Partnership For Healthy Kids - Newark

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.

About New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids – Newark

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.

Newark Partnership Fast Facts

  • Newark Population: 280,135 people
  • Rates of Overweight/Obese Children ( Rutgers Center for Health Policy):
    •  44.2% of Newark’s children (ages 3-19) have a Body Mass Index (BMI) at or greater than the 85% percentile, the threshold definition for overweight.
    • 25.2% of the children considered overweight meet the criteria for obesity (equal or greater than the 95% percentile)

Focus Area:

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.

Strategic Partners:

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 Organizations

We continue to build our Community Partnership Coalition; please contact us if your organization would like to participate.
Core Planning Team Members:
Jacqueline Crawford, Director-Newark Preschool Council 
Rick Gorab, President & Chief Executive Officer-Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges 
Mark Johnson, M.D., M.P.H., Chairman-Department of Family Medicine-UMDNJ
Kendall Sprott, M.D., J.D., Acting Chairman-Department of Pediatrics, Senior Associate Dean       of Clinical Affairs and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics- UMDNJ Medical School
Marguerite Leuze DMH, RN, Director of Nursing, Newark Public Schools
Jo-Ann Joseph, Newark Preschool Council
For more information, please contact the Partnership co-directors: Dr. Nwando Anyaoku Nanyaoku@SBHCS.com or Michael Bright  mbright@newarkymca.org.


Community Healthy Living Index

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.

Here is a list of the Community Partnership Coalition’s

Community Healthy Living Index (CHLI) Trained Assessment Team

Scheryl Davis,  CHLI Point Person
RWJF/New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids – Newark
c/o YMCA of Newark & Vicinity
600 Broad Street, Room 208
Newark, NJ 07102
Mobile: 973 820-6110
Yaminah Spotswood – CHLI Chairperson
Office and Program Manager
The Center for Collaborative Change
101 Commerce Street
Newark, NJ 07102
973 685-6772
Manager of Agency Relations & Capacity Building
United Way of Essex and West Hudson
156 Broad Street
Newark, NJ 07102
201 306-3789
Arlene Warner
Development Administrator
Historic Kastner-Frelinghuysen-Elks Mansion Renewal Project
485 University Avenue - 1B
Newark, NJ 07102
973 289-5332
Kathryn Ryan-Pagano, CHLI Team Captain
Early Childhood
Physical Education & Special Needs
School Specialty
8 Willowbrook Way
East Hampton, NJ 087060
609 234-3257
Stacy C. McCormack
Environmental Specialist
Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity
Department of Health
1 Titus Avenue
Lawrence, NJ 08648
917 817-6350
Carol Jean Dokes
University Heights Super Neighborhood
PO Box 549
Montclair, NJ
973 866-7379 
Carl Chase, UMDNJ Program Development Analyst
Community Affairs Division / Gov’t & Community Affairs
University Heights Super Neighborhood-- Sergeant at Arms
65 Bergen Street, Room 1314
Newark, NJ 07107
Tarrick Tucker
West Side Park Super Neighborhood
593 15th Avenue
Newark, NJ 07103
Joyce G. Bates
Newark New Start Supervisor
274 South Orange Avenue
Newark, New Jersey 07103
(973) 286 -2835 fax: (973) 242 - 2697
Jackie Mangum for Pastor Veronice Horne
Virginia L. Morton, District Leader
University Heights Super Neighborhood
274 W. Market St
Newark, NJ 07103
973 623-3220
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