Rural Health News
July 2022| Issue 14

Note from our Executive Director
Welcome to the MCRHC Summer Newsletter!

Summer is upon us and there is no better time to think about our health and wellness. Take a minute to review our Annual Report. You will see all of the amazing work MCRHC is doing. We are so fortunate to have all of our funders that support our hard work as we continue to grow.

Our newsletter has ideas on healthier eating, transportation and our upcoming educational trainings. Contact us to get more information on what we are doing or how to register for a training. If you are interested in doing something for your community, you can consider becoming a volunteer driver. Take some time to enjoy the beauty that is all around us!

Have the best summer and stay well.

Christine Paul
Executive Director
Community Spotlight
Wellness @ Work

Work and play don't have to be exclusive - especially when "play" involves getting fit and eating right. Old-school ways of thinking would have us cooped up in the office, staring out the window at beautiful sunny days and longing to head outside.

Read more
It is important to move throughout your day. If you sit at a desk for long periods of time, take a few minutes to try these stretches in the video to keep your blood circulating and prevent aches and pains caused by sitting for too long.
What's Happening at MCRHC
Check out our Annual Report!
We are so proud of the work we have accomplished this past year. We continue to grow and thrive and are grateful for the partnerships we have made along the way! Learn more by clicking on the image to the below.
Our Walk with a Doc Series for Mental Health Awareness month this past May made an impact on our communities! These walks provided an opportunity for our community to learn about mental health from experience and passionate mental health professionals.
In partnership with the Syracuse University Lerner Center, we have opened our 14th outdoor Monday Mile walking route in Madison County. It is an awesome location at the Town of Lenox Dog and Skate Park! Check it out this summer to walk a mile for your health!
New Doula Program Coming to Madison County!
Through a partnership between Cayuga Community Health Network, Seven Valleys Health Coalition and Madison County Rural Health Council, we are excited to offer Doula services to pregnant individuals living in Madison County starting in January 2023!

We will be hosting a doula training in Madison County in November 2022. If you are interested in becoming trained as a doula, or know someone who is, please call (315) 825-9233 or email

There will be no out-of-pocket costs for low-income pregnant individuals to work with a birth doula through the Doula Partnership of Cayuga, Cortland and Madison.

We are also looking connect with healthcare providers and community organizations to partner with us and sign an MOU for referrals to our Doula Program. Please reach out to us if you are interested or for more information! Call (315) 825-9233 or email
Mental Health Matters
Brookfield School district staff at a Youth MHFA training
Madison County Rural Health Council is excited to be able to offer Adult, Fire/EMS, Public Safety, teen, and Youth Mental Health First Aid within our community. Mental Health First Aid is the initial help offered to a person developing a mental health or substance use challenge or experiencing a mental health crisis. The first aid is given until appropriate treatment and support are received or until the crisis resolves.

Participants learn tools such as risk factors and warning signs, a 5-step action plan, information on diagnosis such as depression and anxiety along with providing evidence-based professional, peer and self-help resources that are available nationwide and locally.

We are so excited to be offering the teen program to Madison County Schools this Fall. This program is a little different than the other Mental Health First Aid programs. teen Mental Health First Aid (tMHFA), is specifically designed for teens in grades 10-12 or ages 15-18. This program was developed in response to critical mental health needs of young people — nearly half of adolescents ages 13-18 have a mental disorder and suicide is one of the leading causes of death among teens — as well as research indicating that young people prefer sharing problems with peers, but that their friends do not always have the knowledge or skills to help. The response we have received from local schools has been so welcoming and well-received. Madison County Schools are excited to bring this training to their students, staff, and community!

Since May we have held and scheduled 18 Youth MHFA trainings and 2 Adult MHFA trainings with over 200 community members, teachers, school administrators and professionals. Registrations are still coming in daily for those trainings and filling rapidly.

