Join Us for Meditation Mondays in November!

Free, Virtual Meditation Sessions

Every Monday in November Beginning Nov. 2nd from 8:30 – 9:00 a.m. 

The BNMC Healthy Communities team presents Meditation Mondays, a 30-minute live guided meditation each Monday morning from 8:30 – 9:00 am in November. Each week has its own theme to provide focus, purpose, and intention. All participants will receive recordings of each session and an e-book to guide their own meditation practice once the series has concluded. Meditations are being guided by Amiyah King and Jasir Ali, full bios in our Facebook Events page. Register on our Medical Campus Wellness Events Public Facebook Group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/2243130692613771

Download our Meditation Mondays Flyer!

BNMC Shifts Existing Grant Funding to Increase Capacity of Local Food Supply Chain During Pandemic

BNMC Shifts Existing Grant Funding to Support Efforts of Farmers, Not-for-Profit Organizations, and Small Distributors to Increase Capacity of Local Food Supply Chain During Pandemic

Projects Support the Longer-Term Goal of Improving Access to Institutional Procurement

 

BUFFALO, NY—The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Inc. (BNMC) has partnered with four local organizations to support projects that will increase the food system resiliency in our community. A total of $20,000 has been distributed to local partners to support the production and distribution of local foods, as well as the sustainability and growth of small farms and distribution businesses that may be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The funding has been made available through “BNMC Fresh: Farm to Hospital Implementation,” an existing three-year grant that the BNMC received in 2018 through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s Local Food Promotion Program.

This collaborative initiative is designed to create a model that prioritizes local agriculture from New York State, enabling farms to access new markets (hospitals), and can be replicated across the state. The initiative is expected to create a culture that embraces local farms through prioritizing local procurement; establishes and expands community supported agriculture (CSA) and farmers’ market programs; establishes food chain transparency; increases awareness and knowledge among consumers of local food procurement efforts; and provides knowledge and skill-building opportunities to agribusiness stakeholders (farmers, distributor, food service teams). This project ultimately aims to make local procurement a regular practice and culture among health care institutions.

“Our grant manager at USDA was very understanding about our efforts to increase healthy local foods in hospitals slowing as our health care partners shift their full attention to caring for our community during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Marla Guarino, BNMC’s Farm to Institution Program Coordinator “We were able to redistribute the funds originally earmarked for conferences, travel, and longer-term strategies that are currently on hold, and expand the scope of the initiative to have a more immediate impact on making our local food system more resilient.”

Guarino added, “Implementing these short-term wins more quickly supports the overall goal of the grant – increasing the ability of small farmers and organizations to play a role in institutional procurement, such as hospitals, colleges and universities, prisons, and school districts.”

In order to support the local food chain supply quickly during the pandemic, the BNMC team looked to extend projects with existing partner organizations, primarily focusing on infrastructure capital improvement; equipment; and data enhancement.  Priority was given to projects that were able to be completed within 4-6 months; collaborative efforts; minority and women-led; and infrastructure moving toward institutional procurement in the future. All final decisions required wp-contentroval from the BNMC USDA grants manager.

The team worked with the USDA in April for wp-contentroval to redirect funding, and identified the priority projects with partner organizations in May. All organizations received the funding over the summer and are well on their way to enacting change.

The following four organizations each received $5,000:

St. John’s Baptist Church, God’s Farm’acy Mobile Truck

God’s Farm’acy is a mobile food truck and raised garden initiative that distributes hot meals, fruits, and vegetables for free throughout the Fruit Belt and other underserved communities. The team at St. John’s also uses the truck to offer healthy cooking classes in the community.  They used the funds to add refrigeration to the mobile food truck, allowing them to help eliminate food desserts by increasing access to fresh foods and nutrition information. Received: Funds toward refrigeration for Mobile Truck

Groundwork Market Garden: Groundwork Market Garden is a family-owned farm on the East Side of Buffalo. GMG received funds to develop and promote a digital catalog of local farm products available for purchase. This digital catalog will be updated regularly and used to secure business with larger institutions that small farms traditionally do not serve. GMG plans to include all local urban growers into the catalog as a way to procure larger contracts and promote local farms. Received: Funds for development of digital catalog, on-line marketplace and marketing support

“These funds are helping to bring our farm up to speed with the current trend for local food to be available through online marketplaces,” said Anders Gunnersen, GMG cofounder. “The online catalog will separate our products by retail and wholesale and will be used as a means to sell produce, and as a marketing tool for our farm to reach more people and institutions in the city of Buffalo and Western NY. This project is going to streamline our sales processes and tracking, and better market our products to a much larger and broader audience.”

