Berkshire Health Systems launches third core team for CRI Life Enhancement Program in Berkshire County

January, 2017 – Berkshire County, MA

A hallmark of the CRI Life Enhancement Program (CRI LEP) is encouraging participants to take small sustainable steps to improve their health. In offering the CRI LEP to residents of Berkshire County, MA our partner Berkshire Health Systems has taken the same successful approach.


Berkshire Health Systems is now the first partner who is offering the CRI LEP at three distinct sites within Berkshire County. The third CRI LEP Core Team recently completed its training experiences and BHS is now launching the program in North Adams, MA on the North Adams Campus of Berkshire Medical Center (BMC).

“We have experienced great success helping the residents of Berkshire County help themselves to healthier and happier lives with the Canyon Ranch Institute Life Enhancement Program since 2013,” David Phelps, President and CEO of Berkshire Health Systems said. “We are thrilled to bring this program to the residents of northern Berkshire County and expand our engagement with the community to promote health and wellbeing.”

The first CRI LEP in Berkshire County was offered on the main BHS campus in Pittsfield, MA beginning in 2013. The second Core Team was formed at Fairview Hospital in Great Barrington, MA in southern Berkshire County in 2015. Well over 200 Berkshire County residents have experienced the CRI LEP to date.

“We at CRI are thrilled to continue to sustainably partner with Berkshire Health Systems,” Richard H. Carmona, M.D., M.P.H., FACS and 17th Surgeon General of the United States said. “We work with health care systems around the nation and the level of commitment and caring for the communities they serve at BHS is second to none.”

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CRI’s Andrew Pleasant, Ph.D. participated in World Health Organization’s 9th Global Conference on Health Promotion in Shanghai, China

Andrew Pleasant, Ph.D., delivered a presentation on the role of health literacy in Canyon Ranch Institute programs during the World Health Organization’s 9th Global Conference on Health Promotion. The conference brought together individuals from around the world to advance health promotion. The conference attendees approved the Shanghai Charter on Health Promotion which focuses on the role of health literacy in improving health and wellbeing. This conference is a continuation of the series of global conferences that produced the Ottawa Charter on Health Promotion in 1986. The conference was held in Shanghai, China starting Nov. 21, 2016 and ended on Nov. 24, 2016. For more information on the conference see

American Public Health Association 2016 Annual Meeting & Expo

CRI team members will offered eight presentations about CRI partnerships overall and the CRI Life Enhancement Program (CRI LEP) in particular at the American Public Health Association 2016 Annual Meeting & Expo in Denver, CO. Topics included how the CRI LEP uses integrative health and health literacy to prevent and reduce chronic disease; how the CRI LEP advances the health of older adults; and ways that the CRI LEP connects health, spirituality, and sense of purpose to improve health and well-being. We also presented data about how the CRI LEP improves participants’ mental health. Two other presentations focused on how CRI conducts formative research and uses the findings to tailor the CRI LEP to each community and how CRI trains health professionals to deliver the CRI LEP. We also presented about the use of disruptive health technologies, such as fitness wearables and apps, in the CRI LEP. Finally, we presented the CRI PRIMES model, which CRI created and uses to develop and fund sustainable, science-based partnerships that accomplish public good.

Help support Canyon Ranch Institute realize the power and possibility of a healthy world!

Canyon Ranch Institute is a 501(c)3 non-profit public charity dedicated to helping all people find, understand, evaluate, communicate, and use information and other resources to prevent disease and embrace a life of wellness. We invite you to support our partnerships and programs to expand our reach and impact by becoming a financial supporter of Canyon Ranch Institute. Help us help the world become healthier and happier at Thank you!


Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 2016 Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo

CRI team members presented four sessions about the role of nutrition in CRI’s partnerships and programs to improve health in low-income communities at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 2016 Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo in Boston, MA. Topics included how the CRI Healthy Table program helps people incorporate healthy cooking into their daily lives; how grocery store tours that are part of the CRI Life Enhancement Program curriculum help measurably improve participants’ eating habits; how hands-on cooking activities in the CRI Healthy Community program help families make changes to their well-being; and how the CRI Healthy World Scholarship supports the long-term efforts of interdisciplinary teams to improve children’s nutrition in their communities.

