Our thanks to volunteers from Blackstone, who assembled 500 backpacks on August 10th for children headed back to school. The backpacks contained a handout with important health tips and reminders as well as hand sanitizer, toothbrush and toothpaste and other key tools to ensure children are practicing good health and hygiene habits. The backpacks were dropped off at Bronx Prep Scool to be distributed to children returning for the upcoming school year. Learn more
Food As Medicine: Local Ingredients, Delicious Results
Sherry Wyckoff, Vice President of Operations served as guest chef at the The Alamo Community Center in Goshen, an affiliate of Sun River Health. Sherry, along with Kathy Breiger, director of the Alamo Center, demonstrated simple recipies using local potatoes and onions to make a few easy and delicous dishes. The Alamo Kitchen was renovated through funds raised by the Sun River Health Foundation’s Cornucopia gala last fall – providing funds to several areas throughout our communities to ease access to nutritious food and support services.
on July 20 2022, Sun River Health Foundation Major Gift Officer Joy Pak was honored during the second annual Dan’s Power List of the East End celebration at Giorgio’s Baiting Hollow. Joy and her husband Sang, a surgeon at Stony Brook Southampton Hospital joined other influential movers and shakers named for their continued commitment, impact and influence they have sustained on the East End of Long Island’s existence over the past year making the East End the dynamic and thriving community it is.
“The honorees are chosen based on their ability to effect change and make a positive difference in the community. Being named to the PowerList is a great honor and recognition of an individual’s dedication to making the East End a better place.”
We are so proud that Joy and Sang were honored for their long-standing commitment to the Southampton community.
The Novo Foundation recently gifted Sun River Health $750,000 to aid in care for migrant and seasonal farmworkers at our Goshen and New Paltz Health Centers. The majority of the agricultural worker patients we serve live below the federal poverty level. Due to low income and harsh environmental conditions, farmworkers turn to Sun River Health with multiple health problems, many of which began as minor or manageable conditions but have progressed, because of neglect, to more serious or chronic illnesses. The most common issues facing this population are dental and periodontal disease, poorly controlled diabetes, and hypertension. The $750,000, which will be used throughout the next three years, will allow Sun River Health to continue providing high-quality primary and preventative care for this vulnerable population.
The Sun River Health Research Committee recently released the results of their year-long food insecurity study at the Martin Luther King Health Center in Wyandanch. They discovered that throughout the first year of the pandemic, food insecurity affected 63% of Sun River Health patients. This number, which is almost four times the state’s average rate of food insecurity, has enforced how important Sun River Health’s food security programs are to the patients we serve.
Sun River Health provider and one of the leaders of this study, Tammie Kwong, DO, remarked, “Looking at the data, I was shocked to see how high the rate of food insecurity was in Wyandanch. For the first time, I understood the challenges that my patient population faces. There is also hesitation and fear around accessing government resources, like WIC, due to immigration status or other legal repercussions.”
In addition to the study on Long Island, Hudson Valley patients in need have been receiving boxes of fresh produce through a partnership with Feeding Westchester. The Research Committee remarked “Food insecurity screening is in full swing at our health centers in Yonkers and Peekskill, with fresh produce boxes being given out to those who test positive for food insecurity there. It is our hope that this screening will be extended to all our health centers soon.”
The Alamo Community Center in Goshen will soon be receiving a new test kitchen thanks to your donations to our Food is Medicine Fund! The remodel will aid in cooking demonstrations for the migrant farmworker population, who rely on the Alamo for fresh, healthy food. These demonstrations will be open to the public, and will also be recorded and available on YouTube, allowing patients the option to follow along at home. Instructors will focus on the ‘Food as Medicine’ theme to emphasize the nutritional value of foods, promote local produce, and convey how food can be used to combat various health concerns.