In his new position, Cassata will perform planning, implementation, outreach and other services supporting school partners in Franklin County. The CHSC program works to increase access to healthy foods and opportunities for physical activity in schools, communities and early childcare settings.
“I’m honored to have the opportunity to support our school system,” Cassata said. “Nutrition and physical activity are absolutely essential to the social and emotional growth of students — without those two building blocks, kids and teens face a steeper climb to attain educational success.”
Cassata came to the Adirondacks in 2016 to attend Paul Smith’s College, studying sustainability and business development. He now operates his own farm and sustainable land development business in his spare time. Cassata has been involved with agriculture and the food production community since 2010, with a particular passion for teaching and infrastructure development.
In his spare time, Cassata enjoys paddling, fishing, hiking and wood working with his fiance.
“People are at the core of our work at the Heart Network,” said Ann Morgan, the Heart Network’s executive director. “To carry out our programming in a broad rural region, we need committed individuals who care about the success of our schools and communities. We’re so grateful that Andrew is bringing his passion and dedication to our team.”
In addition to CHSC, the Heart Network also administers the Health Systems for a Tobacco Free North Country program, which focuses on advancing health care providers’ efforts at identifying and treating nicotine addiction among their patients in both medical and behavioral health settings, and the North Country Chronic Disease Prevention Coalition, a network of healthcare providers, community-based organizations,and other regional stakeholders working to replicate and expand evidence-based diabetes prevention programs across the North Country.