CRI’s Jennifer Cabe and Andrew Pleasant Present Training for Oklahoma Health Equity Campaign

As part of the Oklahoma Health Equity Campaign, CRI Executive Director and Board Member Jennifer Cabe, M.A., and Senior Director for Health Literacy and Research Andrew Pleasant, Ph.D., presented a two-day training for representatives from public, private, government, and community organizations about how to use evidence-based interventions to optimize health literacy among all sectors of society.

2016 CRI Healthy World Scholarship Awarded to Teams Working to Improve Child Nutrition

Most kids in the United States don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables, and unfortunately they’re also eating too much sugar, salt, and fat. Children in low-income communities have even less access to healthy food. To help improve the health of our nation’s most vulnerable kids, Canyon Ranch Institute is partnering with Canyon Ranch to strengthen innovative collaborations improving the nutrition of children in communities nationwide.

Through a competitive application process, we selected four teams for the 2016 Canyon Ranch Institute Healthy World Scholarship. The interdisciplinary teams – made up of 15 dedicated experts from such diverse fields as health care, food service, education, and non-profits – live and work in the communities of Chinle, AZ; Greenville, SC; Savannah, GA; and Wilkes County, NC. During their scholarship visit to Canyon Ranch in Tucson, AZ, the teams participated in workshops on health literacy, nutrition and cooking, partnership development and sustainability, and measurement and evaluation. The experience was designed to support and strengthen the teams’ collaborative efforts to improve the health and well-being of children in their communities.

CRI President and 17th U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona Stresses Health Equity

CRI President Richard H. Carmona, M.D., M.P.H., FACS, spoke with community leaders, policymakers, and the heads of state agencies and health associations at the Kansas Health Foundation Symposium. His keynote address to the people who are shaping a strategic framework to guide the future of health care in Kansas focused on social determinants of health and why health equity must be the goal of all health policy. He said, “Today, your health is dictated by your zip code. The greatest predictors of poor health outcomes are low income and low health literacy.” 

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CRI’s Andrew Pleasant Presents at World Conference on Health Promotion

CRI Senior Director for Health Literacy and Research Andrew Pleasant, Ph.D., presented six sessions on CRI research, programs, and practices at the 22nd International Union of Health Promotion and Education World Conference on Health Promotion. Andrew spoke about how CRI uses health literacy and an integrative approach to health to create healthy behavior changes in low-income communities around the world. CRI programs are proven to improve prevention and help people and communities become healthier and happier. Additionally, Andrew participated in a pre-conference workshop titled “Taking the Global Health Literacy Agenda Forward for Health Promotion – From Position Paper to Action.” He was also part of a sub-plenary panel focused on “Health Literacy in All Policies – Where Are We Now and Where Should We Be Headed?” in which he detailed how health literacy is being implemented throughout the United States, including through the work of CRI and our partners. Andrew also spoke about how CRI is advancing the use of health literacy through policy efforts.

CRI Presents at 2016 Institute for Healthcare Advancement Health Literacy Conference

CRI Senior Director for Health Literacy and Research Andrew Pleasant, Ph.D., CRI Senior Program Manager Chuck Palm, M.P.H., C.P.H., and CRI Program and Evaluation Manager Ana Lucero-Liu, Ph.D.,  presented information about CRI’s health literacy research and practice at the Institute for Healthcare Advancement’s 15th Annual Health Literacy Conference. Andrew presented a session about how CRI uses formative research to successfully tailor the Canyon Ranch Institute Life Enhancement Program (CRI LEP) to local communities. The CRI team also presented three posters:  how the CRI LEP uses health literacy to improve health and health system performance; how CRI developed and uses an easy-to-use self-report measure of health literacy with multiple diverse populations; and how the CRI Healthy Community program advances family and community health in low-income communities through nutrition, stress management, physical activity, and gardening.

CRI’s Ted Vickey Speaks About Wellness Tech at Harvard Medical School

CRI Senior Advisor for Disruptive Health Technologies Ted Vickey, M.S., spoke with students attending Harvard Medical School about “Leveraging Wellness Tech to Help Create a More Active Community.” Ted discussed how CRI is using disruptive health technologies such as fitness wearables and apps in the communities we serve. He also gave an overview of research by CRI and others about how the use of cell phones and smart phones in low-income communities differs from other communities.