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Using Transportation to Achieve Better Health Outcomes in Camden

September 6, 2019

Transportation can be one route towards better health. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation kickstarted this thinking when they funded New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids to address social determinants of better health in Camden. The funding coincided with the City of Camden’s complete streets policy requiring municipal road projects to accommodate pedestrians, bicyclists, transit riders, drivers and people of all ages and abilities.  One notable initiative was the four-month bike share pilot program, which made bicycling an affordable, convenient, and fun way for residents and visitors to get around the city. “The Bike-share pilot had huge momentum,” said Valeria Galarza, Senior Project Manager at Cooper’s Ferry Partnership. “Based on that success, we determined we needed to develop a robust plan to get people to move more and improve access to transportation to advance health outcomes.” The City of Camden is considering a few ideas, such as:   Make Bike Sharing […]


Camden’s Night Gardens Kicks off 2018 Connect the Lots Schedule

June 7, 2018

Camden Night Gardens on Friday, May 18th marked the first event of the 2018 Connect the Lots summer season. The free event included live music from local bands, dance performances, art installations, fireworks, and a car show. A full line-up of programming and special events for the season was also announced. Connect the Lots offers a wide variety of activities to engage Camden residents and to reinvigorate parks and underutilized spaces in Camden neighborhoods,” said Kris Kolluri, CEO of Cooper’s Ferry Partnership. The season’s other major events include Camden’s Got Talent, the city’s third annual talent show, on June 28that Dudley Grange Park; the Camden Peace Games, a citywide basketball fest, on July 28th at Von Nieda Park; and the Camden Jam: Arts and Music Festival on September 9th.  This year, Connect the Lotshas expanded its reach in underutilized spaces to include Camden’s waterways. The first annual “I Paddle Camden” […]


Camden Pilots Bike Share Program

May 11, 2018

The decision by the Camden City Council to try out bike sharing for an four-month trial period generated a multitude of media coverage, both local and national, print and TV. The bicycle service is provided by a company called “ofo” that introduced bike sharing to San Francisco and Beijing, among many other cities. According to ofo, some of its partner cities have seen short-distance car trips (under three miles) reduced by as much as 44 percent because residents opt to hop a bike instead. All it takes is a Smartphone app—to find and unlock a bike—and $1.00 per hour for the ride. Bike Share launched officially on May 2 with representatives from Cooper’s Ferry Partnership, the City of Camden, Camden County and Get Healthy Camden assembling at Roosevelt Plaza Park. “The Camden Bike Share will be an extremely affordable, convenient, and fun way for residents and visitors to get around and see […]


Partnering for a Tobacco-Free Camden

April 12, 2018

Despite raising the smoking age to 21 and banning tobacco purchases to those younger than 21, New Jersey still faces a predicament when it comes to tobacco use among children and teens.   Tobacco companies are doing all they can to put tobacco into the mouths of kids. They now offer mini-cigars and cigarillos at lower prices—3 for $1.00—and flavored tobacco that especially appeals to younger taste buds. Compounding the problem, retailers promote tobacco with oversized and often flashy advertising. Too often, the stores and their ads are within walking distance of schools, enticing youths to try some gummy bear, cotton candy or chocolate tobacco products.   “Research shows that advertising and promotion at the point of sale increase youth and adult tobacco use, normalize and exaggerate the popularity of tobacco use, trigger impulse purchases and discourage cessation attempts,” said Kim Burns, Southern Regional Coordinator for Tobacco Free for a […]


Camden Coalition of Healthcare Partners—Groundbreaking Work Making Positive National Impact

January 16, 2018

At the 2017 Culture of Health Conference, Valeria Galarza, Senior Project Manager, Cooper’s Ferry Partnership presented a Culture of Health Champion Award to the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers in recognition of the positive impact it has made in so many communities across the nation. Founded in 2002 by Dr. Jeffrey Brenner, the Camden Coalition started as a monthly breakfast group of local health care providers, community partners and advocates committed to elevating the health of patients facing the most complex medical and social challenges. The Camden Coalition’s most significant accomplishment is its ability to use “healthcare hotspotting,” an approach that uses data to help drive high quality, comprehensive care, and support services to some of the city’s high utilizers of healthcare. The Coalition’s work has sparked a field and movement that unites communities of caregivers in Camden and across the nation to innovate and test health care delivery models […]


