September 2021

From our Executive Director, Barbara Loh:

It's hard to believe that the first day of fall is coming up very soon. After an "interesting" summer of rainy and hot weather and the delta variant, let's hope going forward things get more normal. Until that happens, we continue to provide our listeners late day round ups of all the latest news and development with COVID-19. We would like to thank Health New England for a recent grant to help us to continue to expand our broadcasts during this pandemic.

We would also like to thank Focus Springfield and the Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts for providing audio from community events and webinars that provide all the latest local news on COVID. Grants from the Irene and George Davis Foundation and Sarah Gillett Services for the Elderly have also helped us with this COVID broadcasting expansion and kept us on the air during these challenging times.

Our exciting news this month is that we are embarking on our next phase of technology upgrading. You may have already noticed, if you have been to our website, that we now have a new streaming service!!

What difference does that make? Well, our listeners can now listen to us live from our website. They will also be able to use smart speakers like Alexa to hear our broadcasts. It will also enable us to provide podcasts of our programming. In other words, our listeners will have even more accessible ways to stay connected and informed. Given our mission, we want nothing less for them than what many of us now have at our fingertips for technology.

In addition, an initiative with Baystate Health, Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts, and Greater Springfield Senior Services that started a few years ago to bring Valley Eye Radio to patients at Baystate Medical Center through GetWellNetwork, their in-house communication system, has been completed. We are now on their line up of offerings. We are so grateful to all who have made this achievement possible--again another way of bringing our needed service and broadcasts to the greater Springfield community in an effort to reduce social isolation.

We also want to thank many of our local legislators including Senators Lesser, Comerford, Velis, and Gomez and Reps. Finn, Gonzalez, Puppolo, Sabadosa, Domb, Ashe, Duffy, Ramos and Carey, for their assistance in getting us more state funding for this fiscal year than ever before.

And, as always, our volunteers reading and recording day in and day out keep us able to provide our local broadcasts and fulfill our mission to keep everyone informed, healthy, and connected regardless of their ability to read on their own.

Without all of you, our technological progress and essential broadcasts would not have been possible. Many thanks.

  • Baystate Medical Center has a great information resource for the patients under their care in their “Get Well” platform that allows them to get programming from a number of sources including Valley Eye Radio!

  • More great news! Valley Eye Radio is now available through Amazon’s Echo devices (Alexa) and Google Home/Google Assistant. If you know of someone who is blind, visually impaired or has some other health condition or disability that affects their ability to access print information, our accessible website has information on how to set up and listen to Valley Eye Radio through their smart speaker by just using their voice!
  • The World Affairs Council of Western Massachusetts is back with more timely insights on current events. Katherine Brown, President & CEO of Global Ties U.S. and author of Your Country, Our War: The Press and Diplomacy in Afghanistan, conversed with World Affairs Council Interim President Stephen E. Spelman on the topic “Afghanistan: How to Keep Supporting Our Allies”.

  • Happy Birthday to all of those in our volunteer reader family who were born in the month of September: David and Andrew both heard choruses of the birthday song on their day of the 2nd, Jeff S. begins another lap around the sun on the 18th, Laura Lee was remembered by family and friends on the 20th, Harold and Marion both got their best wishes on the 21st, Dennis, Eileen S. and Antonia all get to have their cake and presents on the 23rd, Jan hears from loved ones on the 28th and Karen B. gets spoiled on the 30th.

    Happy Birthday wishes to all!

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