Thursday, November 5, 2020

Bronx Health REACH Welcomes Our New FoodCorps Member


Welcome Kadijah Spence, our new FoodCorps member! 

We welcome Kadijah Spence, our new FoodCorps member. Kadijah will dedicate a year of service to engaging students and teachers in creating a school wide culture of health through experiential learning. Her education background is in environmental education and environmental studies. Her current research focused on Jewish values within Jewish environmental education curricula and/or programs. During her research, Kadijah connected with Jews of color, queer Jews and female-identifying Jews who are thriving in the environmental field. While connecting with these individuals, she began to comprehend that the overlap of social identities of community members influence the values and concerns within the community. Kadijah looks forward to using this knowledge as a tool to build community, communicate with community members, and fulfill community needs.

When she’s not researching the environment, she can be found in the outdoors, usually by a body of water. As a New Yorker, the Hudson River and its tributaries teaches her so much and offers her a place to daydream. She looks forward to learning about the strong values that bring the PSX443/The Family School and PS114/Luis Llorens Torres School communities together as well as the social and economic challenges they are working to overcome.  Kadijah wants her students to understand the outdoors through hands-on activities and transformative learning discussions. She is proud to continue to serve her community as an educator. 

Monday, November 2, 2020

Men's Health a Priority for Bronx Health REACH


In January, a Men's Health Workshop was held at the Institute for Family Health's Stevenson Family Health Center. 

The untimely death of actor Chadwick Boseman (Black Panther) to colon cancer puts a spotlight on the American Cancer Society point that African Americans are 20% more likely to get colorectal cancer and 40% more likely to die from it than other groups (with Black men having the highest incidence). Mr. Boseman’s death at the young age of 43 makes it clear that it is vital that Black men have regular health checkups.

Recognizing the importance of encouraging men to make their health a priority, in January, the first Men’s Health Workshop was held at the Institute for Family Health's Stevenson Family Health Center. Launching such a workshop has been the vision of Bronx Health REACH Community Health Worker Joseph Ellis for some time. "Over the years, many of the men I have spoken with mentioned having struggles with health concerns like diabetes, being overweight, heart disease and being stressed about work and providing for their families. I wanted to do something to address these concerns," said Joseph. "If I could get them all together in a workshop and have their health concerns addressed by a doctor, maybe they would be more receptive to opening up about the challenges they have as men regarding being healthy." Men’s health has also been the concern of Dr. Eric Gayle, Vice President, Medical Services for the Institute for Family Health, who has been a long time doctor to many of the Institute’s Bronx patients.

For the workshop, Joseph and Dr. Gayle came up with several topics that encouraged an open discussion between the men attending. Attendees asked about diabetes, family history, discussing health concerns with your doctor, sexual health, prostate growth and cancer and more. The interaction between the men and Dr. Gayle was dynamic. The questions just kept on coming. The workshop hit home for the men and they were glad to have been given this forum to voice their health issues and concerns in the company of other men. "We had accomplished what we set out to do, which was to have a forum where men can have an open discussion about their health," said Dr. Gayle.

COVID-19 halted the holding of these Men’s Health Workshops. We hope to resume them as soon as it is safe to hold in person gatherings.

Kelly Moltzen Recognized as One of NYC Food Policy Center's 40 Under 40


Kelly Moltzen, Program Manager for the Creating Healthy Schools and Communities program at Bronx Health REACH, has been recognized by Hunter College's New York City Food Policy Center's as one of 40 individuals under 40 years old who are working to transform the food system.

Bronx Health REACH's Kelly Moltzen was recognized by Hunter College's New York City Food Policy Center as one of the 2020 class of 40 individuals under 40 years old who are working to transform the food system. The Center’s honorees include policymakers, educators, community advocates, farmers and innovators who are making significant strides to create healthier, more sustainable food environments and to use food to promote community and economic development. Kelly is the Program Manager for the Creating Healthy Schools and Communities program at Bronx Health REACH. Congratulations Kelly! We are honored to have you as part of the Bronx Health REACH team.

13 Faith Based Organizations Recognized for Completing Healthy Children, Healthy Families Program


Faith based partners were recognized for completing the Healthy Children, Healthy Families program at an event in February.

Right before the Pandemic struck and we all were required to stop meeting in person, 33 people representing 13 faith based organizations gathered at Pentecostal Temple of the Living God to recognize the impact of the Healthy Children, Healthy Families program, on the children, families and faith based organizations that participated in the program in 2019. The organizations honored include: St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Christian Community Neighborhood Church Inc., Creston Avenue Baptist Church, Water of Life-Mission Pentecostal Rehoboth, King of Glory Tabernacle, Williams Institutional Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Pentecostal Temple of the Living God, Fellowship Baptist Church and St. Augustine Our Lady of Victory Church. Members from Grand Concourse Seventh Day Adventist, Church of God-Soundview, Bronx Spanish Evangelical Church and New Life Rehoboth Church were unable to attend, but also completed the program in 2019.    

Bronx Health REACH Director, Charmaine Ruddock, welcomed the group by mentioning how important the Healthy Children, Healthy Families program is to the Bronx, as the Bronx is currently ranked 62 out of 62, the least healthy county in New York state based on the Robert Wood Johnson County Health Rankings and Roadmaps. She pointed out that by participating in the Healthy Children, Healthy Families program, the families were making strides towards a healthy life and would be part of improving the overall health of the Bronx.

Naiomie Michelle from King of Glory Tabernacle stated that the children from her church had so much fun in the workshops, they would invite their neighborhood friends to participate as well.  "This program helped to build community and had a huge impact not only on teaching the children about healthy eating, but making the connection between each workshop lesson and the spiritual values that are so meaningful to myself and the participants," she said. The Healthy Children, Healthy Families program ended this summer. 537 adults and children participated in the program.


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