Image description Office of Nutrition & Fitness Newsletter
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Image description Image description June 2012
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ShapingNJ Welcomes New Partners

  • Bridge of Peace Community Church, ELCA
    Bridge of Peace is a member of the New Jersey Synod and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Located in Camden, NJ, the multicultural and multi-lingual ministry seeks to advocate for justice, peace and dignity for all people.

  • Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, Inc.
    Established in 1955, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation seeks to help reduce health disparities by strengthening community-based health care worker capacity, integrating medical care and community-based supportive services, and mobilizing communities in the fight against disease.

  • BJamison Communications
    BJamison Communications provides media and communication support to a variety of organizations throughout New Jersey.

  • Destiny Family Worship Center/Discover HOPE CDC
    Destiny Family Worship Center/Discover HOPE CDC is located in Burlington, NJ and is a non-denominational church that seeks to help individuals discover purpose and meaning. The Discover HOPE CDC is the non-profit community-centered outreach arm of the Worship Center.

  • Family Strength Associates, Inc.
    Family Strength Associates is a non-profit family and community development organization that provides instruction and assistance to teachers, youth leaders, childcare providers, parents and families in NJ. The mission of Family Strength Associates is to assist in the restoration and maintenance of the family unit so the family can be a self-sustaining component of society.

  • First Baptist Church Cranford/Elizabeth
    Located in Elizabeth, NJ, the First Baptist Church-Cranford/Elizabeth serves nearly 150 residents in the Union County region. In addition to providing worship services, the Church provides a variety of programs to improve the quality of life for community members. One such program is the Elizabeth Farmers’ Market that brings fresh, convenient and affordable food to the community.

  • First Presbyterian Church
    Located in Hightstown, NJ, FPCH follows four main core values including worship, service, community and education. It offers a variety of programs including bible study, book clubs, youth groups and musical groups.

  • Friendship AME Church
    Located in Browns Mills, NJ, Friendship AME Church was established in 2001 as an Episcopal Church.

  • Lourdes Health System
    The Lourdes Health System is one of southern New Jersey's leading health care providers, with hospitals located in Camden and Willingboro. Both Lady of Lourdes Medical Center and Lourdes Medical Center of Burlington County have been designated Centers of Excellence by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) and the Surgical Review Corporation.

  • Monmouth County Regional Health Commission
    The Monmouth County Regional Health Commission provides health-related services to 24 municipalities in northern and coastal Monmouth County. The commission is committed to ensuring healthy people living in healthy neighborhoods, assuring a clean and safe environment through prevention, education and through enforcement, and preparing to meet the emerging public health challenges of infectious diseases and homeland security.

  • Muscle Maker Grill
    Muscle Maker Grill is a national franchise – with roots in Colonia, NJ – that works to provide patrons with fresh and healthy food.

  • New Covenant Church of God
    The New Covenant Church of God is located in Plainfield, NJ.

  • The New Hope Church of God
    The New Hope Church of God is a Pentecostal based church in East Windsor, NJ, offering Ministries to meet the spiritual needs of every age.

  • Newark Community Health Centers, Inc.
    Newark Community Health Centers, Inc. (NCHC) is a network of federally qualified health care centers that provides comprehensive primary care services to children and adults who reside in the City of Newark and surrounding communities. NCHC’s goal is to meet the health care needs of the communities to help people live stronger, healthier and happier lives.

  • Samaritan Baptist Church
    The Samaritan Baptist Church is located in Trenton, NJ and is led by Bishop Joseph P. Ravenell. Church activities include choirs, prayer groups, worship services and bible study.

  • Southern Ocean Medical Center
    Located in Manahawkin, NJ, Southern Ocean Medical Center is part of the Meridian Family Health. The Medical Center is a 176-bed center for medical excellence, featuring 230 physicians representing over 40 specialties, and over 1,200 skilled healthcare professionals.

  • Urban Promise Ministries
    Urban Promise Ministries is located in Camden, NJ and its mission is to equip children and teens with skills for academic achievement, life management, spiritual growth and leadership rooted in the principles of Christian faith. Urban Promise runs several programs including: school programs, summer camps, alternative schools, job training initiatives and a host of other programs that challenge youth to develop their academic, social, creative, spiritual and leadership potential.

