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Cooper’s Ferry Partnership Unveils New Get Healthy Camden Initiative

April 19, 2016 | Camden, Community News, Community News and Media

CRT ConnectCooper’s Ferry Partnership is relaunching the New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids (NJPHK-Camden) with the unveiling of the new Get Healthy Camden initiative (GHC).  For six years, the YMCA of Burlington and Camden Counties (Y) and United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey (UWGPSNJ) have co-directed NJPHK-Camden, a program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). The new GHC program is designed to address city-wide challenges in creating a culture of health in Camden.

The GHC initiative will fall under the umbrella of the Camden Collaborative Initiative (CCI). In order to streamline services in the delivery of programs and resources to Camden residents, Tim Kerrihard, President and CEO of the Y, John Emge, Vice President and Regional Executive Director of UWGPSNJ and Anthony Perno, III, CEO of Cooper’s Ferry Partnership have agreed to move the administration of NJPHK-Camden to Cooper’s Ferry.

NJPHK-Camden’s policy goals are to increase access to healthy food and create safe environments for the children of Camden. Since its inception, the program provided technical assistance to Camden City Public Schools for adoption of its wellness policy and its Breakfast-in-Classroom program throughout the district; implemented comprehensive school wellness policies in non-public schools; advocated for increased access to walking/bicycling and citywide adoption of street scale improvements; increased access and opportunities for physical activities in city parks; and continued the partnership with Campbell Soup Company’s Healthy Communities Initiative.

“Get Healthy Camden establishes a replicable, collaborative approach by adding public health within the Camden Collaborative Initiative,” said Perno. “We will direct a program that bridges the gap between environmental, arts and culture and health initiatives. The New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids – Camden will fit naturally into this program.”

With the launch of Get Healthy Camden, NJPHK-Camden’s goals are expanded to include:

  • Promote healthy weight and development in children
  • Increase opportunities for healthy eating
  • Increase opportunities for safe physical activity
  • Decrease food insecurity and hunger
  • Infuse intentional health strategies into environmental, arts/culture and community development programs and initiatives
  • Increase community awareness and mobilize public will

“Given the cooperation of the organizations’ leaders who are committed to doing everything they can to help the residents of Camden, we know this will be a seamless integration,” said Darrin W. Anderson, Sr., PhD, Deputy Director, NJ Partnership for Healthy Kids. “Their direction and guidance assures that the program continue to flourish well into the future.”

Valeria Galarza, NJPHK Camden’s program director under the Y’s direction, will continue leading the initiative as an employee of Cooper’s Ferry.

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