On The Calendar

‘Closing the Gap on Herd Immunity’

April 8: Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) will host a virtual panel, “Closing the Gap on Herd Immunity,” featuring three experts in public health, at 5 p.m. Topics covered will include COVID-19 vaccine access, misinformation, and a look ahead as vaccines become available to wider segments of the population in Massachusetts and across the U.S.

The panelists are Dr. Michelle Williams, dean of the faculty and professor at Harvard College’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health; Dr. Mary Clarisse Kilayko, a doctor of infectious diseases and internal medicine at Berkshire Health Systems; and Dr. James Lederer, Berkshire Health Systems’ chief medical officer and chief quality officer.

This event is free and open to the public, and community members are welcome to attend. Panelists will be able to answer audience questions about the vaccine. Those who are interested can register at tinyurl.com/ejx62yv4.

Square One Virtual Trivia Night Fundraiser

April 8: Square One will host a family-friendly virtual trivia night, with proceeds from the event benefiting its Campaign for Healthy Kids, a multi-year fund-development initiative focused on the agency’s commitment to providing healthy meals, physical fitness, social and emotional well-being, and a healthy learning environment.

Tickets for the event cost $20 and can be purchased by visiting www.startatsquareone.org. In addition to a prize of an Apple Watch for the game winner, the evening will include raffles for other prizes, including jewelry, toys, games, and gift cards. Trivia questions will be geared toward children and adults.

Square One currently provides early-learning services to more than 500 infants, toddlers, and school-age children each day, and family-support services to 1,500 families each year, as they work to overcome the significant challenges in their lives. The large majority of Square One families come from situations involving poverty, homelessness, food insecurity, and other significant barriers that may inhibit their ability to get their children off to a good start in life.

Therapeutic Equestrian Center Virtual Film Festival

April 9-11: The Therapeutic Equestrian Center (TEC), located in Holyoke, is hosting a virtual fundraising event featuring the 2021 Winnie Film Festival Tour. This film fest will feature exclusive, world-premiere short documentary films that celebrate the healing powers of the horse.

Attendees will enjoy two hours of inspiring and heartwarming films anytime from 5 p.m. on Friday, April 9 until 10 p.m. on Sunday, April 11. A fee of $25 is requested to register, and participants will be provided a link to stream to any smart device, such as phones, tablets, and TVs. Binge in one sitting, or stretch the viewing out over the entire weekend — the choice is yours. To register for this virtual event, visit tecriders.org. Gary Rome Hyundai is the exclusive event sponsor.

TEC has been closed during the pandemic but hopes to open later this year. Proceeds from this event will help feed and care for its stable of horses and provide necessary materials needed for a safe reopening.

The Therapeutic Equestrian Center empowers children and adults with physical, emotional, and developmental needs to live their best lives. Through a range of individually designed, equine-assisted programs, lessons, and recreational activities, TEV enhances the bodies, minds, and spirits of riders, creating a stronger, more compassionate and inclusive community in which every member is encouraged and able to thrive.

‘Establishing Resilience: Building Happiness’

April 10: Holyoke Community College (HCC) is partnering with Pam Victor, president and founder of Happier Valley Comedy, to offer “Establishing Resilience: Building Happiness,” a Zoom workshop slated for 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The cost of the class is $99. To register, visit hcc.edu/happiness.

Victor, a comedian and improv facilitator, will lead participants on an experiential exploration of happiness and resilience building to enhance their joy and ease at work and home. She will share stress-relieving exercises and techniques to help people bring more well-being, laughter, gratitude, and play into their daily lives.

Happier Valley Comedy, based in Hadley, is the region’s first and only comedy theater and training program.

Greene Memorial Lecture in Physical Therapy

April 21: Department of Physical Therapy faculty members at Springfield College will present the 24th annual Greene Memorial Lecture in Physical Therapy, featuring a discussion, Q&A, and ‘fireside chat’ with lecturer Richard Shields, led by host Angela Campbell, Springfield College professor of Physical Therapy. The event is slated for 5 p.m., and can be accessed at springfield.zoom.us/j/94972920402.

