, Inc.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

In the Bronx, City Officials Introduce Two Health Initiatives

By Jaleesa Baulkman - Norwood News

City officials hosted a press conference this week at a Bronx supermarket to introduce two health initiatives that they said would help New Yorkers shop, eat and be more healthy.
Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Linda Gibbs, Health Commissioner Tom Farley and Human Resources Administration Commissioner Robert Doar introduced the Shop Healthy NYC  pilot program and the Cut the Junk campaign to shoppers at a Belmont-area C-Town supermarket in an effort to combat the obesity epidemic in the city. The Bronx, in particular, is suffering from extremely high obesity rates.
“In the Bronx, nearly 70 percent of residents are obese or overweight and at higher risks for certain cancers, diabetes and heart disease,” said Farley. “Communities need a healthy food environment.”
Shop Healthy NYC is a Health Department’s pilot program that asks bodegas, delis and supermarkets to limit or minimize the availability of junk food and maximize the display of healthy food options and produce in their stores. It is funded by the New York City Center for Economic opportunity.
This program starts with a food retail challenge that asks store owners to commit to several store changes which would include stocking more waters in the coolers instead of added-sugar drinks (like soda), displaying more low-sodium and no-added-sugar canned goods and offering a healthy sandwich and meal combination at the delicatessen section of the store.
“This is a good thing, I guess,” C-Town employee Bethanny Clark said. “Obesity is growing [and] this is trying to educate people about being more healthy food wise.”
C-Town owner Jose Perez said that in the last three to four months the supermarket has already made some changes to the way they display their junk food. He said they’ve replaced the candy and sweets that are usually displayed at the check-out aisles with fruits and packaged nuts.
Perez said that he intends on continuing to participate in the retail challenge and he is in the process of organizing a large project that would include rearranging the way his supermarket stocks food. These plans include displaying more fruits and produce in front of the store.
Participating markets will receive shelf hangers and free-standing baskets to place their fresh produce. Officials say more than 100 retail venues in the Fordham and West Farms section of the Bronx have agreed to cooperate with the initiative.
The Human Resource Administration (HRA) is also promoting healthier eating with their “Cut the Junk” campaign. “Cut the Junk” is an informational campaign that highlights the risk of an unhealthy diet.
Doar said the goal of “Cut the Junk” is to get New Yorkers to trade in junk and fast food for healthier meals. This campaign also emphasizes that healthy food choices can be more cost-effective than unhealthy alternatives.
As a part of this initiative HRA also created an illustrated “Cut the Junk” booklet that’s filled with information about healthier food options and cost comparisons to reinforce that a home-cooked meal can be healthier and less expensive than fast food or junk food. It also includes suggestions on portion control strategies, such as using smaller plates.
“It is critical that we make progress in increasing access to healthy food and decreasing access to junk food in [low-income] neighborhoods,” Gibbs said.
These initiatives come a month after State Senator Gustavo Rivera and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. celebrated the second year of the Bronx Change Attitudes Now (CAN) initiative, which tackles issues of obesity and nutrition in the borough. That initiative is sponsored by Montefiore Medical Center.
At the launch last month in St. James Park, Rivera and Diaz Jr. said they wanted to expand the Bronx CAN initiative, which started in the northwest section of the Bronx, to other areas of the borough.
Rivera said he is happy to see that many retails venues in the Bronx are agreeing to the Shop Healthy initiative. He said these two initiatives will help to expand the Bronx CAN initiative that he launched a year ago.
Stores that participate in the Shop Healthy NYC initiative will also receive a proclamation from the Bronx CAN health initiative and a certificate from the Bronx Chamber of commerce.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

From the Bronx Health REACH

Bronx Borough-Wide Listening Session – July 23rd
Bronx Health REACH is hosting a borough-wide listening session on Monday, July 23rd to discuss healthy eating, active living, and ways to limit tobacco and alcohol use in the Bronx. The listening session will take place from 6:30 pm to 8 pm at Walker Memorial Baptist Church (120 E. 169th St.) and all are welcome to be a part of the discussion. Please RSVP by Friday, July 20th to Emma Rodgers at [email protected] or (212) 633-0800 x1249. See attached flier for more information.

Families Against Domestic Violence Resource Street Fair – July 21st
The South Bronx Concerned Citizens are hosting a street fair on Saturday, July 21st to provide resources and support for Families Against Domestic Violence. The fair will take place from 12 pm to 4 pm 1019 Avenue St. John between Southern Blvd and Fox Street. Please see attached flier for contact information if your organization is interested in tabling at the fair.

