Dance 4 Peace: Teens Move to Prevent Suicide

Dance 4 Peace XXIV
Origianlly published in the Lowell Sun
By Jon Winkler


That was the mission statement of this year’s Dance 4 Peace event at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium on Friday. The 24th event, hosted by the Lowell Community Health Center’s Teen BLOCK program, showcased local youth not only dancing but also singing and reading national statistics on suicide. Dance 4 Peace focuses on violence prevention with a different theme tying into that every year, with this year’s theme being suicide prevention.

Ruth Ogembo, program manager for the Health Center, said before the show that the focus involved young people coming together to talk about violence and issues that impact young people.

Ogembo noted that the event also raises money for a scholarship dedicated to the memory of Quoc Le, a former member of the Teen BLOCK program who was stabbed to death in Boston in 2001 at the age of 19. The scholarship is awarded every year to a teen going to college.

“We also raise money to support the Teen BLOCK programs,” she added. “Our future development programs that are not funded by our usual funders, like having a retreat and giving young people opportunities to get to have hands-on activities that they may not have access to.”

Ogembo described the art of dance as something to...

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It's a New DEAL at Lowell Community Health Center

DEAL Program
Thanks to a $50,000 grant from the Theodore Edson Parker Foundation Lowell Community Health Center (Lowell CHC) will soon have the tools to improve diabetes self-management among 100 of its Medicaid patients through our DEAL (Diabetes Education and Access for Life) Program.

In particular, the Parker Foundation grant will support the first phase in development of the Health Center’s Nutrition Resource Center (NRC) to educate and engagement patients in chronic disease self-management, with a focus on uncontrolled diabetes.

“This grant has a special purpose for me. When I was a teenager, I had a friend with diabetes, so I was exposed to a lot of feelings about this particular disease. It was quite astonishing to learn that diabetes affects 13% of Lowell CHC patients. We had to support this project, knowing that it would have such significant impact. It’s very satisfying to support a project with direct benefit on the community,” said Newell Flather, Theodore Edson Parker Foundation President. 

Mirroring a national trend, Type II (sometimes called non-insulin-dependent) Diabetes is a growing issue at Lowell Community Health Center (Lowell CHC), where it affects almost 13% of Health Center patients. People with diabetes are at risk for hypertension, heart disease, and other potentially debilitating chronic conditions. The burden on patients and on the health care...

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City of Lowell Cooling Stations

Please be aware that due to the upcoming heat wave, the City of Lowell will be setting up a number of cooling stations available to the public.


For more information, and a list of sites, visit the City of Lowell’s website.

A Lowell CHC Summer

Later this month, we’ll be bidding a fond farewell to Connor Griffiths, our Communications/Marketing Summer Intern. Since joining us in June, we’ve barely let him catch his breath. Along with assisting with press releases and drafting our communications plan, he has worked on staff announcements and creating content for our TV monitors and Intranet. He has also embraced his role as as our on-call staff photographer, ready at a moment’s notice to document a range of important events, including our incredible Pride Month celebration, and visits from State Senator Edward Kennedy and a representative of the United Nations. He’s also captured staff gatherings and taken part in planning meetings for Teen BLOCK’s Dance 4 Peace XXIV.

“Working here has opened my eyes to so many things,” Connor reflects. “The diversity is incredible. I’ve met so many interesting people and had a front row seat on health topics impacting all of us on a local, regional, and global level.”

Connor attends Cornell University and will graduate in 2021. He is studying Anthropology, with a focus on medical anthropology, and is minoring in Global Health. He has taken coursework in global and public health, medical anthropology, sociology, as well as communications and Spanish. Wow. No wonder he gets what we do. Thank you, Connor!

Since he’s learned so much this summer, we thought it was time we learned more about him. And if you run into him at Espresso Pizza, be......

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Putting the Kind in "In-Kind"

Aaron's Presents Donation
We are always overwhelmed by your generosity and compassion. This month, we were honored to receive several very special gifts that will have an immediate impact on the 50,000 lives we touch every year. 

We were thrilled to host a group of young volunteers from Aaron’s Presents, a special nonprofit partner that helps young people develop and execute local service projects. These committed young people delivered more than a dozen handmade blankets and new board books for our pediatrics department. Thanks to their hard work, we will literally be able to wrap our patients in compassionate care - and instill a life-long love of reading. Thanks, girls!

