Advancing the health and well-being of rural people and communities
Rural Matters September 2021
Message from Mark Bordeau
Welcome to the September issue of Rural Matters. I absolutely love this time of year. We have some of the best weather, the fall foliage in South Central NY is spectacular, it’s a great time to visit farms and farmers markets to enjoy this year’s harvest and of course there is pumpkin flavored everything…pie, doughnuts, coffee! The list goes on and on…

This fall is extra special at the Rural Health Network as we kick off our first ever Event Fundraiser- “On the Hunt for Good Health”. The fundraiser will be virtual and very flexible. This event will allow individuals to raise money by participating in activities on their own or as a team with family/friends. 

I am asking for your support of our inaugural fundraising event in any way that you are able.

Three examples of support could be:
1)   Create your own team and participate in the challenges
2)   Support an existing team
3)   Share the event information on all your social media platforms

The goals of the fundraiser are to increase awareness of the Rural Health Network and to raise at least $20,000 to support our mission of “Advancing the health and well-being of rural people and communities”. You will find more information about the fundraiser in this issue of Rural Matters.

Also in this issue, you will be introduced to several new team members, to an AmeriCorp service member and to interns from local universities. Energy and passion is always present at the Rural Health Network, but this past month seemed to be extra energetic with the addition of many new members to our team.
I would like to wish you a wonderful fall season and thank you for your continued unwavering support of the Rural Health Network of South Central NY. 

Mark Bordeau
Executive Director
On the Hunt for Good Health
Rural Health Network is excited to announce our first virtual fundraising event, On the Hunt for Good Health.

Join us as a participant, donor or sponsor. Participants can register as an individual or form a team with family, friends, or colleagues. Activities have been designed to bring awareness to agency programs including transportation, food systems, and health equity.

Full-Time AmeriCorps Position Available
Serve with the Food and Health Network as an AmeriCorps Member! 

The Food and Health Network of South Central New York has several AmeriCorps slots available, all focused on strengthening regional food systems in our area:

The Fruit and Vegetable Program VISTA will serve from November 2021 - November 2022 with full-time hours. They will provide support for the implementation, evaluation, and expansion of a growing regional produce prescription program and other Food is Medicine initiatives. The FVRx VISTA will expand the capacity and impact of the program through coordination, communication, access to resources, and resource development. The VISTA will work closely with the Food and Health Network Director, health care providers, local food retailers, and program participants.

Farm to School AmeriCorps Members will serve 1200 hours as part of a team to develop, implement, grow, and evaluate programs to bring healthy, local food to students. Members will work with staff, students, parents, farms, and community partners to increase capacity for hands-on learning, local procurement, and creating a school-wide culture of health. As part of this program, members will increase access to healthy, locally grown food through school meals including breakfast, lunch and snacks; engage students in hands-on learning through growing, cooking, and tasting new foods in order to build their skills, food literacy, and healthy food preferences; cultivate farm to school leadership among students, staff, and volunteers; and build capacity and sustainability through improved coordination, community outreach, parent involvement, and volunteer recruitment and management. 

For more information about this position or other AmeriCorps opportunities, please contact Haley Desilet at or visit our website.
Getthere has two new staff members who have joined our team in the last month.

Stan Varghese is a Transportation to Employment Associate who will be helping expand our services.

I have a background working in social work and health care before joining Rural Health Network and Getthere. I was drawn to the role of Transportation Employment Associate to help people on their path to finding long term employment. In my free time, I enjoy hiking, reading, and music. I am happy to be part of the team!
Leon Edwards joins the team as a Mobility & Transportation Advocate in our Getthere Call Center.

I'm passionate about Getthere's mission and excited to be a part of the team. After living in a transportation challenged area I'm happy to help others that have been in my shoes. I'm enrolled in SUNY Broome's Business Management and Marketing program. I love spending time with my family (including my dog!), relaxing and reading in my free time.
Meet Wing Zhong, Dietetic Intern
Hi, My name is Yingyi Zhong, and you can call me Wing. I am a dietetic intern at Rural Health Network of South Central of New York. I recently graduated from Cornell’s Ph.D. program and my dissertation research topic was in weight gain prevention, obesity, and behavioral science. I have always been interested in different social and environmental factors that affect individuals’ behaviors and health. I am thrilled to work at Rural Health Network and so far I have learned so much from working with Mary Maruscak and Erin Summerlee. During my 14-week internship, I will be working to create self-advocacy training materials for individuals with food insecurity, developing more cultural-specific nutrition education materials; and working on the Fruit and Vegetable Prescription (FVRx) program. 

