Starting today, Niagara Pride is hosting a series of community provider "Lunch and Learn" presentations. It's being done in lieu of the group's annual health fair, which was put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Presentations will take place on the third Friday of every month from noon to 1 p.m. They are accessible through the group's Facebook page.
Today's presentations are by representatives of the Center for Elder Law and Justice, the Niagara County Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, Community Health Center of Buffalo, Niagara Falls, Cheektowaga, and First Unitarian Universalist Church of Niagara Falls.
Ronald Piaseczny, president of Niagara Pride, spoke about how the series came about.
“Last year and still this year, we weren’t able to do an in-person health fair. We didn’t want to not have programming this year and not get that information out to individuals 'cause those were very successful events in the past. We thought, how can we modify and make it more accessible to individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic? But also put a little bit of a more personal twist on it, so that we would actually have multiple, once a month Zoom calls with only a couple providers so that it gives those providers the opportunity to highlight and showcase their services, especially any programming dedicated to the LGBTQ community.”
Piaseczny added this will allow attendees to ask more questions, and uncover information about health from angles one might not see in a traditional health fair.
Some of the groups that will take part in the series include Heart, Love, and Soul, Western Problem Gambling Resource Center, LGBT Veteran Care, and Elderwood.
Piaseczny described an upcoming presentation this way: “We’ve partnered with Western Problem Gambling Resource, where they will be providing two different trainings, one in spring and one in fall,” he said. “For the first one ... they will be doing a What is Problem Gambling 101 presentation. Even though it’s geared more towards clinical staff and clinicians, the community is welcome to participate. One of the nice things about that is there are continuing education credits available for clinicians and it will be free of charge. We hope that will get some clinicians involved in problem gambling, and how that impacts Niagara County and the Western New York area.”
Each session in the series will be recoded and uploaded to Niagara Pride’s social media pages. Presenters are scheduled into August and Niagara Pride is looking for other providers to do presentations during the fall and early winter.
Upcoming Lunch and Learn presenters include:
— Feb. 27, noon to 12:30 p.m., special session featuring youth providers GLYS Western New York, Inc.; Youth Link & Be PrEPared programs.
— March 19, noon to 1 p.m., Pride Center of WNY, Heart, Love and Soul and Horizon Health Services.
— April 16, noon to 1 p.m., The Breast and Prostate Peer Education Program at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, US Social Security Administration, Trans Health Care Services – Evergreen Health Services, and Booker College Planning.
— May 21, noon to 1 p.m., Salvation Army of Niagara Falls, Western Problem Gambling Resource Center and Save the Michaels.