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    Note from the Director:
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    This past month has been extremely hectic as we planned for the June 1 Partnership meeting, staff attended the Weight of the Nation Conference in Washington DC, and we launched the new website, as well as a ShapingNJ video. And partners created a Facebook page and Twitter account - be sure to "like" us and participate in their postings. We also reached our 200th partner - Muscle Maker Grill, which is the first restaurant to join ShapingNJ.  Now that the annual meeting is behind us, we will refocus our efforts around sustainability - as many of you know, July 1 marks the beginning of our fifth year, and the final year of dedicated CDC funding.  May also featured HBO's 4-part series, The Weight of the Nation - Confronting America's Obesity Epidemic.  We will be setting up screening events over the next several months throughout NJ to further highlight the issue and keep the discussion fresh.  And don't forget to check out our new website, as well as the video - I hope you will all view and share this video with others.  Let's keep the momentum going! 

    Best, Peri

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    Office of Nutrition and Fitness (ONF) and ShapingNJ News:
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    ShapingNJ Convenes the Fourth Annual Partnership Meeting 
    On June 1, 2012, nearly 200 individuals representing ShapingNJ partner organizations and interested stakeholders attended the 2012 ShapingNJ Partnership Meeting: Sustainability through Strategic Partnerships. The day featured:

    • Welcoming remarks from the State Health Department Commissioner, Mary E. O'Dowd;
    • The launch of the ShapingNJ video;
    • An annual update of ShapingNJ's accomplishments - including Capital Health's designation as Baby-Friendly; the submission and review of NJ Child Care Center Licensing regulations that will improve nutrition and increase physical activity for children in child care centers; the implementation of ShapingNJ community strategies in 10 NJ communities;
    • Setting breakout sessions that debuted ShapingNJ toolkits for Joint Use Agreements, healthy and active child care centers, policy and environmental changes in hospitals to support breastfeeding, school wellness policies and councils, and much more;
    • A funders' panel highlighting what local funders in NJ can offer organizations implementing policy and environmental change initiatives to prevent obesity;
    • An excerpt from Austin the Unstoppable - a musical production about obesity and chronic disease by George Street Playhouse.


    ONF Launches New Website
    On May 15, 2012, ONF launched its new website. The new website re-organizes and provides additional information and resources for ONF's initiatives - including ShapingNJ. The website also features a Promising Practices map that will ultimately serve as a geographic map of obesity prevention initiatives in NJ, a listing of data and reports for obesity prevention, and grants, events and news information. We want to know what you think, so please take a look at our new site and let us know your feedback! And submit your promising practices to share with others doing this work.

    ONF  Hosts the First Annual ShapingNJ Faith-Based Conference
    On April 27, 2012, ONF and the NJ Office of Minority and Multicultural Health hosted the first ShapingNJ Faith-Based conference, "Healthy Living for All: Bringing Healthy Eating and Active Living to Your Faith-Based Community." The conference attracted more than 100 individuals, representing nearly 30 congregations from around New Jersey. The day included:

    • Reflections and information about the need for preventing obesity in New Jersey and the role of the faith-based community;
    • Descriptions of promising faith-based practices;
    • Information about community engagement, advocacy and communication strategies targeted toward faith-based communities;
    • A panel of experts who provided information about tools, programs and other resources to bring healthy and active living to faith-based communities.


    ONF Holds Crime Prevention through Environmental Design Training
    In partnership with the New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids and the NJ Urban Mayors Association, ONF held a three-day Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) training workshop in April 2012. Conducted by a national trainer from the National Institute of Crime Prevention, the training was targeted to urban communities with public safety concerns. The training provided information about crime-reducing strategies through site design, landscaping, lighting and community engagement. Multi-disciplinary community teams from seven NJ communities attended the training and participated in hands on practical sessions that included developing and reviewing a site plan for a park.


    Karin Mille to Receive Circle of Collaboration Award
    Karin Mille, Child Care Setting Coordinator for the ONF, has been selected as this year's NJ Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (NJACCRRA) Circle of Collaboration Award honoree, and will receive recognition on July 11, 2012. She was selected for her work with the child care resource and referral agencies, and she worked closely with their membership, making recommendations to the Office of Licensing on obesity prevention standards. She also worked to create an on-line tool kit for child care providers to access information on policies and best practices to increase movement and decrease obesity. Congratulations, Karin!

