October 2016
A monthly newsletter to keep you informed.

   Articles in this Issue 
Growing Health Forum - Wholesome Wave Fruit & Veggie Prescription Program
   Getting There - A Conference on Bridging the Transportation and Healthcare Gap

GettingThereGetting There - A Conference on Bridging the Transportation and Healthcare Gap. The conference is scheduled for Wednesday, October 26 at the DoubleTree Hotel in Binghamton, NY. 

Don't delay - the registration deadline is October 19th!  

The conference is designed for healthcare practitioners, transportation providers, community leaders, philanthropic organizations, elected officials, governmental service providers, health insurance companies, and others interested in the challenges and best practices related to transportation and healthcare access.  

Growing Health Newsletter Banner Growing Health Forum
Food and Health Network of SCNY and VINES: Volunteers Improving Neighborhood Environments are pleased to present a half-day workshop with Wholesome Wave and their work with Fruit and Veggie Prescription Programs.

Thursday, November 17
8:30 AM - 12 PM
DoubleTree Hilton Hotel, Grand Riverside Room
225 Water Street, Binghamton, NY

The workshop is intended for healthcare providers, registered dietitians, hospital systems. insurance companies, community-based organizations, and people engaged in DSRIP Medicaid reform projects. There is a $15 registration fee and  pre-registration is required. For additional details, contact Erin Summerlee, FaHN Director.  
Advocacy Survey - The Results Are In!
We asked and you answered! In last month's issue of the Rural Health Network SCNY newsletter, we asked our readership to weigh-in on the development of a formal Advocacy Plan for the 2017 calendar year through a Survey Monkey questionnaire. Thank you for your participation!

The survey received input from staff, board members and newsletter readership. Respondents selected Transportation, Behavioral Health, and Access to Nutritious Foods to be the focal points of RHN's Advocacy Plan in 2017. 

Over the next few months, RHNSCNY will be working to develop an action plan for 2017 which addresses these three advocacy priorities. If you're interested in becoming more involved in this process, contact Mary Maruscak mmaruscak@rhnscny.org or Emily Hotchkiss ehotchkiss@rhnscny.org.

Leadership Message - 
Sound Rural Housing: A Condition for Safety and Health
Jack Salo, Executive Director

Many years ago I learned some basics about rural housing from Richard L'Hommedieu, who at the time, was Director of the Chenango County Planning Department. Richard was retired military and brought much of what he learned in his military career to his work at the Planning Department. He had a "can do" attitude and was focused on a strategy of making investments and improvements to address housing needs in Chenango County. I can remember Mr. L'Hommedieu explaining how each rural home requires its own infrastructure which makes rural housing, from construction to maintenance to renovation, an expensive proposition. While urban, and many village and suburban homes are connected to municipal water and sewer systems which share costs, rural homes generally require their own systems, resulting in significant initial and maintenance costs.

So how does this impact the health of rural home owners? When you travel the countryside and see houses in disrepair, think beyond the peeling paint. Does the home have safe drinking water? Is there a septic system, and if yes, is it working properly? Is the wiring safe? Is there a heating system, and if so, is it safe? Are there carbon monoxide and smoke detectors? This is not an extensive list but does suggest some of the ways substandard rural homes can impact health and safety.  With the economic challenges of our region and a significant and growing number of older residents living on fixed incomes, the age, quality, and safety of our rural housing stock is both an individual and community concern.  

The Rural Broome Counts Housing Supplement provides information on the state of housing in rural Broome County. Equally important, the RBC Housing Resource Guide for Rural Municipalities provides information on local housing agencies as well as New York State and Federal Housing programs.

Read the complete article here.  
Thoughts From Camp Finance

Vu Le, Julie Pitts and Erin Summerlee
Erin Summerlee, Director of Food and Health Network, and Julie Pitts, Director of Rural Health Service Corps, attended Camp Finance, a co nference sponsored by NYCON - New York Council on Non-Profits held at the Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, NY. The conference agenda included a keynote presentation by Vu Le, Executive Director of Rainier Valley Corps and Nonprofit Humorist at nonprofitwithballs.com.  

Julie Pitts commented, "Attending Camp Finance allowed us to get fresh ideas from experts in non-profit management and finance.  Especially memorable was Vu Le's keynote address and the opportunity to speak with him directly. After learning that I oversee an AmeriCorps program, he shared with us that his background includes an AmeriCorps term of service."
FaHN Welcomes New Staff Member
Christian"My name is Christian DiRado-Owens and I am proud to say I am the new Program Coordinator with the Food and Health Network of South Central New York! I care deeply about the work FaHN is doing to develop healthy, just, and viable food systems here in the beautiful region I call home and am excited to be a part of it!

I received a B.S. from Cornell University in Development Sociology with minors in both International Agriculture and Rural Development & Inequality Studies, a curriculum that coalesced into a passion for food sovereignty and sustainable communities.
Christian DiRado-Owens (right) engaged in conversation with middle school students at a recent Rock On Cafe event celebrating National Farm to School Month. We were excited to partner with Rock on Cafe/Broome-Tioga BOCES and CCE-Broome on this initiative.  To learn about benefits from farm to school initiatives, visit the resource guide on the National Farm to School Network's website.

My past experiences with food, health, and agriculture have led me to a diversity of places, from South Central India as a researcher with the Tata-Cornell Agriculture and Nutrition Initiative to a farm-hand on a sustainable, organic, homesteading finca (farm) in Colombia, South America. My interest in food justice and community health brought me back to Upstate New York to give something back to the region of sweet corn, apples, winter squash, and maple syrup where I spent my childhood.

Outside of FaHN I also direct Binghamton Food Rescue, a non-profit that rescues perishable food waste for 24 hour redistribution at community meals and no-cost grocery programs that serve food-insecure communities in the Greater Binghamton Area. I look forward to doing meaningful work here at FaHN!"

Recruitment Message

RHSC Member Tom Lewis is  #1of1million ! On Friday, October 7, 2016, AmeriCorps celebrated the swearing in of its one millionth member. The work does not stop there, though; Rural Health Service Corps is looking to add to that million, with AmeriCorps positions for the 2016-2017 term still available in Vestal, Binghamton, Delhi, and Elmira. Are you interested in joining th e one million AmeriCorps members who have and will get things done for America? Visit our website to apply! 
Rural Broome Counts Household Budgets Report

Have you ever wondered about the distribution of resources in rural versus urban Broome County? Then take a look at our Rural Broome Counts Household Budgets Report! Released in conjunction with the Rural Broome Counts Housing Supplement, it assesses the differences in spending, costs, and resources across the five components of the household budget. The report aims to help inform policy and better allocation of resources in Rural Broome County. Check out the Household Budgets Report, along with the rest of our resources at our webpage.

Help us direct the future of Rural Broome Counts and provide your input with this brief survey.

Connect with Rural Health Network of SCNY

Advancing the health and well-being of rural people and communities.