Image description ShapingNJ Special Edition Newsletter
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Image description Image description October 2010
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ShapingNJ Welcomes 4 New Partners!

  • Clara Maass Medical Center Foundation
  • Prudential
  • Urban League of Hudson County
  • The Children's Home Society of New Jersey
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    Message from the Director:
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    Greetings from the Office of Nutrition & Fitness! We are sending you this special edition of our newsletter to launch the implementation phase of ShapingNJ: The State Partnership for Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity Prevention.  This newsletter will bring all ShapingNJ partners up to date on the progress of the work and report how partners are moving forward into implementation. 

    Most importantly, we wish to welcome our new partners and re-engage those partners who so valuably participated in the planning phase to join us in action. 

    We will be contacting you in the near future about your involvement in ShapingNJ implementation activities.

    Sincerely,

    Peri L. Nearon
    Director

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    The Partnership’s Progress:
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    ShapingNJ is a statewide public-private partnership of more than 100 organizations across New Jersey. The partners' vision is "a New Jersey where regular physical activity, good nutrition, and healthy weight are part of everyone's life."

    Over the next 10 years, ShapingNJ partners will implement policy and environmental change strategies to improve nutrition, promote breastfeeding, increase physical activity and reduce TV viewing in the settings where New Jersey residents live, grow, play, learn and work.  The aim is to "make the healthy choice, the easy choice."

    The Office of Nutrition & Fitness (ONF) at the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) is charged with coordinating obesity prevention efforts statewide through funding from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). DHSS also received federal stimulus funding for obesity prevention through the Communities Putting Prevention to Work: State and Territory Initiative.

    Partners Develop Obesity Prevention Strategies:  Fall 2009 through Spring 2010
    Beginning in fall 2009, ShapingNJ partners met in behavior-based workgroups (Breastfeeding, Sugar-Sweetened Beverages/Energy Dense Foods, Physical Activity, Fruit & Vegetables, TV Viewing) to plan and select nutrition and physical activity strategies aimed at creating a healthy, active New Jersey. The strategies:

    • Reflect New Jersey-specific data. 
    • Are based on scientific evidence. 
    • Incorporate feedback gathered from community residents statewide.  
    • Focus on communities with the poorest health outcomes, but are aimed at improving the health of all New Jersey residents-across the life span. 

    The strategies were submitted to the CDC on June 30, 2010 as part of the State Obesity Prevention Plan and have been approved. The entire plan will be available to the public in the near future.

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    Next Steps for Fall 2010: Preparing for Strategy Implementation:
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    ShapingNJ partners are now poised to begin implementing the obesity prevention strategies. The first step is to organize partners into an implementation structure.

    New Coordinating Roles to Prepare for Implementation
    Over the last few months, ONF staff has been reaching out to partners willing to coordinate strategy implementation.  These coordinating partners are organizations with statewide reach, whose missions, goals and activities closely align with ShapingNJ strategies.  Individuals representing coordinating partners in ShapingNJ generally have technical expertise in specific strategies.

    Coordinating partners will join the October 19, 2010 meeting of the partnership's Executive & Sustainability Committee to participate with committee members in an orientation about strategy implementation.

    New Implementation Groups by Strategy: Fall/Early Winter 2010
    Coordinating partners will bring together our other partners around strategies to create strategy implementation groupsShapingNJ partners self-assign to these groups based on their own organizations' mission and goals.  These groups will begin their work during fall/early winter 2010. 

    Strategy implementation group members will determine the most effective and efficient way to operate, including when and how to meet.  Coordinating partners will help facilitate these decisions based on the implementation work plans that the groups establish.

    Work Groups to Gather by Setting:  Quarterly, Beginning Early 2011
    Because many ShapingNJ strategies are inter-related, ONF will bring strategy implementation groups together quarterly in setting work groups.  These groups will provide a forum to introduce new partners, network and share promising practices and lessons learned.  The ShapingNJ strategies will be implemented in five settings: 

    • Child care
    • Schools
    • Communities
    • Health care
    • Work sites

    If we have not already heard from you, we encourage all partners to contact ONF with their preferences by strategy or by setting so we can keep you informed with relevant information.

