Month: September 2016

What Would You Ask the Candidates?

A new website is polling the public on potential debate questions for the candidates for the first time in Presidential debate history. The Presidential Open Questions platform is the first attempt in U.S. history to empower regular citizens to join the dialogue as equals.  The “town hall” debate on Sunday, October 9th will potentially feature questions from the internet- ABC and CNN moderators agreed to consider the Top 30 questions voted on from this website.

Visit to search for questions already submitted or create your own questions about the issues important to you and your community.

9/29- LIVOAD Meeting

The Long Island Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (LIVOAD) is holding their next meeting on Thursday, September 29 at the United Way in Deer Park. Join us as we will be discussing the creation of the LIVOAD’s virtual platform and meet the new LIVOAD coordinator, Jacqueline Ratner! Attendees will also be treated to a tour of BeReadyLI, a collaboration between PSEG and 2-1-1. Registration and coffee begins at 8:30 am and the meeting starts promptly at 9 am.

In addition:

Please review the LIVOAD Memorandum of Understanding fort the signature by your Executive Director. You may scan, e-mail or bring the signed MOU on September 29th.

To RSVP for this meeting, click here.

Thursday, September 29th, 2016 at United Way

819 Grand Blvd, Deer Park, NY 11729

Efforts generously sponsored by:



Teen Food Insecurity

An estimated 6.8 million young people ages 10 to 17 struggle to have enough to eat, including 2.9 million who have very low food security. Urban Institute and Feeding America spent 3 years conducting focus groups with teenagers in 10 communities in an effort to get a more complete picture about how food insecurity impacts teenagers. They found that food insecure teenagers face impossible choices- often engaging in risky behavior just to survive.

During the focus groups, teens were asked questions about their observations of teen food insecurity in their communities, how young people get food, and risky behaviors, such as stealing or dealing drugs that teens may resort to during times of desperation. Several common themes emerged from the focus groups discussions:

  • Teen food insecurity is widespread. Even teens that were not experiencing food insecurity themselves were aware of other teens that were.
  • Teens fear the stigma associated with food insecurity and needing assistance. They may be less likely to access resources.
  • Teens with younger siblings often take on the role of parent for younger siblings, ensuring they have enough to eat first and putting themselves second. Teens are often more aware of parent’s struggles with money and food insecurity than younger children.
  • Teens faced with acute food insecurity reported sometimes engaging in criminal behavior such as stealing food, dealing drugs or reselling stolen items to make money.

It’s clear from the data collected in the focus groups that teen food insecurity is a multi-faceted issue that requires adding supports in multiple areas. Many nutrition programs focus on younger children so more emphasis should be placed on engaging teens in these programs, especially school meal programs. More employment options are also needed to provide teens with a way of earning money. Teens in the focus group indicated they would be glad to work but job opportunities are limited in their communities. Teens should be empowered and engaged to create programs for their communities. As a result of a focus group in Portland, a youth empowerment group is designing programming for teens in their own community.  Addressing food insecurity in teens is clearly a challenge, but it’s clear that steps must be taken to provide further supports to this vulnerable population.

For more information, read the full report, Impossible Choices, from Urban Institute and Feeding America

10/4- The Social Determinants of Health Workshop

The Association for Mental Health and Wellness is hosting a Social Determinant Workshop in honor of Mental Health Awareness Week. The workshop will take place on October 4th from 1-4 pm at the Huntington Hilton. Sponsored by the Suffolk Collaborative and the Nassau Queens Preforming Provider System, this free event will overview the social determinants of mental health, review the evidence of mental health inequities in the United States, and consider solutions to addressing the social determinants of mental health from a policy perspective. The presenter, Ruth Shim, MD, MPH is Vice Chair of Education and Faculty Development and Chief of Outpatient Psychiatry Services in the Department of Psychiatry at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, a division of Northwell Health. She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine.

To register for this event, click here.

Or contact Alexis Rodgers, LMSW
Association for Mental Health and Wellness
631-471-7242 x1315


9/28- Early Learning in the Global Economy

The Child Care Council of Nassau’s Annual Meeting is highlighting the Importance of Early Learning in the Global Economy. Taking place on September 28 at the Hofstra University Club, this meeting will be addressing the question: Nassau County is OPEN FOR BUSINESS, but who will mind the store?

This event will feature a keynote speech from Bill Millet and the presentation of the Margo O’Connor Advocate of the Year Award to Elissa Giffords, DSW, LCSW.

For more information, click here.

RSVP to Kristen Weeden by September 23rd, 2016
(516)358-9250 ext 35


Census Data Shows Drop in Uninsured

According to a new federal survey released this week by the U.S. Census Bureau, number of uninsured Americans declined from 13.3 percent of the population in 2013 to 9.1 percent in 2015. Uninsured rates declined across all age groups with adults ages 19-25 experiencing the biggest one-year drop. The uninsured rate among adults ages 19-25 dropped by 2.6 percentage points in 2015. Young adults ages 19 and 26 have a higher uninsured rate than other ages in the group likely due to Child Health Plus ending at age 19 and children losing coverage through their parents at 26. Among racial/ethnic groups, Latinos experienced the largest coverage gains although they continue to be the most likely to lack insurance.

Data from the American Community Survey shows higher uninsured rates in states that have not expanded Medicaid. In 2013, 19 states had uninsured rates of more than 14 percent. In 2015, only Alaska and Texas have uninsured rates that high and at the time data was collected neither had expanded Medicaid (Alaska’s Medicaid expansion went into effect September 2015).

Despite tremendous gains in the number of people covered by insurance, 29 millions Americans remain uninsured. States that have not expanded Medicaid should accept the federal dollars available to them to expand coverage for low-income residents of their states. For more details check out this report from the Commonwealth Fund.