Thursday, December 20, 2012

Calendar Listings: Suffield Academy's Summer Programs


DATELINE: December 20, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACTS:

Maeve Ryan
Director of Marketing & Communications
Suffield Academy
860-386-4466
mryan@suffieldacademy.org

Mark G. Auerbach
Mark G. Auerbach Public Relations
413-733-7095 or 413-427-7352
mgauerbach@gmail.com

CALENDAR LISTINGS

SUFFIELD ACADEMY
SUMMER ACADEMY

June 30, 2013 through August 2, 2013

Suffield Academy
185 North Main St.
Suffield, MA 06078


The Summer Academy at Suffield Academy (June 30 - August 2, 2013) is a
five week, intensive co-educational program for day and boarding
students, ages 12 - 18. Course work offers individualized instruction
in study skills and leadership, academics (mathematics, languages,
ESL programs, computer science, and science); visual and performing
arts; athletics; cultural events and organized weekend outings to
Boston, New York City, and Newport.

Suffield Academy Summer Academy information, course descriptions,
tuition and fees, and application materials are online at
www.suffieldacademy.org.

For additional information on the Summer Program: contact Jeff
Depelteau, Summer Academy Director; telephone: 860-386-4445. Email:
jdepelteau@suffieldacademy.org

Suffield Academy, founded in 1833, is an independent, co-educational
college preparatory school for boarding and day students in Suffield,
CT.  Suffield Academy has a tradition of academic excellence combined
with a strong work ethic and leadership building programs. For
information on Suffield Academy’s programs and services:
www.suffieldacademy.org.

-30-

Calendar Listings: Suffield Academy Summer Programs Information Session


DATELINE: December 20, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACTS:

Maeve Ryan
Director of Marketing & Communications
Suffield Academy
860-386-4466
mryan@suffieldacademy.org

Mark G. Auerbach
Mark G. Auerbach Public Relations
413-733-7095 or 413-427-7352
mgauerbach@gmail.com

CALENDAR LISTINGS

SUFFIELD ACADEMY
SUMMER PROGRAMS
INFORMATION SESSION


Wednesday, February 6, 2013 at 7:30PM

Fuller Hall
Suffield Academy
185 North Main St.
Suffield, MA 06078


Suffield Academy holds an evening informational session for parents
and students interested in the Summer Academy program, on Wednesday,
February 6, 2013 at 7:30PM. The information session will be hosted by
Jeff Depelteau, Summer Academy Director of Admissions.  Admission is
free, but advance reservations are required by Monday, February 4,
2013. To RSVP, contact Jeff Depelteau at 860-386-4445 or
jdepelteau@suffieldacademy.org.

The Summer Academy at Suffield Academy (June 30 - August 2, 2013) is a
five week, intensive co-educational program for day and boarding
students, ages 12 - 18. Course work offers individualized instruction
in study skills and leadership, academics (mathematics, languages,
ESL programs, computer science, and science); visual and performing
arts; athletics; cultural events and organized weekend outings to
Boston, New York City, and Newport.

Suffield Academy Summer Academy information, course descriptions,
tuition and fees, and application materials are online at
www.suffieldacademy.org.

For additional information on the Summer Program: contact Jeff
Depelteau, Summer Academy Director; telephone: 860-386-4445. Email:
jdepelteau@suffieldacademy.org

Suffield Academy, founded in 1833, is an independent, co-educational
college preparatory school for boarding and day students in Suffield,
CT.  Suffield Academy has a tradition of academic excellence combined
with a strong work ethic and leadership building programs. For
information on Suffield Academy’s programs and services:
www.suffieldacademy.org.

-30-

Two Vermont Journal Features about Kurn Hattin




Save The Date: The 2013 Big Broadcast



Save the dates !

The Jazz Ensembles of Mount Holyoke College
present
THE BIG BROADCAST

Sunday, March 10, 2013
2PM and 7PM
Chapin Auditorium
Mount Holyoke College
South Hadley, MA 01075

A recreation of a live 1940’s radio broadcast directed by Mark
Gionfriddo with WWLP-TV meterologist Brian Lapis as emcee. Under
Gionfriddo’s direction, the Mount Holyoke Big Band, Vocal Jazz, and
Chamber Jazz Ensembles perform well-known tunes from the swing era.

