Newtown Prevention Council (NPC) heard a summary last month of the 2013 Youth Survey Report by Archie Swindell of Quantitative Services. The news received during the September 19 was mixed. The survey found that local youth are smoking less… tobacco, that is. Marijuana is another thing. The survey was sponsored by Newtown Prevention Council and the Newtown Public Schools through the Drug-Free Communities Support Program grant from the federal Department of Health and Human Services. It was administered in April. The results had previously been presented to the Board of Education during its August 20 meeting.
Home Instead Senior Care of Trumbull and Sandy Hook, owned by Sharon and Robert Massafra, is part of the network of franchises providing thousands of people worldwide with nonmedical companionship and care. The branch services clients in 33 area towns, and employs roughly 125 people, said Ms Massafra.
Among those 125 employees are three husband and wife teams, Ms Massafra said, two of whom are from Newtown.
CycleINPlace will be hosting an open house on Thursday, October 17, from 4:30 to 6 pm. Attendees will have an opportunity to learn about the benefits of cycling and learn how to use the state-of-the-art cycles with monitors. Owners Molly Basak-Smith and Mitzi Hayes will give guests a tour of the facility and answer any questions.
Community and health care professionals are cordially invited to attend a Hospice and Palliative Care Fair at Masonicare at Newtown on Wednesday, October 16, from 2 to 6 pm. The event, sponsored by Masonicare Home Health & Hospice, will feature experts who will explain that hospice is not a place, but a philosophy of care with a holistic approach designed to encompass mind, body, and spirit. It will explore the many benefits hospice and palliative care can bring to patients and their families who may be dealing with a serious or life-limiting illness. Several information booths will feature health care experts who will outline the myriad services Masonicare’s hospice program provides, including bereavement support and spiritual care, home health services, social workers and volunteer opportunities, the “Reflections” program for patients with dementia, and more. Attendees will receive a raffle ticket at each booth visited to be entered into a drawing for a free door prize, complimentary chair massages will be available, and refreshments will be served.
Those wishing to attend should RSVP to the Masonicare HelpLine at 888-679-9997 by Monday, October 14.
Two members of Newtown Christian Church recently became certified CPR instructors, and have decided to share their knowledge with the community. Jamie Tanner and Kevin Kuzma will lead Adult & Infant CPR, AED & First Aid classes on Saturdays, October 19, November 2 and December 7. Each five-hour class will run from 9 am until 2 pm. For those who want to take the class without certification, there is no charge. To receive Red Cross Certification, there is a $27 fee.
Kim Weber, Booth Library young adult librarian, Kim Killoy, Drug Free Communities grant coordinator, and Judy Blanchard, district health coordinator and co-chair of the Newtown Prevention Council, recently met at The Parent Corner of the C.H. Booth Library to plan the group’s Parent Speaker series. This year the library and NPC will present Anthony Wolf, PhD, an author of many booksincluding "A Parent’s Guide to the New Teenager." His lecture, titled “Parenting Teens in a Difficult Time,” will take place at the library, on October 23 at 7 pm. With The Newtown Bee among its community partners, the council boasts upwards of 45 members and meets five times each year at the library. All meetings are open to the public. Ms Blanchard has been a part of the council since 1991 and serves as co-chair with Newtown Police Chief Michael Kehoe.
The website has been spotty, but Access Health CT, the state’s new health insurance marketplace created by the federal health reform law, enrolled its first member shortly before 9:30 Tuesday morning.
CEO Kevin Counihan was an in-studio guest on WNPR’s Where We Live when the Access Health site was slated to launch. After hearing reports that people had been unable to access it, Counihan got a text message and scribbled “We’re live” on a piece of paper.
In addition to the first enrollee, he said shortly before 9:30, 764 people had active applications.
“For a site that’s been up for 25 minutes, it’s not bad,” he said.
Access Health is the state’s health insurance exchange, a key piece of the law commonly known as Obamacare. It is intended to offer customers a chance to comparison-shop for health plans offered by private insurers, and many of the shoppers are expected to qualify for federal subsidies that could make their premiums significantly cheaper.
Newtown Youth and Family Services, Inc. (NYFS) will hold an American Red Cross CPR Certification class on Wednesday, October 16, from 6 to 9 pm. “The class which will cover cardiopulmonary resuscitation for infants, children and adults, is a great class for all caregivers and anyone interested in being certified” said agency Executive Director and CPR Instructor Candice Bohr. Registration is required for the class; the fee is $55 per person. The class will be held in a casual setting at NYFS, 15 Berkshire Road in Sandy Hook.
Shortly after the events of 12/14, The Rotary Club of Newtown, United Way of Western Connecticut (UWWC) and the Office of Victim Services (OVS) worked together to develop the Immediate Needs Fund. The purpose of the fund was two-fold. First, it helped to meet the short-term (3-6 months) financial needs of Sandy Hook families, teachers and first responders experiencing temporary loss of income due to the tragedy by helping cover basic household expenses. Second, it helped cover the cost of seeking counseling and mental health services by those impacted by the tragedy. Since then, UWWC and Newtown Rotary have spent more than $540,000 to help cover everything from heating oil, electricity, mortgages and car payments to counseling bills for over 130 households. The Newtown Memorial Fund, Inc. now joins this effort as a new partner. The process remains the same for individuals seeking assistance, but now increases the dollars available to the community to ensure support will last longer.
Tucked away on the Newtown Health District website is a raft of information on mental health services and issues being made available to the community by Director Donna Culbert. The Newtown Health District recently added a Mental Health referral page under the Additional Links on its webpage. The district’s mental health site provides a list of local providers of mental health support, with a variety of services and training, for those in the community who are looking for help.