During this webinar, Shields, a professor, chair, and department executive officer of the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science in the Carver College of Medicine at the University of Iowa, will discuss a range of his research interests from epigenomics to measures of quality and benchmarking in physical therapist education. He has contributed to the physical-therapy profession as a clinician, scientist, and academic leader.

Shields managed the acute spinal-cord injury program at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics for several years. He holds medical-device patents for inventions that he designed to log and deliver therapeutic stress to tissues of people with paralysis. His clinical research aims to improve the health of people who suffer from reduced activity due to paralysis, obesity, injury, or age. He has published more than 125 scientific papers and has delivered more than 200 invited scientific presentations.

Series on Workplace Violence Prevention

April 27, May 26, June 30: The Employers Assoc. of the NorthEast (EANE) and its training partners from Protective Advanced Safety Services (PASS), will present a three-part training series at EANE’s Agawam training center for regional employers on workplace violence prevention.

Session topics include “Who’s Coming to Work,” “CALM: De-escalation Strategies,” and “Hire Right, Fire Smart.” All three sessions are designed to equip employers with the tools and knowledge they need to keep their workplaces safe from violence, including microaggressions, employee-relations escalations, and the worst-case scenario: an active shooter.

“With today’s volatile climate, we’re seeing people dealing with increased pressures like financial stress, domestic violence, increased drug and alcohol abuse, and mental illness. All of this creates the perfect storm for employers, and they need to be prepared that some of this stress will be coming to their workplaces,” said John Nettis of PASS. We’ve designed these trainings to support employers as they are welcoming staff back to their facilities.”

Space in this training series is limited to 10 participants as EANE is following state guidelines on social distancing and capacity limits. The cost for the program is $331.50 for all three sessions. Interested parties can reach out to Allison Ebner at aebner@eane.org or call (413) 789-6400 for more information.

IDGA VA Healthcare Summit

May 24-26: The Institute for Defense and Government Advancement (IDGA) VA Healthcare Summit, sponsored by HCN, will offer virtual attendees the opportunity to meet with the leaders positioned to provide substantive change across the department, with a particular focus on advancing patient advocacy and experience, digital transformation, community and vendor engagement, e-learning, the VA’s innovation ecosystem, and more.

IDGA’s summit will highlight these areas across the agenda, as well as include enabling VA initiatives currently underway to advance the most critical needs for veterans across the U.S. This year’s agenda, developed through indepth research by IDGA, covers a range of topics, including VHA innovation ecosystem initiatives, VA telehealth capabilities, financial management and business-transformation efforts, and a deep dive into clinical delivery.

For more information and to view the agenda, visit www.idga.org/events-veteransaffairshealthcare-spring. To join and receive a 20% discount, register at bit.ly/3sts2FV and quote code VAH_HH_CN. All federal, state, and local government, as well as military and law enforcement, can attend at no cost.

COVID-19 Testing at HCC

Through June 30: Even though infection rates have been dropping and vaccinations are becoming more readily available, free “Stop the Spread” COVID-19 testing at Holyoke Community College (HCC) has been extended through June, according to the Holyoke Board of Health.

Drive-thru testing at HCC is conducted six days a week in parking lot H near the western entrance to the Donahue Building on the college’s main campus, 303 Homestead Ave. Wait times for tests are not nearly as long as they used to be, according to site administrators, with only a handful of vehicles lined up at the busiest times.

HCC has been serving as a drive-thru testing site since last summer to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Drivers are asked to enter the campus from Homestead Avenue, turn left onto the Campus Road, and proceed to parking lot H. There will be signs and parking attendants on site to manage the flow of traffic.

The HCC testing site is open Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 7 to 11 a.m., and Tuesday and Thursday from 2 to 7 p.m. Testing is free to all Massachusetts residents and conducted on a first-come, first-served basis. There are no appointments, and no referral is necessary. Turnaround time for results is typically four days or fewer.