Sponsors to date include: Mount Holyoke College, The Republican/Mass
Live, New England Public Radio, WWLP-TV22, Loomis Communities.

Tickets (on sale 1/11/13) are general admission. $20.00 premium front
and center seating. $15.00 regular seating. $10.00 seniors and
students. Tickets available at Odyssey Bookshop, Village Commons, and
The Northampton Box-Office. 


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Victor Acquista MD Article in The Westfield News

The following article appeared in the 12/10/12 edition of The Westfield News.


Health Wise
A health & wellness column by Victor Acquista, MD 
Director Pathways Integral Health & Wellness, LLC; Author Pathways to Health: An Integral Guidebook

Get Motivated, Stay Motivated

Recently, I wrote a column on Lifestyle and Health and commented that much of chronic disease is related to lifestyle choices. Making decisions and keeping them with respect to lifestyle choices that affect health often comes down to motivation and sustaining that motivation which is all about discipline. This column will address some ideas and offer you some suggestions about how to get motivated and stay motivated to be healthier.

Understanding Decisions

A good place for us to start is understanding how we go about making decisions. In a very simplified way, we have two parts of our brain informing us about what we should and should not do. The emotional part of our brain is often decisive in controlling out decision making. We have needs and desires; we make decisions to satisfy those needs and desires. Some decisions make us happy, others make us sad, or angry. The decisions leave us feeling satisfied or not. This is all based on emotion and emotional fulfillment. If I desire chocolate and eating chocolate is the only way to feel better, then chances are I’ll go eat some chocolate regardless of the long term consequences. Such a choice is based on short term emotional decision making. This part of our brain can often be impulsive.
Contrast this to the other decision making center of our brain, i.e. the rational brain. That’s the part of our brain that uses logic and weighs out the pros and the cons of alternatives. Our rational self is not concerned about emotions and remains cool, calm and collected when figuring out the best choice. This part of our brain is much better at weighing out the long and the short term consequences of our actions.
When the emotional part of our brain and the rational part of our brain are both aligned then decision making is easy. It’s kind of a no brainer to make a choice that is supported by both brain decision centers as it represents a win-win situation. But what happens when the emotional and rational parts of our brain want different things? In the case above, what happens when emotional you wants chocolate and rational you says that will cause weight gain or be bad for my diabetes? This kind of conflict is common. Poets and philosophers have referred to this as the war between passion and reason. When it comes to health, how do you make healthy lifestyle choices when part of you is “arguing” to do something which is unhealthy. Eating a calorie rich dessert when you are trying to lose weight because at the moment you are more concerned about enjoying dessert than losing weight is a good example. Sitting down and watching TV because you are tired and want to rest instead of heading out to the gym or going for a walk is another good example. Here I have illustrated the conflict around common health choices about diet and exercise. I am sure you can relate to these examples.

Good news—there is a third part of the brain that helps to mediate this conflict between the emotional and rational parts of our brains. This is the volitional brain, the seat of our willpower. Think of the volitional brain as a referee who helps you to decide what choice you will make.

Understanding Motivation

We are all motivated by a set of internal and external factors. These are individualized, but are best understood by examples. I may be motivated to lose weight because I understand that my current weight is unhealthy and puts me at risk for diabetes and high blood pressure (a rational argument). Or, I may be motivated to lose weight because I don’t like the way I look (an emotional argument). In both cases, these are internal motivators. 

You might be motivated to stop smoking for some very good internal reasons such as its bad for my health or it costs a lot of money. But you might also have some good external motivators such as, I promised my spouse that I would quit and I don’t want to disappoint him/her. Or, I want to set a good example for my children. In either case, these represent external motivations. You might consider not wanting to be late for work because I might get in trouble as a prototypic example of an external motivator. How about, I want to stop drinking because if I am caught operating a vehicle, I might lose my license and land in jail. That represents pretty strong external motivation not to drink!

