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Partner Profile: Gary and Bonnie Graham

July 5, 2017

Passion for people is a phrase that best describes Gary and Bonnie Graham. As the former executive director of the New Jersey YMCA State Alliance, Gary led the effort of partnering with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to bring New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids to life in 2009.  Since Gary’s retirement in 2012, the Grahams have hosted the annual Graham Social Responsibility Conference of the New Jersey State Alliance. The seed funds for the initial conference came from Kathy Dunn, a former YMCA executive. Over the past four years, the conference has grown to nearly 350 YMCA employees and community partners attending every year. The goal is for individuals to understand social responsibility and their role as a community advocate, as well as collaborate with partners and have actionable plans for community impact. “It’s really about getting beyond the implicit bias we all have and showing people that you care,” said Gary Graham in a recent telephone interview.   Gary has […]


NJPHK Partner Spotlight: The American Heart Association

February 13, 2017

In celebration of American Heart Month in February, NJPHK is highlighting the American Heart Association (AHA).  AHA is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. One in every three deaths is from heart disease and stroke–equal to 2,200 deaths per day. Founded in 1924, the AHA consists of millions of supporters and volunteers and advocates for stronger public health policies to improve lives nationally. Two years ago, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the American Heart Association formed Voices for Healthy Kids, a collaborative effort created to promote policies that ensure children live in communities where they have an opportunity to grow up healthy. The American Heart Association has also worked with the New Jersey YMCA State Alliance and the Food Trust to support the New Jersey Healthy Corner Store Initiative, a […]


City Receives Culture of Health Champion Award

December 14, 2015

Originally published by The City of New Brunswick by J. Bradshaw New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids (NJPHK), a program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, presented its first “Culture of Health Champion” award, in the category of “Active Living” to the City of New Brunswick during its Building a Culture of Health in New Jersey Conference on December 2 at the Pines Manor in Edison. The award acknowledges Mayor James Cahill and the City of New Brunswick for unprecedented leadership in creating a Culture of Health for residents through innovative and forward-thinking initiatives. New Brunswick is intently focused on the wellness of its residents through many successful programs and partnerships that address the varied challenges behind fostering a healthy community. New Brunswick Ciclovia opens more than three miles of City streets to residents and visitors multiple times per year, bringing this celebration of active living and open streets directly into […]


NJ Jumps to 37th Nationally for School Breakfast

January 22, 2014

Originally released by Advocates for Children of New Jersey Contact: Nancy Parello, (973) 643-3876, (908) 399-6031(cell), After being nearly last in the nation for years, New Jersey jumped to 37th place for serving more children from low-income families a healthy breakfast at the start of their school day, according to a national report released today. Last year, New Jersey ranked 46th. The Food Research and Action Center said that New Jersey served 45.4 percent of low-income children for every 100 who participated in school lunch in the 2012-13 school year, compared to 41 percent the  year before and 38 percent in 2010-11. New Jersey was one of only 10 states that saw a more than 5 percent increase in participation from the previous year. This achievement is the result of a growing number of schools serving breakfast in the first few minutes of the school day, instead of the […]


State Tries to Improve Diet and Exercise Through Faith-Based Organizations

May 29, 2013

Originally published in NJSpotlight State officials have begun a small experiment they hope will reap big rewards as they seek ways to improve residents’ dietary and exercise habits. And they’re using an unusual channel to accomplish this: faith-based organizations. The grant program Faithful Families Eating Smart and Moving More is providing funding to several faith-based nonprofits, enabling them to offer nutrition classes and exercise programs. The Hoboken-based Jubilee Center, a nonprofit associated with All Saints Episcopal Parish, has launched a nutrition and cooking class that will last through August and aims to help 100 families improve their eating habits. Center Executive Director Armstead Johnson said the class would offer parents alternative ideas for meals, with a focus on fresher, less processed foods. “What we’re talking about are healthy, economical alternatives to what you normally do,” said Armstead, adding that the organization also is encouraging families to schedule regular exercise, like […]