Produce Peddlers: Produce Peddlers is an online marketplace for buying and selling produce that prevents food waste and saves money. They received funds to reconfigure its delivery van with a refrigeration unit to increase its ability to deliver fresh and local perishable goods to consumers and businesses in the WNY region. When the COVID-19 pandemic closed many businesses, farmers and other suppliers started to back up on product. In an attempt to help, Produce Peddlers opened its marketplace to individual consumers, who were also looking for alternative avenues to source their food that didn’t involve having to go out in public places. Refrigeration will allow Produce Peddlers to handle more goods safely, be GHP compliant, and streamline its delivery methods. Received: Funds for refrigeration for mobile truck

“The ability to refrigerate our delivery vehicle has propelled our business to new heights!” said Gina Wieczorek, Co-founder, VP Operations, Produce Peddlers. “We are now able to safely transport and deliver all sorts of locally grown and produced food, including animal products, meat and other processed items, to restaurants, schools and institutions all over WNY without breaking the cold chain.”

Urban Fruits & Veggies: Urban Fruits & Veggies is an urban agriculture business with two urban farms and a mobile produce market focused on providing access and nutrition education to underserved communities in the WNY area. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, they are growing three times as much as they usually do to support requests for food delivery, and therefore need additional growing supplies, specifically refrigeration equipment. They also need office equipment to facilitate data tracking and growing partnerships with organizations and established programs to ensure they are addressing the social determinants to health. Received: Funds for computer, laptop and printer

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About the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Inc.

The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BNMC): re-imagining our city’s future through the dynamic intersection of technology, health, discovery, and collaboration. The BNMC is a social enterprise focused on cultivating inclusive innovation in partnership with our community. We do this by improving infrastructure, managing our transportation system, creating a culture of health and wellbeing, driving innovation, and working with our partners to continue to build an innovative district that reflects the best of our community. In addition, the BNMC owns and operates more than 150,000 sq ft of incubator space, helping to grow a diverse array of emerging and mature companies through dynamic workspace, programming, and networking. www.bnmc-old.local

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For more information: Marla Guarino, 716.867.9528

 

Mental Health Matters at BNMC

On Tuesday February 14th , the BNMC Healthy Workplace Initiative hosted a Mental Health First Aid training for its client companies. There were 22 people in attendance from 11 companies, including Walsh Duffield, United Way of Buffalo and Erie County, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, Lawley, and Pegula Sports Entertainment.
This nationally recognized training was provided locally by Compeer Buffalo, a non-profit that takes a friendship wp-contentroach to Mental Health. Its model is nationally recognized and has been awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as well as the American Psychiatric Association.

Mental Health First Aid training aims to educate the public on how to identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance abuse disorders. Upon completion of the training, participants received a certificate, identifying them as Mental Health First Aiders, equipped with the skills needed to reach out, offer help, and support someone who may be experiencing a crisis. Participants also walk away with a simple 5-step action plan in hand to help a colleague, loved one, or neighbor in dealing with a crisis until professional treatment is obtained.

Mental health is the most frequently requested topic among companies in the Healthy Workplace Initiative, and it is unfortunate the depth of local data available that supports this trend. According to the Economic Impact of Poor Health on Our WNY Community, depression alone is 19% prevalent in the Buffalo-Niagara region and costs our local workforce $170 million per year in medical spending and $415.7 million productivity losses each year. These data, combined with the existing stigma surrounding mental health, demonstrate the immediate need for further action to address the well-being of our region. BNMC hosted this training to not only improve mental health literacy among the local workforce, but to also empower collective urgency in combating mental health stigma through harnessing a proactive wp-contentroach.

In addition to being highly informative and educational on a variety of mental health challenges, the training featured a series of interactive activities to further reinforce course content. One of the most impactful activities involved comparing various mental health challenges with physical health illnesses. Based on a study by the World Health Organization, the rankings demonstrated how mental health challenges can be equally or even more compromising to activities of daily life as physical health challenges, such as vision loss.

Thank you to Walsh Duffield for sponsoring the event!