I like to encourage people to think of motivators in terms of rewards and punishments which both represent reinforcers. Things which reward you represent a source of positive reinforcement, while things which punish you represent types of negative reinforcement. These reinforcers are the carrot and the stick which often underlie our motivation. 

Bringing it all home

One very useful exercise is to sit down and list the health behaviors you would like to adopt or change and then to detail the internal and external motivators which support your decision making. Study the list and see if you can develop some reinforcers to support you. Think in terms of internal and external motivators as well as positive and negative reinforcers. For example, if you want to lose weight, you can reward yourself with a new outfit after losing 10 pounds. Or, if you want to exercise more often, enroll a friend to be your gym buddy who can encourage you when your motivation fails. 

And your motivation will fail from time to time. No matter how committed you are to a particular health choice, you may slip up from time to time. Having a plan in advance on how to deal with temptation is advisable. Have a health sponsor that you can call when you are feeling weak. Put a picture of your children or loved ones in your wallet and look at the picture when you are thinking of breaking a health promise. Bring out the list you made and review it every day. Post it on your refrigerator or on the mirror to look at when you are washing, shaving, or brushing your teeth.

Having good intentions about your health is a good starting point, but keeping them is all about sustained motivation and discipline. Perseverance or stick-to-it-tiveness will be the challenge. That’s where your volitional brain will ultimately decide your success.
As we approach the New Year, think of your New Year’s resolutions as your good intentions. Understand the source of your motivation to achieve your health goals. Follow through by being resolute and maintaining your willpower. Like the Nike commercial says, “Just do it!”

Be healthy…

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Monday, December 10, 2012

Mark G. Auerbach Public Relations: 2012: The Year In Review



Mark G. Auerbach (At Work)

Bottom line: We like to brag about our clients...not what we’ve helped them to accomplish, but what they’ve accomplished.

2012 was a transitional year for us. We partnered with some new clients. We introduced social media counsel into our mix. We were able to hire a part-time account executive.  Thanks to Bill Eagan, a colleague with a strong background in non-profit marketing and videography for agreeing to work with me.

A note of satisfaction: This summer, I celebrated the 25th anniversary of Mark G. Auerbach Public Relations.

So, on to the bragging. And, thanks to our clients, our purveyors, our vendors, and our colleagues for a good year.

Berkshire Film and Media Commission, Great Barrington, MA  (pro-bono). 

Massachusetts offers filmmakers a tax credit when they film a movie, video, commercial or some other project in the Baystate. The Berkshire Film and Media Commission has been working to bring filmmakers to the Berkshires. We’re helping them expand their services to all of Western Massachusetts. berkshirefilm.org/

The Collaborative for Community Health, Palmer, MA 

Victor Acquista, MD, a client, is a co-founder of this non-profit which provides a variety of health-related programs and services to the area. We helped them market two community health markets in September and October in Wilbraham, MA. thecollaborativeforcommunityhealth.org/

The David Pakman Show, Northampton/Greenfield, MA

Since we began working with David Pakman, his internationally-syndicated progressive talk program has expanded to four new programs a week. The David Pakman Show, available on radio, television, satellite, the web and more makes headlines for Pakman’s interviews. He’s added a syndicated monthly newspaper column.  davidpakman.com/

Jazz Ensembles at Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA

Mount Holyoke College’s instrumental and vocal jazz programs get rave reviews, and faculty member Mark Gionfriddo has replicated the radio variety program of the 1930s and 1940s as “The Big Broadcast”, a fully-staged musical entertainment. In recent years, Gionfriddo directs and conducts with WWLP-TV weather guy Brian Lapis, himself a devotee and product of radio, as Emcee. The 2013 shows are on Sunday, March 10, 2013.  Some examples:

Kurn Hattin Homes, Westminster, VT

In partnership with Rapt Creative of Brattleboro, VT, we’re working on a three-year awareness campaign for Kurn Hattin Homes, a unique non-profit boarding school for children elementary school age through 8th grade, who come from extraordinary circumstances. Kurn Hattin provides them with a living and learning experience that helps them move forward. One recent alum, Lyssa Jackson, gave back by launching a fundraiser honored by the Association of Fund Raising Professionals on Northern New England. Her story was videotaped. Other stories are at www.kurnhattin.org.