    New Phillipsburg community garden blossoms thanks to ShapingNJ grant

    NJ DHSS Commissioner Speaks about Baby-Friendly Hospitals and ShapingNJ

    Baby-Friendly maternity units aid and encourage breastfeeding

    Gala supports health program in Cliffside Park

    NJ Seeks to Reduce the Ills of Minorities

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    ShapingNJ Partner News:
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    George Street Playhouse Receives Additional Support for ‘Austin the Unstoppable'
    Because of the incredible response that Austin the Unstoppable has received in schools and the support from ShapingNJ, the Horizon Foundation for New Jersey committed $100,000 to provide scholarships for schools throughout the state to see Austin the Unstoppable, George Street Playhouse's musical about obesity prevention in children. As a result, 80 schools and nearly 25,000 students will be able to experience this programming.

    Advocates for Children of NJ Releases New Jersey Kids Count 2012 County Rankings
    As part of the Anne E. Casey's Kids Count national report, Advocates for Children of NJ (ACNJ) publishes the New Jersey report and provides additional analyses at the county level. The NJ Kids County 2012 County Rankings examines how children in each NJ County are doing based on child health, safety, education and overall child and family well-being.

    CATCH Receives Systems Change Award from CDC
    During the Weight of the Nation conference, the Coordinated Approach to Child Health program (CATCH) received the Pioneering Innovation Award for Systems Change from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The award is given to initiatives that show that system-level changes - such as using schools to implement the CATCH program and engaging families and community-based organizations associated with schools - can prevent obesity.

    NJ Breastfeeding Coalition to Present at National Conference about NJ Breastfeeding Efforts
    Dr. Alicia Dermer will be presenting a breakout session at the United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC) conference on August 4-6.  The presentation details the partnership developed between the NJ Breastfeeding Coalition and NJ Pediatric Council on Research and Education of the NJ Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics to create an interdisciplinary curriculum to teach medical office personnel the skills necessary to support exclusive breastfeeding in their practices.

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    New Jersey News:
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    Two NJ Counties Adopt Complete Streets Policies
    In late April, the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders unanimously approved a countywide Complete Streets policy that provides a framework for making all of New Jersey's roadways safer and more accessible for pedestrians, transit users, senior citizens, and bicyclists. Mercer County also approved a Complete Streets policy in the spring, making it the third county in the state with a county-wide policy.

    Healthy Behaviors in Women and Families
    The Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) has funded this NJ project to develop educational, social, and lifestyle interventions to assist 150 Hispanic obese/overweight pregnant women. For additional information, contact Dr. Consuelo Bonillas at

    Elmer Hospital earns designation as New Jersey's first ‘Baby-Friendly' birth facility

    Armed guards protect first supermarket to open in Atlantic City in 6 years

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    National News:
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    Institute of Medicine Releases Report Identifying Key Obesity Prevention Strategies
    The Institute of Medicine's report, Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention: Solving the Weight of the Nation, identifies key strategies for reducing obesity including integrating physical activity into daily life and making healthy foods and beverages available everywhere.

    New Study Provides Twenty-Year Forecast on Obesity Epidemic
    Forty-two percent of Americans may be obese by 2030, and 11 percent could be severely obese, adding billions of dollars to health care costs, according to a study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

    The CDC Supports Making Breastfeeding a Healthy Choice
    As major employers and health leaders, hospitals can help establish strong community norms for promoting healthy and active living through nutritious food and beverage, opportunities for physical activity, support for breastfeeding, and tobacco-free environments.

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    October 25, 2012
    Communities and Schools Working Together for Health
    Robert Wood Johnson Hamilton Center for Health & Wellness
    Mercerville, NJ
    Communities and schools across NJ are concerned with rising rates of childhood obesity and declining options for daily physical activity in youth. Join the NJ Departments of Education, Health, Transportation and other statewide, regional and local leaders in this conference to empower communities and schools to implement policies that foster healthy active youth.

    December 11, 2012
    Obesity Prevention in New Jersey. The State of the State: Important Next Steps Hilton
    East Brunswick, NJ

    Sponsored by the Office of Nutrition and Fitness, ShapingNJ, NJ Partnership for Healthy Kids, The NJ Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health and Family and Community Health Sciences, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, this conference will provide information about actions that can be implemented in New Jersey to accelerate progress in obesity prevention.

    Through December 30, 2012
    Generation Fit: Steps to a Healthier Lifestyle
    Newark Museum
    Newark, NJ
    The Newark Museum is featuring an interactive family exhibition that explores issues of nutrition and exercise. The exhibit includes animation and exercise challenges to learn about a healthy lifestyle.

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