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New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids is a statewide program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation® with technical assistance and direction provided by the New Jersey YMCA State Alliance. In Newark, the project is led by the YMCA of Newark and Vicinity and the Children’s Hospital of New Jersey at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center.
The Newark Partnership is one of only five in New Jersey currently granted to strategically plan and then work to implement policy and environmental change to reverse childhood obesity by 2015.
The purpose is to formally present the mission and the methods to accomplish the goals, and invite community leaders to participate in the strategic planning phase of the project. Community engagement is the only way to ensure the needs of the community are met in the final recommendations.
In February of 2010, the Y Team was established in Newark to initiate the planning process. Representatives from the YMCA of Newark and vicinity, George E. Shinhoster, President and Chief Executive Officer, Michael Bright, Chief Operations Officer and Rick Gorab, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges were responsible for recruiting a core planning team to develop the local Partnership for Healthy Kids Coalition.
The core planning team collaborated successfully and was awarded the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Planning Grant for New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids – Newark.
Based on guidance from the Community Partnership Coalition, which includes various community groups, business partners and Newark Super Neighborhoods, the partnership will focus on the Central Ward. This is the most densely populated of the five wards in the city and has the least access to supermarkets, the highest level of households with children, a high concentration of elementary and middle schools (26 public schools), the greatest access to convenience stores, and up to 50% of households living at or below poverty level.
Center for Bicycling & Walking
Alliance for a Healthier Generation
The Food Trust
Rutgers Center for State Health Policy
Watson Institute for Public Policy
Newark Municipal Council Members
Mayor Cory A. Booker
Community Healthy Living Index (CHLI) is an important part of Activate America,® the YMCA’s response to the nation’s health crisis. The YMCA is engaging communities across the country to better support people of all ages who are struggling to achieve and maintain well-being of spirit, mind, and body.
CHLI is being launched through the network of Activate America® capacity building YMCAs, who will facilitate this process within the communities they serve. The Community Healthy Living Index consists of a set of five community assessment tools that measure opportunities for physical activity and healthy eating in areas that impact an individual’s daily life. These tools also facilitate discussion about how to improve the community environment to increase opportunities for healthy living.
In Addition to other pertinent data obtained, New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids – Newark is using the CHLI Assessment data to help determine and support final recommendations for policy and environmental change to reverse childhood obesity in the City of Newark, New Jersey.