The Mike Thornton Agency / The Capitol Steps

For over 10 years, I’ve worked with Mike Thornton, a member of The Capitol Steps, to produce and/or promote their shows in The Pioneer Valley, MA as benefits for public radio, and in other markets. We partnered in 2012 promoting two performances of “The Capitol Steps: The 2012 Winners and Losers Edition” in Cambridge, MA at Harvard’s Sanders Theatre. http://www.capsteps.com/


Northfield Mount Hermon School, Gill, MA (pro-bono)

I’m a proud alum of NMH, and I’ll provide whatever resources are needed to help my alma mater. I’m serving as my Class Secretary, a member of its Reunion Committee, and contributor to the NMH Magazine as Class Notes columnist; I administer my class Facebook page, a LGBT alumni page, and I provide Facebook support to other pages. nmhschool.org

Pathways Integral Health and Wellness, Silver City, NM

Victor Acquista MD, my former doctor, founded an integral health and wellness web-based community, as he published his first book, “Pathways to Health: An Integral Guidebook”. We’ve helped him market and promote the e-book, and we’ve helped him expand the network for his “Health Wise” columns, which are now carried in The Westfield (MA) News, and Prime Magazine. http://pathstohealth.info/


Suffield Academy, Suffield, CT

Suffield Academy, a distinguished New England college preparatory school, has an innovative summer academy offering a variety of enrichment progtrams for students 12+. We’re assisting them build awareness for the program in Western Massachusetts and Northern Connecticut. www.suffieldacademy.org.

Here on my blog, you can find additional information on what my clients are accomplishing on an on-going basis.

If you’re on Facebook, you can follow my clients here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mark-G-Auerbach-Public-Relations/114375215268513

Season’s Greetings and all best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Victor Acquista MD Article on Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes

Client Victor Acquista's syndicated article on Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes ran in the Westfield News on December 4, 2012

This article, and others by Dr. Acquista, can be viewed online. The Westfield News website charges to access these articles.  http://thewestfieldnews.com/health-wise-therapeutic-lifestyle-changes




Health Wise

8 Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes That Can Change Your Life


Last year a thoroughly researched and rather important paper was published in American Psychologist by an eminent physician, Dr. Roger Walsh. The topic was on Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC) and the paper summarized research on eight different lifestyle choices that can improve your health. Normally, when we think of TLC, we think of “Tender Loving Care” and that is pretty much what Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes represent—TLC are how we can show ourselves some TLC. In this two-part article, we’ll look at these eight lifestyle choices as a means to empower our ability to self manage our health and well-being.

First off we should recognize that many chronic diseases including cardiovascular disorders, diabetes, obesity, and cancers are frequently determined by lifestyle. Dietary choices, the level of physical activity (or inactivity), smoking, and alcohol intake are all major contributing factors in our individual and collective health. Just as poor choices can be detrimental to our health, good choices can be beneficial. Collectively, TLC can improve physical health, mental health, self esteem, and quality of life.

Exercise

Exercise can help condition your body and your mind. It reduces the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and even prostate cancer. Done properly, it can be good for arthritis. It helps build and maintain muscle mass which is particularly important as we get older. Exercise can be a good stress reducer and can be helpful in both preventing and treating both anxiety and depression.

Other potential benefits of exercise include improved sleep, increase in brain volume, and improved cognition. Some of these cognitive benefits might surprise you—better academic performance, reduction in age related memory loss, enhanced stroke recovery, and as a valuable therapy for Alzheimer’s patients. Clearly exercise is good for the body and the brain.

So what are you waiting for? Like the Nike ad says, “Just do it!”  As always, before starting an exercise regime, it’s best to check with your health provider for guidance.

