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Trenton Families Retreat for a Healthy Weekend at Frost Valley YMCA

June 7, 2018

Thanks to Ready, Set, Healthy!™, a Novo Nordisk-Sponsored Program, 11 Trenton families spent Mother’s Day weekend at Frost Valley YMCA, in the Catskill Mountains of New York, enjoying a variety of indoor and outdoor activities focused on healthy eating, gardening and physical fitness. In total, 20 children and 11 adults, from two-months-old to age 67, took part in the weekend.   Families were hands-on in the greenhouse and garden, learning about soil conservation, composting, planting, mulching and growing. Everyone got their own flowers to plant and take home so they can watch them grow.   A bit of rain could not stop the kids from riding the zipline, which towers 120 feet in the air and requires walking up three flights of stairs to the launch. Children under age eight were safely harnessed into the flying squirrel, a kind of “mini-zip line” with a lower altitude.   Other outdoor adventures […]

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Healthy U Celebrates 10 Years of Impact

June 7, 2018

It’s been 10 years since the Horizon Foundation for New Jersey and the New Jersey YMCA State Alliance kicked off Healthy U, a collaborative partnership program designed to combat childhood obesity through nutrition education, physical education and family involvement.  On Friday, May 18, more than 100 Healthy U Champions and partners from the New Jersey YMCAs and schools came together to celebrate 10 years of impact during the NJ YMCA State Alliance Healthy U Spring Symposium. The Symposium was held at the MetLife Stadium and included a formal program with remarks from Jonathan R. Pearson, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility for Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey and Executive Director of The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey,and Dr. Darrin Anderson, Executive Director NJ YMCA State Alliance. Keynote Speaker Golden Martinez, founder of GetFocused.org talked about how we can be all Hero Makers through our interactions with children. Duncan […]

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April is National Minority and Multicultural Health Month

April 12, 2018

“Partnering for Health Equity” is this year’s national theme for the National Minority and Multicultural Health (OMMH) Month. National Minority Health Month is observed every year in April to highlight the health disparities that persist among racial and ethnic minority populations and the ways in which legislation, policies and programs can help advance health equity. The US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health is encouraging “partnerships at the national, state, tribal and local levels to continue the work of reducing health disparities and advancing health equity.   NJPHK’s Darrin Anderson recently partnered with NJ Department of Health and participated in a panel discussion entitled, “Healthy Communities Begin with Health Equity.” The event was held on Friday, April 6 at William Paterson University in Wayne, NJ.    Panel participants also included Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Marco Navarro and NJ Health Initiative’s Diane Hagerman. Anderson provided examples of […]

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75,000 NJ Kids Benefit from Healthy U

April 12, 2018

Healthy U combats childhood obesity through nutrition education, physical education and family involvement. The program partners the Horizon Foundation for New Jersey with the NJ YMCA State Alliance and its 37-member associations. Together, the grant funds three programs: The Healthy U YMCA Afterschool program, The Healthy U YMCA Early Childhood Education Program, and the Healthy U School-based Program. Healthy U uses the CATCH (Coordinated Approach to Child Health) curriculum to educate and support environments for healthy eating and increased physical activity. Although Healthy U is a program to help prevent obesity, it also leads to improved academic performance and reduced illness and behavior issues. Healthy U ensures that children and families are provided with environments that encourage positive behavior toward physical activity and healthy eating. Sue Cornell, Healthy U Director for the NJYMCA State Alliance, oversees the statewide program. “What’s different about Healthy U is the focus on changing behavior […]

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Statewide Healthy Corner Store Campaign Offers Heart-Healthy Food Access and Screenings for Shoppers

April 12, 2018

In a number of communities across the state of New Jersey, residents are improving their health – right in their corner store. One example is Edward Logan Jr., a Camden resident who began participating in The Food Trust’s Heart Smarts program at his neighborhood store, Ferry Avenue Market. After attending eight monthly lessons and continuing to make healthy choices once the lesson series had ended, Edward – who had uncontrolled Type 2 diabetes –began taking control of his health. Since 2014, he’s lost 40 pounds, and his A1C levels (measurement of how much sure is attached to the blood’s hemoglobin protein) have decreased from 12.7% (significantly higher than normal levels of 5.7% or below) to 5.2%.      The Heart Smarts program is part of the New Jersey Healthy Corner Store Initiative and brings free nutrition lessons and free health screenings (blood pressure, BMI, stroke and heart disease assessments) right […]