For more information on Mental Health First Aid Training, please visit http://www.compeerbuffalo.org/mhfa/

Hotlines in Crisis

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK

National Crisis Text Line Text HOME to 741741

24-Hour Suicide Prevention Hotline for Erie County 716-834-3131

First NYS Food Policy Council Formed to Improve Erie County Food System

The Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities-Buffalo partnership, a national initiative of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation administered by the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Inc., is thrilled to be a part of forming the first food policy council in New York State. This has been a goal of the HKHC partners for several years and we are so hwp-contenty to see our work come to fruition, thanks to the hard work of many within the City of Buffalo and Erie County. Below is the press release issued by Sean Mulligan in Councilmember Rivera's office. 

To increase access to nutritious and healthy foods, the Erie County Board of Health has formed the Food Policy Council (FPC) of Buffalo and Erie County. Through a unanimous vote, the Board established the FPC in May 2013. The first of its kind in New York State, the FPC will act as an advisory resource for the implementation of innovative wp-contentroaches to establish better food systems for all municipalities throughout Erie County.
SummitAdvocating for the need of such a Council, food system partners garnered additional support from local policymakers and other stakeholders at the 2011 Buffalo Food Policy Summit. When national food policy experts attended the Summit to assess the state of and make recommendations on how to improve the area's food system, one of the recommendations was to create a food policy council. As a subcommittee of the Board, the FPC is a direct result of the work done by the food policy council steering committee put together by city of Buffalo officials in 2012.

The expertise of the FPC will advise decision makers on issues ranging from obesity and limited food access to economic development options. It will also help to establish local food procurement requirements and increasing opportunities to purchase food grown right here in Erie County.

There are many processes, stakeholders, regulations and resources that are involved with the production, processing, distribution, consumption, and disposal of food. Policies can address regulation, sustainability and physical environment challenges that many residents face, preventing them from having healthy food options. Policies also help to establish healthy communities.

Members of the FPC will be named later this summer. The FPC will most likely comprise of experts from the food system, including farmers, distributors, retailers, consumer advocates, and representatives from government departments that have the potential to impact the food system, which typically include the departments of health, economic development, and planning.

The FPC was created after much preparation and support by many contributors, including the Community Foundation of Greater Buffalo; W.D. Henry & Sons Farm; University of Buffalo’s School of Architecture and Planning; Good Earth, Inc; Healthy Kids- Healthy Communities Partnership, a program of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; Oles Family Farm; Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Inc.; Cornell Cooperative Extension of Erie County; Buffalo City Councilmembers Michael LoCurto and David Rivera; Be Healthy Institute; Dash’s Market; Erie County Department of Environment and Planning & Department of Health; and the Massachusetts Avenue Project.

The FPC looks to convene its first meeting later this summer. If interested in participating, please contact: Sean Mulligan, 716-851-5125, smulligan@city-buffalo.com

Play Streets® Comes to Buffalo

play streets postersPlay Streets® was created to help prevent and combat childhood obesity by the Partnership for a Healthier America and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Just like in various cities across the country, Play Streets® will come to Buffalo beginning Sunday, May 5th.
Select streets will be closed to cars and opened to the community to walk, ride bikes, skate and participate in physical activities like dancing, jumping rope, hula-hooping and even climbing a rock wall!

Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities Buffalo helped to shape the development of Play Streets® in Buffalo by providing concrete evidence of growing obesity trends and direct feedback from youth in our city regarding the impact of the environment on their health and well-being, as well as what they'd like to see to improve.

To continue collecting that important evidence, Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities partners are being summoned to assist with data collection at the Buffalo Play Streets® events.

Volunteers Needed!

  • Volunteer teams of 2-3 people are needed to engage youth and adult participants.
  • The volunteers will also need to make sure a survey is completed by the participants which should take no more than 10 minutes.

In order to reach the evaluation goal, 20 adult and 30 youth surveys need to be completed at each of the 5 events. People who complete a survey will receive an incentive, probably a frisbee. Of course, before and after the surveys have been completed, volunteers are free to hang out and enjoy all of the Play Streets® activities.

Volunteers are needed to help with set-up, clean-up and assisting event participants.If you'd like to volunteer or if you have any questions, please contact Henry Raess, Play Streets Coordinator by e-mail at henry@gobikebuffalo.org or by phone at 716.218-7161.

Events

People are encouraged to walk and bike to the events and throughout the events, where there are a number of activities to get you moving.