Nutrition and Diet

There is quite a bit of nutritional guidance out there and sometimes it can be overwhelming. I like to keep it simple so I emphasize the 5 F’s:

Fat—eat less fat
Fiber—eat more fiber
Fruits and vegetables—eat more fruits and vegetables
Fish—eat more fish
Folic acid—eat more folic acid if you are a woman of child bearing age as this helps prevent certain types of birth defects

Of course, controlling your caloric intake is crucial as this helps prevent obesity. Obesity is associated with heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, certain cancers, and degenerative joint disease. A pescovegetarian diet is associated with many of the same neuroprotective and cognitive benefits described previously for exercise. We know that fish oil is good for mental health and has beneficial anti-inflammatory properties.

Nature

Spending time in nature might seem like an unusual health and wellness recommendation, but it has been recognized for thousands of years that nature can both heal and calm. Too much time in unnatural artificial environments can disrupt biorhythms and sleep cycle. Exposure to sunlight is important for vitamin D synthesis. Vitamin D is essential for bone health and also has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Vitamin D deficiency is associated with bone fractures, cognitive impairment, and several mental disorders.

Dr. Walsh details some of the health benefits of natural settings: enhanced cognitive, attentional, emotional, spiritual, and subjective well being. Although more research is needed in this area, studies suggest immersion in nature appears to reduce stress, depression, and ADHD.

Relationships

In many respects, the quality of our relationships mirrors the quality of our lives. It has been my own observation as a primary care physician that people with good relationships tend to enjoy better health. Because I believe this is an underappreciated area of health, I covered this as a separate chapter in my book, Pathways to Health—An Integral Guidebook.

Recognize that we are social beings. Having the support and caring of close friends, family, and community is important to our overall health and well being. Having toxic and/or broken relationships can be very stressful and we know that stress is associated with poor mental and physical health. Having few or no relationships leaves us open to isolation and depression. Our choices in making, maintaining, breaking and repairing relationships are important to our individual and collective well-being.

Part Two of this series on Therapeutic Lifestyle Choices (TLC) will cover: Recreation and Enjoyable Activities, Relaxation and Stress Management, Religious and Spiritual Involvement, and Contribution and Service.



8 Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes That Can Change Your Life

In Part One of the two-part column I summarized some of the work published recently by Dr. Roger Walsh and incorporated some of my own ideas on Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC). Collectively, these represent important choices we make that impact our health. In Part One we covered the first four topics: Exercise, Nutrition and Diet, Nature, and Relationships. Let’s turn our attention to the remaining four topics.

Recreation and Enjoyable Activities 

Recreation is just one of the ways we re-create ourselves and mange to restore and renew. When you are involved with enjoyable activities, hobbies, creative pursuits, etc. you are engaged and focused on these pursuits. You stop thinking about the things that are worrying you and draining your energy. This is healthy. We all need the down time to recharge. Quoting directly from Dr. Walsh, “Recreation may overlap with, and therefore confer the benefits of, other TLCs such as exercise, time in nature, and social interactions.

Think about and take inventory of how you relax, how you play, what you do to have fun, and how you spend enjoyable time with others. Time spent with these kinds of experiences is healthy for our minds, psyche, spirit, and socially. Depending on the activity, there may be physical benefits as well. Don’t overlook this important aspect of your health and well-being.

Relaxation and Stress Management 

Certainly there is some overlap when discussing relaxation and stress as many of the ways we de-stress and relax are the very things we do to re-create and spend time with enjoyable pursuits. But when we think about the health effects of chronic stress, we need to consider the release of “stress hormones” and how these can result in physical and mental effects. Too much stress elevates our blood pressure, affects our sleep, our relationships, and generally runs us down.

Meditation is a great way to relax and relieve stress. Regular exercise, hobbies and past time pursuits, social engagement are all ways to reduce stress. Movement practices such as tai chi and qui gong have both physical and psychological benefits and are excellent ways to de-stress. Of course, many people try to de-stress through unhealthy means. These include: addictions, abuse of prescription and non-prescription substances, alcohol, tobacco, violence and aggression. There are many healthy TLC to select from instead of making these types of unhealthy choices.