Chinese Bible Church Donation
You can’t imagine our excitement upon the arrival of a huge delivery of diapers, wipes, pajamas, and board books from the Chinese Bible Church of Greater Lowell. It took 5 Lowell CHC staff members just to unload the boxes!......
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Helping Patients Breathe Easier

Carla CHW
“When you visit someone’s home, you never know what you’re going to find,” says Carla Caraballo, one of Lowell CHC’s Lead Community Health Workers (CHWs). “Maybe they need food, or help taking their medicine. Maybe they just need someone to listen.”

At Lowell Community Health Center, one of the biggest obstacles our patients face is just getting here. Between lack of transportation, cultural barriers, work schedules, and other constraints, just making it to the exam room can be a challenge.

Plus, there’s a lot you can’t see in a 20-minute appointment. That’s because so much of what contributes to health happens outside of the exam room. 

Enter Lowell CHC’s Community Health Workers, like Carla. 

“When I visit someone’s home, I can see what’s really going on. I know the questions to ask. What medicines are you taking? What kinds of foods are you eating? Do you have warm clothing for your children? And I can do something about it immediately.”

This support is crucial for so many patients. For people with asthma, it can be life-saving. That’s because reducing asthma triggers in the home and providing a consistent treatment plan play such a huge role in keeping patients out of the hospital.

For the past decade, Lowell CHC has partnered with HUD, UMass Lowell, and the MA......

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Save the Date: African Community Celebration

Join us Friday, September 20th, 2019 for festive food, music and fun celebrating the vibrancy and heritage of Lowell’s African Community! The celebration will benefit Lowell CHC’s WrapAround Fund, which pays for vital services not covered by insurance. The evening will kick-off at 5:30 PM right here at Lowell CHC (161 Jackson Street). 



Nancy L. and Richard K. Donahue Dental Center Dedicated

Donahue Dental Center Dedication
In recognition of their tremendous contributions to Lowell Community Health Center (Lowell CHC) and the community, Lowell CHC celebrated the dedication of its Nancy L. and the late Richard K. Donahue Dental Center at 101 Jackson Street on Monday, May 13th. More than 75 invited guests, including Donahue family members, friends, and colleagues attended.

The Health Center’s new dental center opened over one year ago in March and has since served more than 3,500 patients, many of whom were able to access dental care for the first time. Donahue was a major supporter of the capital campaign to renovate space to add the dental center and eye care center, along with expanding access to primary and behavioral health care.

“Nancy, you make us smile,” noted Lowell CHC CEO Susan West Levine. “I never had the privilege of meeting Dick, but I certainly know of his generosity and his commitment to Lowell. You two truly comprised the Dynamic Duo!”

“Thank you for all your contribution to arts. It helped changed and enhanced the quality of life,” said William Samaras, Mayor of the City of Lowell.

Added State Rep. Thomas Golden, “The City of Lowell is made up of many people. In order to be successful, you need a strong foundation and Nancy, you set the foundation of Lowell to be strong. Thank you and your entire family for giving so much to the community.”

After opening remarks,......

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Lowell CHC Awarded Transportation Grant from GLCF

“Sometimes, simply getting to drug treatment can be the biggest barrier. Thanks to a $2,000 grant provided by the Greater Lowell Community Foundation, Lowell Community Health Center is now able to remove that obstacle for those in need.”


Lowell CHC Employees Honored by International Institute of NE

Please join us in congratulating seven of our colleagues who have been recognized by the International Institute of New England Lowell on its 100th anniversary as being among the 100 most influential leaders and trailblazers who have had a significant impact on Lowell. 

Health & Wellness Leaders
Mercy Anampiu, Health Promotion and Education Manager
Niem Naykret, Community Health Worker
Sheila Och, Chief of Community Health and Policy
Dorcas Grigg-Saito, Former CEO
Toy Vongpheth, Outreach Interpreter

Education Leader
Maria Cunha, Board Member

Civic Leader
Vanna Howard, Director of Communications

The International Institute of New England is a non-profit organization, founded in Lowell in 1918, which provides humanitarian relief, education, skills training, job placement, family reunification, and pathways to citizenship for 2,000 immigrants and refugees each year. A reception to honor the 100 honorees will take place on Wednesday, May 1, 2019 at 6:00pm at Lowell Memorial Auditorium, 50 East Merrimack Street, Lowell, MA. There will be food from around the world prepared by local, immigrant-owned restaurants. The event will include a reception and speaking program as well as a special exhibit of the history of the International Institute of New England prepared by UMass Lowell History Professor Robert Forrant. Congratulations to all of the honorees!

Learn more about the honorees and award reception.  



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