Thursday, December 9, 2010

e-blast: December 9, 2010

Let’s Move Faith and Communities
Last week, First Lady Michelle Obama released the “Let’s Move Faith and Communities” toolkit for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Organizations.  Michelle Obama started off the call by thanking the faith-based community for their leadership in empowering people “to take charge of their lives and make positive changes for themselves and their families.”  She challenges us to join her initiative to increase physical activity, start more community gardens and farmers markets at congregations or neighborhood organizations, and host new summer feeding sites for youth.  More information and the toolkit can be found on the Let’s Move blog.  

FoodWorks New York
On November 22, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn announced her plan for improving every step of NYC’s food system: from agricultural production, to processing, distribution, consumption and post-consumption.  Her speech, videos, and the entire FoodWorks plan with all 59 proposals can be found at:

PlaNYC (Community Conversations December 9th and 16th!)
We need to let the Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability know what we want included in PlaNYC in regards to the food system.  PlaNYC is the Mayor’s plan for improving sustainability in NYC, and the current version covers land, water, transportation, energy, air quality, and climate change issues, but not the food system. The Food Systems Network of NYC has developed a proposed Food Chapter which you can read here. Please submit your ideas for PlaNYC and/or vote on other ideas you like at, and consider emailing your ideas to with the subject line "food."  You can also attend one of the two remaining Community Conversations happening over the next week:

Eastern Queens:
Thursday, December 9th, 2010 (today!)
7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Bayside High School

32-24 Corporal Kennedy Street

South Brooklyn:
Thursday, December 16th, 2010
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
St. Michael’s RC Church,
352 42nd Street
Enter through auditorium on
43rd Street

Child Nutrition Reauthorization Passes Congress
On December 2, 2010, the House passed the Senate’s “Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010” which will provide an additional $4.5 billion to child nutrition programs over the next 10 years, and the first increase to school meal funding since 1973 that exceeds the inflation rate.  This bill now only awaits President Obama’s signature.  More information about the provisions of the bill can be found at the Food Research and Action Center website.  

School Wellness Updates & Next Nutrition & Fitness Workgroup meeting: January 13th, 2011
Our next Bronx Health REACH Nutrition and Fitness Workgroup / Advisory Committee meeting will be held on January 13th from 1:00-3:00pm.  During the first hour we will discuss updates on our Obesity Prevention Program, including the goals and objectives for our classroom-based nutrition education and involvement of main caregivers, in addition to wellness committee activities of our HEA+LTHY Schools NY schools (PS 218, PS 18, PS 43, PS 64, Sheridan Academy for Young Leaders (PS 457), JHS 145, and Bronx Writing Academy).  During the second hour, we will discuss other agenda items such as our social marketing campaign.

2011 Play Streets application due December 15
Play Streets are a great way to engage the public in fun physical activity and nutrition education activities. The NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) recently released the Play Streets application for summer 2011.  If you would like to see a PlayStreets event in your area, please complete the application (both the Expression of Interest Application and the Evaluation Worksheet) by December 15.  If you have any questions about the application or the similar School Play Streets application, please contact Helen Ho (; 212-361-2197) or Emma Miller (; 212-361-2196) at DOHMH, or Julia De Martini (; 646-873-6026) at Transportation Alternatives about community Play Streets.

Legislation Updates
Bronx Health REACH Coalition and its legal partner, New York Lawyers for Public Interest (NYLPI) recently met with New York City Council member Annabel Palma and Carmen Arroyo to get support for a City Council resolution to eliminated segregated specialty care from academic medical institutions in New York.  We have also been updating Community Boards about our current efforts to educate elected officials.  Most recently, we have met with and updated Community Boards 1 and 8.  To aid us in our efforts to educate fellow community residents and elected officials, we recently created a Frequently Asked Questions sheet to address some of the points of our campaign.  If you are interested in attending the meetings with elected officials and Community Boards we will be holding trainings to familiarize you with the issues. Please note that you do not need to have previous experience, just an interest in representing your community. Please contact Ying Guo at 212-633-0800 ext. 1341 or at if you are interested.

Health Disparity Workgroup
Every 2nd Wednesday of the month, the health disparity workgroup meets to discuss future community based action to end health disparities and segregated care in our campaign. We meet at Cosmopolitan Church of Lord Jesus at
39 W 190th St., Bronx, NY 10468
at 1:30pm – 3:30 pm.  Our next meeting will be January 12th, 2011. Please join us as we discuss next steps for our community outreach and education efforts on behalf of our eliminating segregated specialty care campaign.

News on Healthcare Reform:
California First State to Sign Legislation Establishing the Health Insurance Exchanges
September marked the start of healthcare reform. The American Public Health Association recently noted that California became the first state to implement one of the key provisions of federal health reform, a web-based insurance exchange which will allow consumers to comparison shop for health insurance coverage.  The California Health Benefit Exchange will provide a place for small businesses and people without employer-based insurance to come together to buy health insurance at lower rates, aided by federal subsidies to low- and middle-income consumers.  Created as an independent government agency, the California Health Benefit Exchange will be led by a five-member board that will be appointed by the governor and legislature in 2011.
Pennsylvania’s “High-Risk” Insurance Plan Sees Success

The American Public Health Association is reporting that Pennsylvania's new "high-risk" insurance plan, which was created to provide health insurance coverage for the uninsured with pre-existing health conditions, is showing early signs of success, with enrollment significantly higher than comparable plans in other states. So far, more than 1,650 people have enrolled in the PA Fair Care program at a cost $283 a month. To be eligible for the program, individuals must have at least a six month gap in health insurance coverage and must be unable to obtain coverage because of medical conditions. According to the state Insurance Department, the program can cover up to 3,500 total enrollees. Similar programs in other states average about 10 percent capacity or less, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Nationwide, only 8,011 individuals have enrolled in high-risk pools as of Nov. 1.

MARC Academy on News 12 in the Bronx
On Wednesday, November 24, 2010, the children from MARC Academy, a REACH Coalition Partner, were featured on News 12 as they proudly walked to Engine Company 75, Ladder33 located at
2175 Walton Avenue
to present a trove of canned goods collected by them during this special time of the year. 

Rosa Rosen recognized by the American Diabetes Association
Bronx Health REACH Coalition member Rosa Rosen has been recognized in an American Diabetes Association article “Doing Well and Doing Good” for her work launching the “Diabetes y Nutrición” bilingual newspaper.  The newspaper is published 10 times a year and reaches 70,000 people in New York City, offering culturally appropriate diabetes-specific nutrition information and recipe ideas for its readers.  Congratulations Rosa!

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