    The Partners Lead, ONF Supports
    Setting work groups will have key tasks during the first year of implementation. For example, work groups will: 

    • Identify concrete implementation/action roles for all ShapingNJ partners.  
    • Engage additional community and regional partners to help implement the strategies as well as sectors that can provide additional support and resources to ShapingNJ, including the philanthropic and business communities.  
    • Inform the development of ShapingNJ efforts such as common messaging, community outreach and evaluation.

    ONF will support efforts to:

    • Communicate to policymakers and the public about the importance of healthy behaviors, policies and community environments.
    • Advocate for the implementation of the strategies.
    • Engage and support both existing and new ShapingNJ partners.
    • Identify evaluation indicators related to the strategies.
    • Ensure the sustainability of the strategies over time.

    ShapingNJ partners with special expertise will continue to guide ONF staff in communications, advocacy, partner engagement, evaluation and sustainability.

    ONF will host an annual ShapingNJ meeting for all partners.

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    Continuing to Build a Committed and Sustainable Partnership:
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    Moving forward, ShapingNJ partners will continue to guide partnership activities and make shared decisions. 

    Recommitment of Founding Partners and New Partner Commitments
    In preparation for implementation, founding ShapingNJ partners were asked to recommit to the partnership.  New partners sign an agreement to act in support of implementation.  

    Benefits for Partners
    For a successful partnership, the benefits of partnership must be mutual.  To that end, we will continue to survey partners about what they both appreciate and need. Current benefits include: 

    • Partners can obtain news and announcements about conferences, training and funding opportunities related to physical activity, healthy nutrition and obesity prevention on the ShapingNJ Web site.  We are now reconstructing the Web site to make it more relevant with current news, research and available data.
    • ONF recently conducted a survey about our monthly newsletter and will consider changes based on survey results.  We want to create a resource that meets your needs. 
    • We will continue to provide training and communications support to enable partner organizations to build leadership and capacity. 

    ONF and ShapingNJ partners will continue to reach out to community-based organizations and community residents to improve our work.

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    Settings, Strategies, Coordinating Partners and Progress to Date:
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    Listed below are the settings, the strategies that partners will implement in each setting and coordinating partners as of October 2010.

    We also provide an update on three initiatives that are being implemented with stimulus funding.

     

    Childcare

    Strategies

    1. Require childcare and after-school programs - as a condition of licensing - to meet evidence-based standards for nutrition, physical activity and TV viewing.
    2. Ensure childcare providers receive training in child nutrition, physical activity and TV time limitations.

    Coordinating Partners

    New Jersey Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (NJACCRRA)
     

    Implementation Progress

    With federal stimulus funding, NJACCRRA is taking the lead to change licensing requirements for childcare centers and train providers in all 21 counties to improve centers' policies and practices around children's nutrition, physical activity and TV viewing. As of September 2010, NJACCRRA conducted 22 focus groups with parents and child care providers, nurses and cooks, gathering insights to inform the development of recommended changes to state licensing requirements.
     

     

     

     

    Community

    Strategies

    1. Develop incentives that encourage grocery stores and supermarkets to locate and stay in underserved neighborhoods as well as offer healthy foods and beverages. 
    2. Help corner stores and bodegas acquire refrigeration and other equipment that will enable them to sell foods and beverages that are affordable and also healthy.
    3. Create comprehensive community food systems that offer easy access to a variety of healthy foods and beverages. Such systems include farmers markets, farm stands, mobile markets, community and school gardens, urban farms and food pantries.
    4. Increase opportunities in all neighborhoods for indoor and outdoor physical activity.  
    5. Encourage municipalities to locate schools, libraries, parks, playgrounds and other public facilities within easy walking distance from where people live.
    6. Assess the local infrastructure and prioritize changes needed to turn walking and biking into safe, easy options for daily transportation.
    7. Make sure walking/biking paths, playing fields, parks and other facilities for physical activity are free of danger from vehicular traffic, criminal activity and other hazards.

    Coordinating Partners

    The Food Trust, Voorhees Transportation Center, NJ Department of Transportation, NJ Alliance of the YMCA's, NJ Recreation and Parks Association, Sustainable Jersey
     

    Implementation Progress

    With federal stimulus funds, the NJ Health Officers Association is leading a pilot program to implement ShapingNJ community strategies in New Jersey communities. Community teams led by local health officers attended a training session on July 2010.  Communities that attended that session are eligible to apply for a first round of mini-grants, including tailored technical assistance.  Stimulus funds will support three mini-grants; funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation will support three more through the New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids.  Applications are due October 15, 2010.

