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Get Healthy Camden Leads Community Health Feedback Sessions

April 3, 2017 | Camden, Community News

How can Camden improve its overall health? That was the discussion topic for 30 representatives of faith-based organizations who came together to share their suggestions with Get Healthy Camden (GHC) and Camden Coalition of Health Providers (Camden Coalition).

During the meeting held at Kaighn Avenue Baptist Church on February 27th, Cooper’s Ferry and GHC project manager Val Galarza provided a brief background about Get Healthy Camden, and Camden Coalition program assistant Soley Berrios explained the next steps for the Faith in Prevention organization.

“It’s crucial that we hear direct feedback from the community about the important issues affecting them daily and how Camden can become a healthier city,” said Galarza. Participants were asked to share the changes they had made in their respective congregations and to give feedback on the proposed plans for improvement in Camden’s health initiatives.

Attendees were divided into breakout groups to share suggestions for improvements in four areas – healthy foods, safe living spaces, prevention of chronic disease, and championing health policies.

Prevention of Chronic Disease

Moderator: Patricia Hearey
Director of Health Education for Camden County HD
  • Prenatal care & pregnancy resources
  • Increasing primary care physicians
  • Prevention of lead poisoning

Healthy Food

Moderator: Robin Waddell
Rutgers SNAP-Ed Senior Program Coordinator
  • Farmers’ markets with healthy cooking demos
  • Improved school lunches
  • Pesticide education/urban farming options

Safe Living Spaces

Moderator: Mieshka Mitchell
Vice President of Neighborhood Initiatives, Cooper’s Ferry
  • Bike lanes & safer places to walk
  • Indoor play areas for children
  • More city/community leadership involvement in planning activities

Championing Health Policy

Moderator: Valeria Galarza
Senior Project Manager, Cooper’s Ferry
  • Air quality
  • Tobacco-free campus areas
  • Advocating for healthier food businesses

Get Healthy Camden and Camden Coalition held a follow-up community meeting on March 20th, 2017 at Kaighn Avenue Baptist Church. Galarza shared that healthy gardening and food access were the topics of discussion during the meeting.


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