  • Sunday, May 5th, from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Manhattan Avenue (north of East Amherst Street, behind Bennett High School)
  • Sunday, June 2nd – Hamlin Park
  • Sunday, July 7th – Seneca/Babcock
  • Sunday, August 4th – Allentown
  • Sunday, September 1st – West Side (Rees St./Buff State/Richardson Complex)

Want to know more? Play Streets features a number of fun activities, including dance workshops, zumba, line-dancing, yoga, bike repair workshops, bike rodeos, a climbing wall, sports and games. Information on nutrition, health and wellness will be available. Buffalo Play Streets partner BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York will have their Healthy Zone Cruiser at each event, providing jump ropes and hula hoops for kids to play with and information on healthcare. In addition, Massachusetts Avenue Project’s Growing Green mobile market will be at several Play Streets, providing information on gardening and urban farming, growing seasons, recipes for preparing and cooking various vegetables and selling their fresh, locally-grown produce.

For more information, go to www.gobikebuffalo.org/programs/play-streets.

National NAACP Director of Health Programs Comes to Buffalo

Banner Letterhead
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                           
Thursday, April 18, 2013

Contact:
Kari Root Bonaro, BNMC, Inc.
716.218.7157, kbonaro@bnmc-old.local

MEDIA ALERT

National NAACP Director of Health Programs Comes to Buffalo

Shavon Arline-Bradley will talk about health equity, power and privilege

WHAT:              “An Evening with Shavon Arline-Bradley, Director of Health Programs, NAACP” is a free event, open to the public, featuring a presentation by the nationally-renowned, dynamic speaker. The discussion will focus on empowering community members to advocate for healthier communities. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear about present and prevailing health disparities, socio-economic barriers and ways to combat each by using power, privilege and knowledge to help make decisions to increase individual and community health equity.

WHEN:          Wednesday, April 24th at 6 p.m.

WHERE:        WNED Studios – 140 Lower Terrace, Buffalo, NY 14202 (free parking available)

WHO:             Shavon Arline-Bradley, MPH, Director of Health Programs, NAACP

Shavon Arline-Bradley is the national director of health programs for the NAACP where she is responsible for coordinating and planning the Association’s health agenda and program implementation efforts. Ms. Arline has over 11 years of public health experience in the areas of health disparities, federal and state government health program management, and community and stakeholder collaborative relationship building. The New Jersey native is a public health advocate and former track and field athlete. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Physiology and Master of Public Health degree from Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Ms. Arline is currently serving on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center for Childhood Obesity advisory board and was asked to serve on the expert advisory panel for the CDC’s Division of Physical Activity and Nutrition to address health disparities.  Ms. Arline is also a member of the AIDSVu national advisory committee.

Ms. Arline is a sought after public speaker and has traveled extensively throughout the United States and Caribbean.  She has been invited to national and regional conferences to present on disease prevention, exercise physiology, minority and women’s health issues as well as social justice. She also ministers to congregations as an advocate for faith based health, social justice initiatives and spiritual development.

Ms. Arline was awarded Young Leadership and Excellence honors and co-authored “The Queens Legacy” in 2009. She is a member of the Columbia (MD) Alumnae chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. and serves as the co-chair physical and mental health subcommittee of the national program planning and development committee. She is also a member of the Columbia (MD) chapter of the Links Inc. Shavon is also the former health committee chair for the Washington DC branch of the NAACP.

Prior to joining the NAACP, Ms. Arline served as the health programs coordinator of REACH 2010 at the Heart of New Orleans focusing on the heart health of over 1,300 African American women. At the Crater Health District (VA) she was the Community Health and Prevention Supervisor and public information officer and coordinated community health education and outreach programs, administrated grant funding and contractors, and served as the community liaison to the health district.

Ms. Arline served as Health Program Manager with the Black Women’s Health Imperative overseeing community outreach and program implementation for African American women and their families.  She was also the Health and Wellness Manager for the National Recreation and Park Association in Ashburn, Virginia where she managed the Action Communities for Health Innovation and Environmental Change (ACHIEVE) program funded by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Sponsored by the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Inc. and the Buffalo Branch of the NAACP

The event is free, but RSVP’s are requested. RSVP online at bnmc-old.local/events/health/or by phone at 716.854.2662.

About the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Inc.

The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Inc. (BNMC, Inc.) is the umbrella organization created in 2001 by the anchor institutions located within the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. The BNMC, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization that fosters conversation and collaboration among its member institutions, the 55+ private sector companies on the Medical Campus, 12,000 employees, and the community; coordinates activities related to sustainable planning, development and enhancement of its 120-acre space; and works to create a distinct, innovative environment that provides opportunities for entrepreneurship and active and healthy living. The BNMC, Inc. also works with partners throughout the community to develop healthier, greener, and more economical solutions to meet the needs of our growing urban campus and the region as a whole. bnmc-old.local

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