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 our neighborhoods.
The New Brunswick Community Food Alliance addresses issues of healthy food access and sustainability in New Brunswick, complimented by the New Brunswick Community Farmers Market’s providing of fresh, healthy produce weekly in three locations in town.
The City of New Brunswick and its public schools work in conjunction with major health institutions in town to bring health education, social services, and community education regarding fitness and healthy eating into the schools.
This partnership has been further enriched by the construction of the New Brunswick Health and Wellness Plaza, where hundreds of New Brunswick students have learned to swim as part of their physical education curriculum. This is in addition to the community health, education and fitness services and programs provided daily to City residents and workers.
The safety and accessibility of City streets are regularly improved upon through New Brunswick’s Complete Streets policy, which through a number of improvements and accommodations creates accessible and easily traveled streets for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers.
All of these initiatives are components of the City’s overall plan for health and wellness.
“The City of New Brunswick has committed to building a culture of health by supporting a variety of efforts designed to help make positive changes in the lives of children and families,” said Darrin Anderson, deputy director, NJPHK. “It is an honor to present this award to Mayor Cahill for his tireless efforts in making changes for healthier living throughout New Brunswick’s communities.”
Over the past five years, NJPHK and its community partners have made great strides in implementing more than 100 environmental and policy changes to increase access to physical activity and healthy eating, including: assisting with the development of school wellness policies, renovating playgrounds, installing bike lanes, partnering with more than 90 local corner stores to include healthier product offerings and launching healthy farmer’s markets in combination with health screenings.
“New Brunswick is dedicated to the health and wellness of each and every one of its residents,” said Mayor Cahill. “By focusing on factors like healthy food access, safe neighborhoods, social services and universal healthcare, we are in a better position to improve the overall well-being of our community.”
New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids (NJPHK) is a statewide program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation with technical assistance and direction provided by the New Jersey YMCA State Alliance. For more information, visit: www.njhealthykids.org.