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County Nutrition Program Partners with Faith Based Community to Promote Health & Wellness at Gospel Jam

Gospel Jam VendorsIn efforts to impact chronic diseases like obesity and Type 2 diabetes among low-income populations, the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health’s Nutrition Program is partnering with the faith-based community to host a series of events and activities on June 4 that support healthy lifestyles and communicate positive health messages. 

Ecclesia Christian Fellowship will host a free Body & Soul Health and Wellness Gospel Jam that will feature gospel singers, delicious healthy food samplings from the Champions for Change Soul Food Cookbook, praise dancers, and free goodie bags for all attending. Dr. Joshua Beckley, Senior Pastor, Ecclesia Christian Fellowship, will be the event’s keynote speaker. The Jam begins at 5 p.m. at the church’s 1314 E. Date Street location in San Bernardino.

“The Body & Soul program is designed to raise awareness among faith-based organizations about the serious health disparities that put their parishioners at greater risk of obesity and other chronic health issues like Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, strokes, and certain types of cancer,” said Teslyn Henry-King, Program Coordinator for the county’s Nutrition Program. “We want the entire San Bernardino community to join us for this free event as we both reflect on our current condition and rejoice in the power to change for the better.”

During the Body & Soul Jam program, the Nutrition Program also will release the findings from a quantitative health assessment that surveyed approximately 150 parishioners from three partner churches.  The initial findings, which indicate a significant presence of hypertension, obesity, diabetes and stress among the congregations, will be used by church leadership and health ministries to guide and influence the development of programs and initiatives to address the health issues identified in the survey.    

Henry-King added, “We believe that understanding the health conditions we’re facing in our community will better prepare us for making healthy change happen. We wanted the Body & Soul Gospel Jam to also be a time for assessment and self-improvement, as well as a time for beginning to build a legacy of health in San Bernardino County.”

The Public Health Nutrition Program is also calling on all faith-based leaders throughout the county to participate in Perfecting the Temple Sunday on June 4 by delivering inspirational messages that connect healthy living with spirituality and encourage the adoption of healthy lifestyles.

“We want faith-based leaders regardless of their religion or denomination to partner with us and our Perfecting the Temple Sunday by delivering important messages that will help people throughout San Bernardino County live healthier lives,” said Bronica Martindale-Taylor, Health Education Assistant for the county’s Nutrition Program. “Because so many families are touched by faith-based organizations, we see them as very important partners in our fight against chronic diseases in the county.”

She added that for this year’s event, five churches already have pledged their support and plan to participate in Perfecting the Temple Sunday. Those churches include The Light Church, San Bernardino First Church of the Nazarene, Ecclesia Christian Fellowship, The Kingdom Worship Center, Our Lady of Hope, and Ecclesia Spirit Lead Fellowship of Churches International. The Nutrition Program is also working with churches on other healthy lifestyle programs ranging from weight-loss programs, community walking events, church gardens, to mobile vans used for health screenings.     

According to Martindale-Taylor, the Nutrition Program plans to make Perfecting the Temple Sunday an annual event.  “Over time, we want Perfecting the Temple Sunday to help us create a legacy of health throughout San Bernardino County,” said Martindale-Taylor. 

The Countywide Vision, www.sbcounty.gov/vision, identifies wellness as one of the key elements of a complete county. The Vision is emphasizing wellness in its recently lunched Vision2BActive campaign, http://wp.sbcounty.gov/vision2bactive/.

For more information about Perfecting the Temple Sunday, the Body & Soul Health and Wellness Gospel Jam, and the health assessment survey, contact Donna Panganiban, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, at 909-388-5689, or Bronica Martindale-Taylor, Health Education Assistant, at 909-649-6900.

The Champions for Change Body & Soul program is funded by USDA SNAP-Ed, an equal opportunity provider and employer. Visit www.CaChampionsForChange.net for healthy tips.


90th Commencement Ceremony of San Bernardino Valley College-Graduation Class 2017, A Reflection of Great Beginnings

Alumni, whom are also professors at San Bernardino Valley College. (Photo Credit: Lou Coleman)

Alumni, whom are also professors at San Bernardino Valley College. (Photo Credit: Lou Coleman)

By Lou Coleman

On Friday, May 26, San Bernardino Valley College (SBVC) bid farewell to another Graduating Class.   It was a wonderful graduation – the largest class of seniors, great speeches, a huge crowd, many alumni in attendance, plenty of emotion, and no rain as we gathered in the heart of the campus.

The graduation ceremony was the culmination of years of hard work and dedication by students from many cultures, countries and walks of life. Many have overcome personal, financial or other barriers to achieve their success and now have reached their graduation from SBVC, a venerable 90-year old institution.

We salute the graduates from all the different schools and divisions of San Bernardino Valley College and we look forward to seeing them follow in the footsteps of thousands who have made a difference in the community, the city, the country and the world.

“Sending you a day full of sunshine, a heaven filled with rainbows, and a pocket full of dreams. May the future ahead of you be as wonderful as you are.” [Judith Wibberley]

Omnitrans Offers New Summer Discount for Youth

SAN BERNARDINO, CA– Local youth can get around town a little cheaper this summer, thanks to a special discounted bus fare on Omnitrans.  Riders 18 and under will pay just $1 per trip in June and July.

While Omnitrans offers Youth discounts on its 7-day and 31-day bus passes, there was not a youth discount for single trips until this summer.   In comparison, the regular one-way cash rate is $1.75; a 1-day pass is $5.

“Summer is a great time to get out and explore,” said Omnitrans spokesperson Wendy Williams. “We hope the discounted summer youth fare will make it more affordable for youth and families to get to the community pool, the library, the mall or the movies.” 

The discount is good on all Omnitrans bus routes serving the San Bernardino Valley including 26 local routes, three freeway express routes, five OmniGo community shuttle routes and the sbX bus rapid transit line in San Bernardino and Loma Linda. 

During the traditional school year, Omnitrans averages nearly 40,000 youth trips per month.  That drops to about half during the summer months.

Students who appear to be close to age 19 should be prepared to show bus drivers proof of age or a high school ID card to prove they are eligible for the discount.

Personalized routing assistance is available at 800-9-OMNIBUS (800-966-6428) or online at www.omnitrans.org.