BCHN Holds Health Symposium to Launch REACH CHAMPS and 2015 Annual Meeting of the Board of Directors

BCHN Web Release

BCHN Holds Health Symposium to Launch REACH CHAMPS
and 2015 Annual Meeting of the Board of Directors

BRONX, N.Y.— Bronx Community Health Network, Inc. (BCHN) brought together a number of its partners, supporters, and colleagues for a health symposium to celebrate the kick-off of the BCHN Bronx REACH CHAMPS program. The event, which took place in the Grand Hall at Montefiore Medical Center on Tuesday, May 26, 2015 also served as the venue for BCHN’s annual board meeting, during which a new board president was elected.

Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) is a national program administered by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), aimed at reducing health disparities in communities of color. REACH’s approaches, which cut across a number of evidence- and practice-based interventions by: supporting community coalitions that design, implement, evaluate, and disseminate community-driven strategies to eliminate health disparities in chronic disease; and providing the infrastructure for implementing, coordinating, refining, disseminating, and evaluating successful evidence- or practice-based approaches and programs the community.

BCHN and its partners have increased their effort to encourage Bronx families, particularly those with young children, to become more physically active. They are also joining forces to support initiatives such as Shop Healthy NYC. This program encourages Bronx supermarket owners, food suppliers, and distributors to help increase and promote healthy foods. The REACH CHAMPS program is funded by a $3 million grant awarded to BCHN by the CDC.

The symposium’s panel, which was made up of BCHN’s partners, focused on the projects they have launched, as well as best practices. The panelists were: David Appel, M.D., Director of Montefiore School Health Program, who discussed what they are doing to introduce the approximately 27,000 students in their schools to healthy eating habits and are encouraged to exercise daily, as well as considerations necessary for broad health-related policy changes; Jennifer Collazo, Quality Manager for the Acacia Network/Promesa who provided an outline of the Green Prescriptions program and touched on the potential impact of this program, as well as the challenges that need to be addressed; Arthur Hodge, Jr., M.D., Community Health Manager for The Bronx Health Link who spoke on how they are working to design and implement policies that ensure children in daycare centers are encouraged to participate in daily physical activity and exercise; and Anita Lee, the Chief Operating Officer at Gotham Health who outlined the Shop Healthy Initiative and what they have started doing to reach out to some area shop owners and supermarkets.

Following the symposium, BCHN held its annual meeting which served as Richard Thomas’ last as the BCHN Board President. The board elected Eduardo Alayon as the new President of the Board of Directors. Mr. Alayon has served on BCHN’s board since the fall of 2011 but has been active on other boards in the community for more than 30 years.

Mr. Alayon said that he hopes to be able to use his time in this role to help BCHN continue to grow. “I have served on several different boards in the Bronx because I truly enjoy hitting the ground running and getting work done. The organization has been growing over the last few years and I am looking forward to providing strategic direction to BCHN to help the organization expand its programs and its reach.”

“The Bronx is my community,” said Mr. Alayon. “I grew up in this community so my passion is to make it better for everyone, especially for people who are in need of services. This is a passion for me. I enjoy what I am doing. I enjoy helping others.”

About BCHN

Bronx Community Health Network, Inc. (BCHN) is a non-profit organization and federally funded health center. Our 15 affiliated community- and school-based centers are owned and operated by Montefiore Medical Center and the Acacia Network. Located throughout the Bronx, these health centers offer affordable, quality medical care and related health services for all, including under- and uninsured Bronx families. Call (718) 904-2516 for appointments for comprehensive pediatric, adolescent, and adult medicine, women’s health, dentistry, and behavioral health services. Our dedicated health care providers and professionals also provide regular checkups, flu shots, immunizations, and other essential diagnostic and social support services, including health education and nutrition counseling, and asthma, high blood pressure, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and cancer management programs. www.bchnhealth.org. Follow BCHN: Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

# # #