Soccer for Harmony Brooklyn Men’s League – July 22nd through September 16th
Seeds in the Middle, a Bronx Health REACH legacy grantee, is starting a men’s adult soccer league starting Sunday, July 22nd and running every Sunday through September 16th (except Labor Day weekend). Participants can sign up as a team or individually and games will run from 1 pm to 5 pm at Hamilton Metz Field (510 Albany Ave) in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. For more info, call 917-756-4202 or email To register, click here.

Bronx Health REACH Faith-Based Outreach Initiative Monthly Meeting – July 30th 
The Bronx Health REACH Faith-Based Outreach Initiative helps faith organizations – of all denominations – provide health programming around nutrition and fitness, diabetes prevention and management, and health disparities to their constituents. Through the Initiative, churches establish health ministries that distribute information and organize health activities. Health coordinators from each of the churches meet monthly to learn about new health initiatives in NYC and share success stories. The next monthly meeting will take place on Monday, July 30th from 4 pm to 6 pm at Walker Memorial Baptist Church (120 E. 169th St.). All are welcome to attend.

Bronx Health REACH walking group – through July
To make it easier for Bronx residents to use their parks for physical activity, Bronx Health REACH has been working with community members to encourage exercise in the parks and to advocate for better park access. This project is led by two HealthCorps members in partnership with the National Parks Service.  Since March 2012, Bronx Health REACH has been leading walking groups with community members in the Bronx. The walking group is held three times a week at Roberto Clemente State Park on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings. The group meets at 8:45 am at PS 204 (1780 University Avenue) and walks to the park together. The walking group will run until Thursday, July 26th. For more information, contact Suneet Goraya at[email protected] or 212-633-0800 ext. 1341

Bronx Summer Fest – August 4th and August 11th
The Department of Transportation’s Weekend Walks program is coming to the Bronx. Join your neighbors in the inaugural year of summer fun and activities on a car-free Louis Niñé Boulevard (one-block)! Bronx Summer Fest on the Boulevard (also known as Bronx Summer Walks) is part of the Mayor's initiative to create temporary pedestrian streets that provide open space for recreation and activities by community groups in NYC neighborhoods, and by local businesses and cultural institutions. Bronx Summer Fest will take place on Saturday, August 4th and Saturday, August 11th from 12 pm to 4 pm on Louis Niñé Boulevard from Southern Blvd to Intervale Ave. Please see attached flier for more details.

Bethlehem Judah Missionary Baptist Church 24th Annual Community Family-Day Festival – August 11th
Bethlehem Judah Missionary Baptist Church is hosting its 24th Annual Community Family-Day Festival on Saturday, August 11th from 10 am to 8:30 pm at the EAE J. Mitchell Park located on 174th St and Longfellow Avenue. This day-long festival will include blood pressure checks, a walk-a-thon, and karate, as well as gospel singing and kids activities. Please contact Sister Mary Tinsley at 212-862-8835 for more information.

Bronx bodegas working with Bronx Health REACH to serve healthier food
Bronx Health REACH, along with parents and students at the Sheridan Academy of Young Leaders and PS 218, has been working with two Bronx bodegas throughout the spring and summer to encourage them to carry healthier food. La Sirena, a bodega on 165th and McClellan St, has been stocking fresh fruit in a cooler at the front of the store decorated with signs made by Sheridan Academy students. Reem’s Deli and Grocery, also in the South Bronx, has added a smoothie station where kids from PS 218 and their parents can make fresh fruit drinks. Both bodega owners have said they are committed to carrying healthier food and will work with the community to provide these options. Please stop by and support their efforts.

Adopt a Shop Workshops – all summer
The New York City Department of Health’s Shop Healthy Bronx! Initiative will be holding a series of Adopt a Shop Workshops in the Bronx for community groups and individuals interested in making changes in their food environment. Participants in the workshops will walk away with the
tools to successfully demand healthier food options at their local store. RSVP is required to attend a workshop, please RSVP to [email protected] or call 347-396-4245. Please see the attached flier for the locations and dates of the workshops, which are being held at four locations throughout the summer.

New York Road Runners Summer Youth Running Program – July & August
New York Road Runners is holding a free seven-week summer running program for kids 6 to 18 years old and their families. NYRR coaches will lead group runs and teach running basics through fun activities and drills for all fitness and pace levels. No previous running experience is required and parents are encouraged to join.Check the dates in your neighborhood on the attached flier and register by contacting NYRR by e-mail or phone: [email protected] or 646.758.9650. The registration form is also attached.

Funding opportunity for mentoring and counseling of preteen youth
The New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH) has announced a Request for Applications (RFA) to support a new program model that incorporates mentoring, counseling, and supervised activities provided by adults for preteen youth ages 9-12, including those in foster care, to ease their transition into adolescence. The letter of interest is due July 25th and the application is due August 28th. Please contact Dora Swan, Bureau of Maternal and Child Health at [email protected] with any questions and visit here for application materials:

Please remember to send information about your upcoming programs, initiatives, or events that you would like to include in future e-blasts.