Galarza Appointed to Executive Council of BPAC

November 7, 2017

Valeria Galarza, Senior Program Manager for Get Healthy Camden has been appointed to the Executive Council of the New Jersey Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Council (BPAC).  The Executive Council makes cycling and walking safer and more convenient for all New Jersey residents.  BPAC’s mission is to advise the New Jersey Department of Transportation on policies, programs, projects, and research priorities to advance cycling and walking as safe and viable forms of transportation and recreation throughout the State for users of all ages and abilities. The Council members also advise other state and regional agencies on priorities to advance cycling and walking in New Jersey.  “I’m very excited to represent Camden on the BPAC,” said Galarza.  “Improving the built environment by making cycling and walking safer for all residents continues to be a priority.”  BPAC is composed of approximately 15 voting members, representing various federal, state, and regional agencies, advocates, and […]


Creating Community Impact: NJPHK and The Food Trust

November 7, 2017

New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids (NJPHK) collaborates with high-profile, high-results partners in pursuing its mission to implement strategies that support access to affordable healthy foods to help children achieve a healthy weight. One such partner is The Food Trust. In a study conducted by Philanthropedia, The Food Trust was ranked #2 in America as a “high-impact” nonprofit focused on children’s health and nutrition. In 2011, The Food Trust received support from the Campbell’s Healthy Communities Initiative to expand its Philadelphia Healthy Corner Store Initiative into Camden and create the Camden Healthy Corner Store Network. In 2014, NJPHK and The Food Trust joined forces to build off the successes of the Camden network and replicate that achievement throughout New Jersey, starting with the other four NJPHK cities (Newark, New Brunswick, Trenton and Vineland). The two organizations, along with The American Heart Association, convened a statewide task force to examine business […]


Camden Turns Up the Fun at Third Annual Camden Jam: Arts & Music Festival

October 2, 2017

On Saturday, September 9, Roosevelt Plaza Park was transformed into a music, arts and cultural hub. The City of Camden, Mayor Dana L. Redd and the Connect the Lots Initiative, with the support of Cooper’s Ferry Partnership, hosted the third annual Camden Jam: Arts and Music Festival. The free event featured continuous live music, arts and crafts vendors, kids’ activities, sustainability demonstrations, food trucks and more. This year’s festival was held from 2 pm to 8 p.m. in Roosevelt Plaza Park at Camden City Hall. Camden Jam is the final event of the 2017 Connect the Lots season of special programming. “Camden Jam is only one of many Connect the Lots events and programming that bring Camden youth and families together to experience cultural arts right in their own backyard,” explained Anthony Perno, Chief Executive Officer of Cooper’s Ferry Partnership. “I have seen this event develop and grow from the […]


Inaugural “I Bike Camden” Event Puts the City and its Premier Cycling Trails in the Spotlight

September 5, 2017

More than 50 cyclists and biking enthusiasts gathered in Cooper’s Poynt Waterfront Park in Camden on August 12, 2017, to participate in the inaugural “I Bike Camden” – a fun, family-friendly bicycle ride and community event showcasing the beauty of the City and its growing network of biking trails. “This unique event showcases the beauty of our city from an entirely new perspective – the seat of a bicycle,” said Camden Mayor Dana L. Redd. “Camden’s beautiful bike trails attract cyclists from all over the region – we are proud these trails can be used to explore and discover, while also encouraging people of all ages to get up and enjoy a healthy, active lifestyle.” The community event kicked off with an easygoing, social 10-mile ride (see map attached) around Camden along the city’s Circuit Trails – Greater Philadelphia’s Regional Trail network and one of America’s largest trails networks that […]


TURN UP THE FUN: Camden’s 2017 Connect the Lots

June 6, 2017

Dates Set for Camden Night Gardens and Camden Jam, New Programming Unveiled On May 9, 2017, Camden Mayor Dana L. Redd and Cooper’s Ferry Partnership Vice President Meishka L. Mitchell unveiled the Connect the Lots program for 2017. A variety of fun outdoor events and programming for the spring and summer months are planned to engage residents and activate vacant, underutilized spaces in neighborhoods throughout the City of Camden. “This year’s line-up of dynamic programming is designed for people of all ages,” explained Mayor Redd. “By offering an array of activities right in the heart of our vibrant neighborhoods, we are hoping to inspire residents to celebrate the rich cultural offerings we have right here in the City while engaging the community and attracting visitors from throughout the region.” “These free family-friendly events will provide safe havens where Camden youth and their families can interact and enjoy their community in […]