We look forward to what the future holds with these programs and being able to provide a valuable and much needed training to our community. 
Cazenovia School District staff at a Youth MHFA training
"I feel more prepared to respond to mental health challenges and crises after earning my Mental Health First Aid certification. I have several years' experience working in mental health and human services, including crisis intervention, and was glad to see this training offered new perspectives and tools. This training is ideal for any caring community member, both professionals and lay people."

Julianne L., Certified Youth Mental Health First Aider 
 988 - America’s three-digit Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline
As the United States prepares for the July 2022 transition to 988 as an easy to remember three-digit dialing, texting, and chat code for anyone experiencing a suicidal or mental health crises or emotional distress, it’s important that messaging efforts are aligned, coordinated, and consistent. To help organizations consider when and how to develop public messages about 988, the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention (Action Alliance)—the nation’s public-private partnership committed to advancing suicide prevention and changing the conversation about mental health and suicide prevention—recently released the 988 Messaging Framework. The 988 Messaging Framework, developed in collaboration with a 988 Messaging Task Force co-led by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and Vibrant Emotional Health (operational home to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline), provides broad guidance for organizations about when and how to develop public messages about 988. As you develop 988 messages, Madison County Rural Health Council encourages you to use this new resource to help inform your planning and to ensure our nation’s 988 messaging is strategic, aligned, and effective. To learn more, visit
Upcoming Workshops

Happy Summer, and with that MCRHC Mobility Management takes off with a few exciting announcements!

Up first, MCRHC is actively working to transition VTC over to MCRHC MM in the next few months, you can help by sending any potential volunteers our way. Volunteering for VTC means that you direct your schedule availability, you control what areas you are willing to drive, and you get a mileage reimbursement check that keeps gas in your tank (with gas prices, this is an attractive aspect to VTC programming). Please reach out to Donny at (315) 366 – 8190 for more information on how to become a VTC Volunteer Driver.

Secondly, MCRHC MM has been actively working on collecting donations for the Madison Transit System Token Donation Program, but I could use your help! To find out how to donate, check out the donate button here: , any amount will go directly for the purchase of bus tokens so MCRHC MM can directly disperse to local residents that could use the added support.

Lastly, please reach out to me for all of your transportation information needs, I am happy to help with Travel Training, Transportation Coordination, or just meeting one on one to provide resources. Check out the Mobility Management website at, or feel free to email me at

VTC continues to partner with Madison County Office for the Aging, Inc./RSVP (MCOFA) serving seniors 60+ years. VTC can assists seniors in Madison County get to critical health care appointments. There is an application process to become a client. Those wishing to access the program must be 60 years or older and reside in Madison County. Once approved, VTC requests a 48 hour notice to book an appointment for transportation. An application may be found on the VTC website by clicking here or calling the office to have an application mailed to your home. To request an application or for questions, please call (315) 628-8372.

Community News and Resources
Call: 2-1-1, text: HELP to 898-211 or
go to:

  • Professional tele-counselors available 24/7, 365 days a year.
  • List of health and human services resources in Madison, Oneida, and Herkimer counties.
  • Community connection, providing answers and assistance so you can take action.
Christine Paul, Executive Director
(607) 316-2175
Stephanie Henry, Deputy Director
(315) 313 - 4399
Donny Ybarra, Mobility Manager
(315) 366-8190
Jamie Hagenbuch, Health Initiatives Coordinator
(315) 401-4873
Office Phone #: (315) 825-9233
Our Board of Directors
DJ Raux, President
Crouse Community Center

Bruce Hathaway, Vice-President
Community Member

Jeffery E. Coakley, Treasurer
Community Memorial

Robyn Smith, Secretary
Excellus BlueCross BlueShield

Maureen Campanie
BRiDGES Madison County Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, Inc.

Nannette Cowen, PhD, FNP-BC
Binghamton University
Dawn Brink-Cymerman
St. Joseph’s Physician's at Cazenovia

Inez DeGroat
Madison County Office for the Aging

Eric Faisst
Madison County Department of Health

Paula Highers
MCV Law - Meggesto, Crossett & Valerino, LLP

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