Did you miss our the HOH Coalition meeting in June? We’ve got you covered! Just click on this link to watch a recording of our conversation about climate change and human health. Our presenters for the session were Scott Vlaun, Executive Director at the Center for an Ecology-Based Economy (CEBE) and Jessica Cooper, Team Lead for Norway Youth Climate Action.
Happy Spring! Here’s the May Foothills Community Food calendar, which lists hours for local food pantries as well as community meals. If you work at a food pantry or a meal site and are interested in supporting local food insecurity efforts by connecting with others leading similar work, please email Holly Stuhr at email@example.com.
Looking for reliable information about the COVID-19 vaccine? Check out this presentation by two medical professionals who have been at the center of Stephens Memorial Hospital’s community vaccination clinic. Stephen Charles, Director of Pharmacy at Stephens Memorial Hospital, and Bonnie Roth, Senior Director of Practice Operations at Western Maine Health, delivered the presentation in mid-March. While there are new developments around the virus and the vaccine all of the time, the information is still valid.
Covid-19 Vaccine Overview
According to recent data, Oxford County lags behind Maine’s counties in terms of people who have received their first vaccination and their final dose. Our adults over 70 (for whom the virus poses a serious threat) are far less vaccinated than those elsewhere in the state. We hope that this information from local medical experts helps to build confidence in vaccination as a safe and effective tool for protecting the health of our community members and helping us to move towards life beyond the pandemic.
This presentation was originally given at a Zoom gathering hosted by SeniorsPlus, River Valley Healthy Communities Coalition, and the Oxford County Wellness Collaborative. The three agencies partnered to host a series of calls for older adults to connect around important topics.
Polly Burke, age 77 and mother to River Valley Healthy Communities Coalition’s Executive Director Allie Burke, receives her COVID-19 vaccination recently.
Our January Coalition meeting actually got postponed a week and was pushed into early February, but the topic remained the same: local substance use assessment. HOH staff member Brendan Schauffler shared data about local substance use trends and led a conversation to identify what concerns attendees had about substance use in our communities. This conversation was one of several that HOH conducted as part of regular assessment work, in order to inform the way our prevention work is delivered.
Presentation slides can be found here: Assessment presentation 1-26-21
Please find Patrick Hartnett’s presentation slides here!
- Brendan Schauffler, Facilitator, Oxford County Wellness Collaborative
- Carl Costanzi, Western Maine Health
- Kate Goldberg, SNAP-Ed Nutrition Educator, Healthy Oxford Hills
- Cortney Lavorgna, Tobacco Prevention, Healthy Oxford Hills
- Holly Stuhr, SNAP-Ed Nutrition Educator, Healthy Oxford Hills
- Steve Johndro, Executive Director, Healthy Oxford Hills
- Sarah Carter, 5210 Let’s Go! Coordinator, Healthy Oxford Hills
- Erika Lindstrom, Children’s Case Management Supervisor, The Progress Center
- Maija Dyke, Community Education Supervisor, Seniors Plus
- Jenn McCarthy, Integrated Care Manager, Tri County Mental Health
- Allie Burke, Executive Director, River Valley Healthy Communities Coalition
- Melissa Harding, Program Coordinator, River Valley Rising
- Ben Tucker, Regional Rep., Senator King’s Office
- Diane Madden, Executive Director, Cancer Resource Center of Western Maine
- Lisbeth Wierda, Program Manager, Maine Med Research Center
Maija Dyke – Seniors Plus
- Seniors Plus is area agency on aging and has many different departments. Maija represents community service department. Not all programs have age requirements. Pre-COVID classes were in person, but are now all online.
- Partner of 5 AAA Maine agencies & statewide network
- Classes are not only focused on aging, but also aging in place. Many classes are specific requests from community members that directly impact their quality of life. Most classes are FREE or a greatly reduced price (may cover materials).
- Zoom 101
- Chair Yoga
- Educational workshops & Evidence Based Programs:
- Savvy Caregivers
- Thai Chi for Health and Balance (16 week course- 2/week for 8 weeks)
- A Matter of Balance
- Chronic Disease Prevention (Diabetes, Pain Management, etc.) 6 week classes
- Living Well for Better Health
- Living Well with Diabetes
- Living Well with Chronic Pain (includes fitness & movement)
- Classes are via Zoom. However, Toolkits are available and mailed to participants, if they do not have access to internet. An instructor will call and help walk them through the program for 6 weeks. No age requirement for these classes.
- November offerings are listed at: https://www.seniorsplus.org/assets/ed_center_november_2020.pdf
- Can search for upcoming classes!
- Healthcare Practices can make direct referrals
- Some of the challenges of COVID have been lack of access or interest from participants to use technology for classes. However, Zoom 101 has been very helpful with this when in-person programs cannot happen safely. Also have an I pad loaner program, which has helped as well.
- FREE classes offered by community agencies can be shared with participants of Seniors Plus through their newsletter.
- Seniors Plus also offers assistance with:
- Meals on Wheels
- Money Minders (checkbook, financial assistance)
- Friendly Caller (phone call to help with isolation)
- Senior Companion (now overseen by UMaine)
- Cancer Resource Center just got word yesterday that they have been awarded $10,000 for gas cards for those affected by cancer.
- River Valley Healthy Community Coalition: USDA food distribution 10/28 at 10am.
- Tri County looking for LCSWs in Rumford area. Telehealth and in-person.
- The Progress Center is accepting referrals for children’s case management
Next HOH Coalition Meeting: 11/24/20
Healthy Oxford Hills works toward creating a caring, self-reliant community that comes together in the shared pursuit of a healthy quality of life for all people in Oxford County. The need to support each other is even more evident during a public health crisis. This COVID-19 response funding has been made available to community partners by the generosity of The New Balance Foundation. The funding is intended to support food distribution, emergency shelter, counseling, virtual programming, and other efforts that will assist in the recovery of our community.
Please click here for the COVID-19 Response Community Grant Application
Click here for the real meaning behind food dates!
Below is a recent post from one of our partners, the Oxford County Wellness Collaborative.
Social distancing and quarantine have become the new norm for millions of Americans. Our day-to-day routines have been put on hold and we are asked to isolate ourselves and limit in-person social interaction. As we know, experiencing isolation and disconnection can cause mental health concerns like depression or suicidal thoughts. As we navigate through the global health crisis of COVID-19, we need to be thinking about the effects this pandemic is having on our mental health, as well as our physical health.
Here are the CDC’s guidelines on how to cope during these times of uncertainty.
Here is another great article on how grief is at the heart of the discomfort that so many of us are feeling, and what you can do to ease those feelings: That Discomfort You’re Feeling is Grief
As a Collaborative we maintain a focus on addressing isolation and disconnection as root causes of poor health and wellness. These issues were identified by a large group of people from across our county.