Religious and Spiritual Involvement

It might seem unusual to discuss religion and spirituality in the context of health. Yet, 90% of the world’s population engages in religious or spiritual practices. Often, religion and spirituality are partly how we contend with stress and illness. Did you know that the word “health” shares the same roots as the word “holy”? Research has demonstrated a beneficial relationship between religious involvement and mental health. Potential benefits include less anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and suicide.

One can conceptualize religion and spirituality as how we relate to the divine. We know that good relationships favorably impact our health and our sense of well being. When we recognize that spirituality is an important aspect of who we are and embrace that as an important aspect of health, it opens up a new door of understanding. Prayer has been shown to have health benefits. Connecting with nature is potentially one of the ways we relate to the divine. Being part of a religious community is a way to feel connected and part of a support network and represents another way we can improve our health.

Contribution and Service

This is one of my favorite TLC to discuss because it is so often overlooked. Contributing to a cause greater than ourselves expands our circle of involvement. Volunteerism is just one way to contribute to the greater health of our society. And, studies of people who volunteer suggest that they are psychologically and physically healthier. As Dr. Walsh states, “…service is not necessarily a sacrifice but rather can foster qualities that serve the giver—such as happiness, mental health, and spiritual maturity. Altruism is said to reduce unhealthy mental qualities such as greed, jealousy, and egocentricity while enhancing healthy qualities such as love, joy, and generosity.”

Beyond individual health, there is a multiplier effect from getting involved in service and by contributing to society. This is one way to build “social capital” and contribute to the health and well being of society as a whole. Indeed, the word “health” also shares roots with the word “whole”. In this sense, to be healthy is to be whole and it is more difficult to be healthy in a society that is not. Contributing and providing service provides healing to self and our larger society.


This two-part article covered quite a bit of ground discussing therapeutic lifestyle changes which can be life changing and bring you to a place of better health and well-being. The eight specific areas include:  Exercise, Nutrition and Diet, Nature, Relationships, Recreation and Enjoyable Activities, Relaxation and Stress Management, Religious and Spiritual Involvement, and Contribution and Service. Read more in Dr. Walsh’s publication, Lifestyle and Mental Health and in my book, Pathways to Health—An Integral Guidebook.

Stay Healthy!

Media Advisory: Holiday Events at Kurn Hattin Homes



DATELINE: December 7, 2012
Holiday Happenings at Kurn Hattin Homes for Children

Monday, Dec. 10 – Wednesday, Dec. 12,  All Day – Farm Week – Holiday Pine Crafts

Children will be making holiday wreaths and pine table d├ęcor.

Wednesday, Dec. 12, 3:00 PM –  Boys’ Haircuts
A time-honored tradition at Kurn Hattin (and a great photo op! )  Former Kurn Hattin houseparent Laura Carroll gathers the boys in groups, and everybody gets a haircut. 

Thursday, Dec. 13, 12:30 PM  – Christmas Visitors’ Day  
Donors and member of organizations who support Kurn Hattin are invited to campus for a special  "thank you" from the children and staff -- a holiday luncheon and holiday performances from the jazz band and choir.

Thursday, Dec. 13,  3:00 PM Chester Rotary Santa and Elves Visit the CottagesSanta, Mrs. Claus, their elves, and other surprise guests—volunteers from the Chester Rotary Club—visit each residential cottage on campus, singing carols and delivering a gift for each Kurn Hattin child.


Credentialed media may visit Kurn Hattin to photograph the events. Media must call in advance and reserve a spot with  
Jaimie Scanlon, Rapt Creative, at jaimie@raptcreative.com or 802-490-2164.

Kurn Hattin Homes for children is a charitable home and school for boys and girls, ages 6-15, who are affected by tragedy, social or economic hardship, or other disruption in family life. Its mission: Kurn Hattin transforms the lives of children and their families forever. www./kurnhattin.org

###

Kurn Hattin Announces New Board Chair and Leadership


Some community leaders have joined the Board at Kurn Hattin Homes.

http://www.ibrattleboro.com/article.php/20121204112753902