EBWA--Welcoming All Women of All Ages


EBWA September 24, 2015

Building Bridges to “Health” in the Community

Schenectady is considered “innovative and futuristic” in its health planning by addressing health disparities and for reaching out to those who may have difficulty utilizing our current health systems. Erin Simao, MPH, Community Health Outreach Coordinator for Ellis Medicine and Nicole Baptist, LMSW, Director of Social Work Services at Ellis will describe these efforts in a program entitled Building Bridges to "Health" in the Community on September 24. Both women have been involved in the planning and implementation of this initiative.

Erin Simao coordinated the UMatter Schenectady community health survey in 2013, the results of which were combined with public health statistics and census data to paint a detailed picture of the community's needs. Among the findings:
   * over a third of low-income residents smoke cigarettes although half of this population tried to quit within the last year;
   * in some neighborhoods, the majority of residents have run out of food at least one month in the last year;
   * a little over three quarters of the city's population are above their ideal weight, with 45% of respondents categorized as obese or severely obese and an additional 30.9% overweight.

Erin is overseeing the development and implementation of the community's response called “Bridges Out of Poverty”.  A coalition of 54 healthcare and community service organizations is using the survey information to develop a community wide action plan.  The top five priorities are mental health, inappropriate emergency room use, teen pregnancy, diabetes and obesity, and smoking and asthma.  The coalition aims to improve access, make services more appropriate and effective, and to include the community in planning and implementing interventions to improve health.  Nicole also has been involved in the "Bridges" training and in the development of the plan for action.  


A catered vegetarian dinner is served at 6:15. Women can make reservations with Gabrielle Reals by e-mailing her at by Monday September 21 or by calling her at 382-5685 by Tuesday September 22 before 8 pm. If you choose a gluten-free meal, please request it with your reservation. You may also bring your own meal if you prefer. We gather for socializing and light refreshments at 5:45. The program will begin by 8 pm and conclude at 9 pm. No reservations are required for the program. All women are welcome.


Looking ahead:    October 29, “Fragrance in the Desert” by local author, Debbie Fowler who will talk about modern day slavery and her efforts to fulfill a promise she made to runaway maids.


We operate without elected officers.  All activities are coordinated by a steering committee of persons who simply like being a member of a group of all women.  Responsibilities are shared and rotated.  Help decide on programs, get to better know the women involved and double your enjoyment of EBWA.  For general information:  Contact Carol Hamblin, 861-6034;


More detailed information about EBWA meetings and policies can be found by opening the following link: http://tinyurl.com/WA-Evening-Branch.