Springfield, MA – Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and Health and Human Services (HHS) Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris are proud to announce that the Springfield Vax Force Youth Council led by UMass Medical Student, Kassandra Jean-Marie and community philanthropist and Executive Director of Strong Young Minds Teka Jones, in conjunction with the Springfield Department of Health and Human Services (SDHHS) will be hosting a Healthy Us: Community Day of Wellness event on May 14, 2022 at Riverfront Park.
The Springfield Vax Force is an initiative of the Springfield Department of Health and Human Services. The Youth Council is a subcommittee of the Vax Force.
The Vax Force Youth Council’s goal is to create an overarching strategy connected to wellness and healthy living. The Springfield Vax Force Youth Council’s mission is to assure the youth, that although the COVID-19 vaccine messaging is important, the Springfield community cares about their overall wellness – both physically and mentally. The Youth Council won’t abandon the COVID-19 safety best practice and vaccine safety messaging, but it will be included in their general health and well-being campaign.
The Vax Force Youth Council will host a citywide day of wellness aimed at encouraging the youth to protect their mental and physical health.
The Health Us, Community Day of Wellness event will be a day of wellness in Riverfront Park with physical health and mental health activities that include:
- Healthy Us Kick Off – 93.7 DJ Meechie
- Nature Nutrition Walk – Jade Alicandro Mace, Milk and Honey Herbs
- Mental Health Workshops – Tiffany Rufino, Young Mental Health Coalition (Public Health Institute Western Mass)
- Bicycling – Kevin Green, Seeds of a Father
- Yoga – Azell Cavaan, Breathe for Change
- Personal Training – Charlie Rodda, Esport Fitness
- Health Us Dance and African Dance – Alycia Cutting
In addition, the Springfield Department of Health and Human Services will be onsite distributing COVID-19 rapid test kits, masks, sanitizer and COVID-19 safety information. The Healthy Us activities specifically target ages 13 – 25 but all are welcomed. Caring Health Center will also be offering a vaccination clinic and testing. Additional partners include the South End Community Center, Pubic Health Institute of Western Massachusetts, Behavioral Health Network, Follow My Steps Foundation, Wellness for the Culture, Impact Center and Tools for Success Counseling Service.
Mayor Sarno stated, “I want to commend and thank our Springfield Vax Force Youth Council for their dedicated efforts working to educate, inform and advocate for our youth, especially on the lifesaving benefits the vaccine can have not only for them but just as important for their family and friends. This COVID-19 pandemic has affected our youth and children too. Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris and I wanted to make sure that through the Vax Force Youth Council their physical and mental needs were being considered and addressed and this Healthy Us, Community Day of Wellness is a great event to promote healthy mind and body.”
HHS Commissioner Caulton-Harris said, “I want to thank Mayor Sarno for his continued supported of the outreach efforts and initiatives of our Springfield Vax Force. The Vax Force is an initiative of the Department of Health and Human Services and the Youth Council, being a subcommittee of the Springfield Vax Force, serves to focus on providing information and education on the COVID-19 vaccine to our Springfield youth. I applaud the Springfield Vax Force, the Youth Council and all of our community partners for their efforts in providing outreach and education to our students and youths. The Springfield Department of Health and Human Services is proud to support the young, intelligent and remarkable members of our Youth Council as we work together to defeat this COVID-19 pandemic. This Healthy Us, Community Day of Wellness event is a great opportunity for families, especially our youth, to come out to our beautiful Riverfront Park to relax and get their mind, body and soul refreshed. Public Health is not only about one physical health but ones mental health too.”
For more information and to view the full schedule of events please visit www.protectspringfield.com.