Tuesday, May 30, 2017

REACH Visits Senator Schumer and Congressman Serrano's Offices

In May, Bronx Health REACH and Bronx Community Health Network met with representatives from Senator Charles Schumer's office and Congressman Jose E. Serrano's office. As with our visit to Senator Kristen Gillibrand's office in March, our community partners spoke powerfully of the impact of this work on the health of the community.

The partners at the meeting with Sen. Schumer’s staff included members from Cosmopolitan Church of the Lord Jesus, Friendly Baptist Church, Mt. Zion CME Church, and WellCare Health Plans.

Dorothy Faison, representing Cosmopolitan Church of the Lord Jesus spoke about the exercise ministry that has begun at the church and which meets every Saturday using exercise equipment provided by a grant from WellCare Health Plans. Rev. Dr. Theresa Oliver from Mt. Zion CME Church spoke about a culture of health growing in her church, and gave as an example the fruit infused water in pitchers provided every Sunday for the use of her parishioners.

At the meeting with Congressman Serrano’s staff, Bronx Health REACH Coalition members included representatives from Citizens Emergency Response Network Inc., WellCare Health Plans, and Walker Memorial Baptist Church. Wali Abun, from Citizens Emergency Response Network Inc. shared that even though his organization deals with emergencies such as hurricanes and other disasters, he became involved with the Bronx Health REACH Coalition because he believes the Bronx ranking as the least healthiest county in New York state according to the 2017 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation County Health Rankings & Roadmaps Report is a state of emergency to the health of all Bronx residents, and should be addressed by elected officials.

Flora Goldston, representing Walker Memorial Baptist Church, spoke about the healthy changes happening in her church - parishioners are exercising more and drinking more water now provided as the beverage of choice at church events. She went on to say that it is now standard practice to disseminate health information in the monthly church bulletin.

The goal of these visits to law makers representing Bronx districts is to let them know the extent and impact of the work being done with the funding for REACH.

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