I was originally from Guangzhou, the southern part of China, then came to the U.S. for my undergraduate study at Oklahoma State University, and then attended graduate school at Cornell. For most of my life, I have been living in urban areas or college towns. Learning about the rural community culture and the social determinants of health are very essential and inspiring to me, which enables me to help individuals in rural communities to obtain what they need in order to achieve optimal health.

I feel very fortunate to work at Rural Health Network because I enjoy making an impact on people’s lives and helping individuals and communities in need. At the same time, I also really enjoy working with all my amazing colleagues who have done so much wonderful work to advance the health and well-being of rural people and communities. During my time at Rural Health Network, I look forward to contributing to the growth of the programs I am involved in, collaborating with colleagues and community partners, as well as practicing my knowledge and skills as a future dietitian. 
The Rural Health Network is happy to announce the second part of its four-part webinar series on rural food retail. We invite you to participate as we answer questions and provide best practices on financing food retail businesses.
The Farm to School program has been very busy preparing for the new school year and the fresh, local food that it brings with it. The program has continued to expand over the recent years and now encompasses twenty-six school districts. Eleven school districts associated with Delaware-Chenango-Madison-Otsego BOCES kicked off their school year by launching their first ever NY Thursday. Broome-Tioga BOCES is entering their 5th year in a row of implementing NY Thursdays, which they celebrate twice a month during the school year.
Pictures courtesy of Julie Raway (Rock On Cafe) and Casey Castle (DCMO BOCES Food Service)
Northern Broome Cares is pleased to welcome two Binghamton University MSW students to our team.
Julia Kate Welti has joined Rural Health Network for the 2021-2022 academic year as an advanced-standing Binghamton University MSW student. She is interning out of the Northern Broome Senior Center in Whitney Point and is grateful for the numerous opportunities that she has been given to learn and grow as an aspiring social worker.

Julia attended Westchester Community College and Iona College for her undergraduate studies. She was originally a nutrition major before switching to social work. She is thrilled to be getting such a hands-on field experience through Rural Health Network because she knows that success includes possessing a balance of both theory/textbook knowledge, as well as hands-on field experience at an agency with clients. Julia strives to keep in mind a positive affirmation that her mother shared with her: Some people have superpowers, achieve stardom and are recognized and celebrated by many. But for the majority of people, it is the typical and expected day-to-day things that we do at work and in our lives to help others and make a difference that reveal our humble, yet meaningful superpowers.
Lesley Rodriguez joins Rural Health Network as a Master of Social Work Intern at the Northern Broome CARES program. Lesley graduated from Ithaca College with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology; she is now completing her first year of Grad school at Binghamton University. A fun fact about her is that she is from The Bronx, NY and is of Dominican descent. She is honored to be working at Rural Health Network with all the amazing individuals she has encountered thus far.

Her favorite quote is Tough times never last, but tough people do- Robert H. Schuller 
Introducing New AmeriCorps Member Eddie Ho
Edison “Eddie” Ho is working with Rural Health Network as a Community Health Education VISTA. Originally from Westchester, NY, Eddie is a recent graduate of Washington University in St. Louis with a major in Global Studies (Development concentration) and a minor in History. He is excited to work with the Community Health Education department of Rural Health Network as he hopes to bring further attention from stakeholders to the importance of the complexities of rural healthcare. Furthermore, by working on assessment and evaluation , Eddie wants the agency to deliver the most effective solutions to social and structural barriers to rural well-being.
2022 Health Insurance Coverage Resources
It is a good practice to review your medical bills, insurance plans, medication lists and current clinical providers annually to determine your covered expenses for the previous year (out of pocket costs including premiums and deductibles), covered services and participating providers for the upcoming year. These resources may help guide you in making informed decisions about your health insurance carrier and changing needs due to your own health and well- being. 

Rural Health Network encourages you to review the materials cited above, call early in the enrollment period for appointments, have your insurance cards and medication lists with you and prepare questions ahead of time. We hope you find the right coverage for you!
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