Thank you,
the Bronx Health REACH staff

Bronx Health REACH is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and is a program of the Institute for Family Health.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Be Healthy: In 2nd Year of Health Push, Bronx Senator Says Yes, We C.A.N.

By Jaleesa Baulkman

In a loose white T-shirt and sweat pants, flanked by 10 elementary school-aged children and middle-aged, State Senator Gustavo Rivera danced across St. James Park. Rivera’s personal fitness quest will once again play a major role as his attitude-adjusting health initiative heads into year two.
During a health fair that was put together with the help of Montefiore Medical Center and other community health partners, Rivera and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. announced that they want to expand the Bronx Change Attitude Now (CAN) initiative they started in the northwest Bronx last summer. The Bronx CAN initiative tackles issues of obesity and malnutrition.
The initiative attempts to bring together doctors, health providers and members of the community to promote the types of behaviors that lead to healthy lifestyles. The purpose of the initiative and health fair was to let people know there are things they can do to be healthier, Rivera said.
“The most important part is awareness,” Rivera said. “If we’re healthier as individuals, we can be healthier as a community. That’s the ultimate goal.”
Diaz said they plan on expanding the initiative to other areas of the borough, raising awareness about healthier habits such as eating smaller portions, eating more fruits and vegetables, and incorporating more exercise into their daily routine. He said they also plan on educating Bronx retailers and store owners about the minor adjustments they can make to provide healthier options to their consumers.
“[Last year,] we concentrated just on the 33rd senatorial district. Now what we’re doing is taking it to other zip codes,” Diaz said. “Everyone wants to live a long and healthy life and sometimes people don’t know how to go about it.”
At the fair, Rivera talked about three legislative bills he hopes to pass that were developed from the dialogue he had with health partners and community members during the 2011 Bronx CAN campaign.
The first bill, which addresses the issue of second-hand smoking, will ban smoking near school exits and entrances. Rivera said that since smoking is already prohibited within schools, this bill will extend that to 100 feet outside of the school building. On June 18, Rivera and Assembly member Jeffrey Dinowitz passed this legislation in both the state senate and state assembly.
The second bill will require schools to have a certified physical education teacher in every school. According to a 2009 report prepared by former Borough President Adolfo Carrion, Jr., 21 percent of Bronx public schools lack a certified physical education instructor.
The third bill, which is called the “Happy Meal” bill, states that any meal that is incentivized with a toy to appeal to younger children must meet nutritional requirements. He said kids develop habits early and that these toys shouldn’t be accompanied with a “big greasy burger with French fries….and a sugary drink.”
The Bronx CAN Health Initiative was created last year in response to a Robert Wood Foundation study that marked the Bronx as the unhealthiest county in New York state. It showed that 26 percent of the adults living in the borough are in poor or fair health compared to 16 percent statewide and 10 percent nationwide.
“We’re just tired of being first place in everything that’s bad,” Diaz said.
This year the launch focused on physical fitness and exercise. The health fair offered interactive dance lessons, a free zumba class and blood pressure and diabetes screening.
Rivera helped launched the initiative last year by participating in a public weigh-in that showed he weighed 299 lbs. At the health fair this year, he weighed in at 270 lbs.
Betty Diaz (no relation) attended the fair and was inspired by Rivera’s weight loss to change her lifestyle.
“The next step is to eat less and think of life more,” she said.

Editor’s note:
 A version of this article appears in the June 28-July 11 print edition of the Norwood News.

Free Community Events

Summer Walks:

Fordham Fever Fridays:

Twin Parks' Unity in the Cmmunity:

48th Precinct's National Night Out:

Health Fair & Block Party

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Mayor Bloomberg announces all city farmers markets will now accept food-stamp-backed 'Health Bucks'


Mayor Bloomberg fancies himself an expert on nutritional choice, so what’s the fave veggie of the big-soda-banning billionaire?

“Steak, I always say,” he joked when asked just Monday as he announced that all city farmers markets will now take food-stamp-backed “Health Bucks.”

“No, I mean, I like carrots and lettuce. Iceberg lettuce I’m a big fan of. Cucumber and radishes. I like chewy things. Things you can really sink your teeth into. I snack on them all the time.”

Many think iceberg lettuce isn’t really healthy, but that’s not exactly true, said certified dietician nutritionist Nancy Copperman, director of public health initiatives at North Shore LIJ Health Systems.

“There are other dark-green leafy vegetables that may have more nutrients, but iceberg lettuce is not a total zero,” she said, noting it has some potassium, beta carotene, and lutein. But she said romaine lettuce and spinach would be better for the mayor.
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