     

     

     

    Health Care

    Strategies

    1. Adopt policies and practices that comply with the World Health Organization's "Ten Steps for Successful Breastfeeding."
    2. Encourage all New Jersey deliver facilities to adopt the Joint Commission's Perinatal Core Measure Set (which includes exclusive breast milk feeding).

    Coordinating Partners

    American Academy of Pediatrics (NJ AAP), New Jersey Chapter/Pediatric Council on Research and Education (NJ PCORE)
     

    Implementation Progress

    With stimulus funding, NJ AAP/PCORE is leading an initiative to implement better breastfeeding policy and practice in all New Jersey maternity hospitals - with special focus on those serving mothers with low rates of breastfeeding.  The project will also provide training in healthy breastfeeding policy and practice to pediatric and other community-based practices. A leadership training summit is scheduled for October 12, 2010 at the NJ Hospital Association for executive teams from all maternity hospitals.  At the summit the availability of grants to hospitals interested in implementing pro-breastfeeding policies will be announced. Ten, $10,000 grants will be awarded in January, 2011.

     

     

    Schools

    Strategies

    1. Advocate for an increased school meal subsidy that will enable schools to offer a variety of healthy foods and beverages prepared in a way that appeals to students.
    2. Ensure that schools have the capacity to prepare a variety of healthy, appealing, kid-friendly fruits and vegetables and/or the resources to purchase such foods.
    3. Strengthen the state's minimum school wellness policies to include nutrition, physical activity and TV viewing.  Policies should encourage local districts to place schools in locations that students can safely and easily reach on foot and by bike.
    4. Support school-based wellness council that are active in implementing school wellness policies and include community representatives as well as school representatives.
    5. Ensure that all students are actively engaged in a physical education class. 
    6. Provide students with diverse and developmentally appropriate activities to meet individual needs and interests.
    7. Provide physical education facilities that are conducive to learning (with respect to class size, equitable space, sufficient equipment and technology and safety and cleanliness).
    8. Ensure that schools provide a variety of activities that encourage students to be physically active - including recess, activity breaks and before- and after- school physical activity programs.

    Coordinating Partners

    New Jersey Fresh/NJ Department of Agriculture, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, NJ Action for Healthy Kids (NJ AFHK), NJ Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation & Dance (NJ AHPERD), Coordinated School Health Program (NJ Department of Health & Senior Services/NJ Department of Education)

     

     

     

     

    Worksite/Business

    Strategies

    1. Increase the number of businesses that accommodate breastfeeding employees (using the Business Case for Breastfeeding as a resource).
    2. Expand the number of New Jersey-based companies participating in the Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative. The Initiative includes a pledge that at least 50 percent of advertising aimed at children under 12 will be about healthy food choices, and that there will be no food or beverage advertising in elementary schools.
    3. Create a New Jersey-specific initiative that covers all forms of advertising and involves a wide variety of local and regional food retailers.
    4. Identify and disseminate model worksite wellness programs/policies. 

    Coordinating Partners

    NJ Food Council, NJ Breastfeeding Coalition

     

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    An Invitation to All:
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    Each partner brings different and essential strengths and perspective to this work. We invite all ShapingNJ partners to take an active role in creating healthy, active communities throughout New Jersey.  We will support your organization's work with ShapingNJ so that it is meaningful, satisfying and relevant.

    We encourage all partners to make clear their preferences for engaging in implementation--by strategy or by setting--so we can contact you with appropriate information.  Please let us know if you have questions about your organization's role in the implementation phase.

    Is your organization or community interested in joining ShapingNJ?  Please contact us at shapingnj.onf@doh.state.nj.us.

    Visit our Web site for a list of ShapingNJ partners as well as information and resources for both professionals and consumers about obesity prevention.

    We look forward to working with you to improve the health of everyone in New Jersey.

     

    Correction to the September Newsletter: The US Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service awarded funding directly to the NJ Department of Agriculture for the Team Nutrition Grant. They will be partnering with Rutgers University, Family and Community Health Sciences Department to administer this project. 

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