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

October 2, 2017 | Community News, Community News and Media, Statewide

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 Jersey native Joetta Clark Diggs and social media entrepreneur Dr. Mikhail (Mike) Varshavski D.O.

Clark Diggs is a four-time Olympian, Motivational Extraordinaire and NJ Hall of Fame Inductee. She is also the founder of the Joetta Clark Diggs Sports Foundation. Clark Diggs had a successful 24-year career as a competitive 800-meter and 1500-meter runner, winning many collegiate, national, and world championships. Along with her decorated running career, Clark Diggs is a physical health and wellness advocate for children and teens nationwide. The Joetta Clark Diggs Sports Foundation was founded in 2002 to promote involvement in physical activities for girls and boys ages K-12.

Better known as ‘Doctor Mike,’ Dr. Varshavski is a social media entrepreneur, philanthropist, and doctor with purpose. Doctor Mike is a family medicine physician based out of New York and has a massive following on social networks like Instagram (2.6 million followers). Varshavski uses his platform to encourage medical students and educate people on important primary healthcare topics. Doctor Mike has appeared on television programs (The Doctors, Dr. Oz) and is also a contributes to multiple popular online publications (Shape, Women’s Health, Livestrong).

Now in its seventh year, the daylong conference will include more than 30 expert speakers leading 12 morning and afternoon workshops on a variety of relevant public health topics including:

  • The Impact of Positive School Climate on Student Learning and Health Outcomes
  • Addressing the Mental Health Needs of Young Children in the Child Care Setting
  • Population Health, Well-being & Equity: Evaluating a Culture of Health
  • Building Healthy Communities:  Today’s Youth, Tomorrow’s Leaders
  • Unifying Behavioral & Primary Health Care in New Jersey
  • Advancing Local, State & Federal Policy to Create a Culture of Health
  • Community Prevention in Action: Addressing the Opiate Epidemic

The conference is co-sponsored by the New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, New Jersey YMCA State Alliance; Salem Health & Wellness Foundation, New Jersey Department of Health, New Jersey Health Initiatives, American Academy of Pediatrics, NJ Chapter, Atlantic Health System, Mental Health Association in New Jersey, Inc., Partners for Health Foundation, Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, Family & Community Health Science.

To register for the conference, see the conference agenda, and review all workshop topics, please visit


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