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Celebrating ACNJ’s Cecilia Zalkind during Women’s History Month

March 9, 2018

A part-time job turned into a lifetime career for Cecilia Zalkind, President and Chief Executive Officer of Advocates for Children of New Jersey (ACNJ). While in law school, Zalkind met ACNJ’s Executive Director and signed on to do legislative policy work. “It probably was the luckiest day of my life,” Zalkind said. “Before law school, I had been a social worker at DYFS, which was by turns challenging, enlightening and frustrating. I knew there had to be a better way to help kids in the system.” She found that “better way” with ACNJ, and has stayed on for 34 years advancing in leadership roles that have helped produce key policy advances in child welfare, early care and education and health care in New Jersey. “It’s been a privilege to work here,” Zalkind said. ACNJ has become the best-known, most respected research and advocacy group for children in the state, with […]

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$1.3 Million Awarded to 66 NJ Nonprofit Organizations to Advance Policy and Environment Changes

February 12, 2018

Grants to increase healthy eating and active living in NJ The New Jersey Healthy Communities Network’s Community Grants Program (NJHCN) recently announced that it awarded grants totaling $1.3 million to 66 New Jersey nonprofit organizations. NJHCN is a coalition of six funding organizations focused on supporting communities that increase opportunities for healthy eating and active living. The 66 funded organizations represent a cross-section of nonprofit, school, and government organizations from across the state and each will receive a grant of $20,000 over a two-year period. The grants were awarded to projects that have a lasting impact on building a culture of health in communities, schools, places of worship, early care, education, neighborhoods, and municipalities. Each grant will address at least one strategy to increase opportunities for physical activity and one strategy to improve access to healthy eating.  Among the initiatives are: organizational and school wellness policies, farmers markets, open streets, […]

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Healthy U Program Receives National Award for Excellence

February 12, 2018

The New Jersey Healthy U program was recently selected as the inaugural winner of the 2017 CATCH® Award for Excellence in State Health! The CATCH® Awards for Excellence in Health are a national distinction presented by CATCH Global Foundation and Flaghouse, Inc.in recognition of exemplary efforts to promote and support health and wellness locally through the CATCH Program. The CATCH Award winners have distinguished themselves among the more than 10,000 sites across the United States through: Positive, demonstrable health impacts among those they serve; Exceptionally high standards for fidelity of program implementation; and, Continued dedication to sustain programmatic efforts across multiple The CATCH (Coordinated Approach to Child Health) curriculum has been an integral component of the Healthy U collaborative partnership between the Horizon Foundation for New Jersey and the New Jersey YMCA State Alliance and its 37 Member Associations. Since 2008, Healthy U has supported and promoted healthy lifestyles to […]

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Registration Is Open for Annual Building a Culture of Health in NJ Conference Slated for November 29

October 2, 2017

Former Olympian Joetta Clark Diggs and social media star Doctor Mike to attend conference More than 400 public health professionals, educators, dieticians, and community leaders from across the state are expected to attend the 2017 Building a Culture of Health in New Jersey conference on Wednesday, November 29th, 2017 in Edison, NJ. This year’s theme, ‘A Systems Approach to Promoting Population Health,’ will teach participants how to leverage and exchange best practices, research findings, and lessons learned in Building a Culture of Health. “A healthy New Jersey starts with creating healthy, equitable communities that are embedded in public policies that ensure access for our most vulnerable population,” said Dr. Darrin Anderson, Deputy Director, New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids. “This conference is considered a learning lab for communities to create community change and improve health outcomes.” This year, the conference features two dynamic speakers – four-time Olympic runner and New […]

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NJPHK-Trenton’s Marissa Davis Appointed to Mercer County Parks Commission

October 2, 2017

Marissa Davis, project director for NJPHK-Trenton, was recently appointed to the Mercer County Park Commission board. Started in 1958, the Mercer County Park Commission was established to acquire land for recreational facilities throughout Mercer County to meet the need of the growing population. Davis is one of nine commissioners who is charged with promoting and encouraging outdoor recreation, as well as keeping the parks clean and accessible for all residents. “I’m honored to serve with a group of people that work diligently to improve the culture of health for Mercer County residents. We understand the need for family-friendly parks in our community,” said Davis. Today, Mercer County has nine parks where thousands of residents enjoy the outdoors each year. The Mercer County Parks Commission holds public meetings the last Wednesday of the month where residents are encouraged to attend to provide feedback and offer suggestions for improvement.   SHARE:

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