Image description Office of Nutrition & Fitness Newsletter
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Image description Image description May 2013
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ShapingNJ Welcomes New Partners

  • Ag in the City
    Ag in the City seeks to harvest resources, technical skills, best practices and expertise to create a vibrant, sustainable market for locally sourced food in New Jersey’s cities.

  • America Walks
    A nonprofit national organization, America Walks serves to coordinate, to be an information clearinghouse and to provide resources to promote safe, convenient and accessible walking conditions for all.

  • Professional Impact of New Jersey (PINJ)
    Located at Kean University, PINJ promotes and coordinates systems for the educational development of early childhood and primary education, family child care, and afterschool program professionals. The center advocates for policies and standards that result in high-quality care and education for the children and families of New Jersey.

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    Note from the Director:
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    The Office of Nutrition & Fitness's five year Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity program funding is nearing its end. We have seen many successes through the ShapingNJ Partnership. For example, I recently had the pleasure of attending three ribbon-cutting ceremonies, where our partner Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of NJ co-branded with ShapingNJ to bring healthy concessions to NJ sports venues.  See the story below, and if you take your family out to a ball game, make the healthy choice!

    This and other successes will be highlighted at our upcoming annual partnership meeting on June 6th. We will be featuring success stories and data that illustrate ShapingNJ's impact in NJ in an interactive and unique way. We will also discuss the process for taking ShapingNJ into the next five years. I hope to see many of you there.

    At the Department of Health, the Office of Nutrition & Fitness continues to fully integrate with the Chronic Disease Control and Prevention Program. We will transition from CDC funding to new, integrated resources and funding. These are challenging times, but we are committed to pushing the work forward and continuing to strategically create the kinds of changes necessary to bring about better health.

    In Health,

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    Office of Nutrition and Fitness (ONF) and ShapingNJ News:
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    18 ShapingNJ Community Grant Projects Making the Healthy Choice, the Easy Choice
    NJ communities participating in the ShapingNJ Community Grant project are making great strides to implement a variety of activities in support of ShapingNJ strategies. Highlights include:

    • Bloomfield Health Department is in the beginning stage of developing a Community Bike Trail for the township and will now take the plans and recommendations to the community to obtain feedback. They also prepared plots at the Bloomfield Community Garden at the Oakeside Cultural Center for residents to garden.
    • Through the YMCA of Eastern Union County, Trinitas Medical Center is convening the "One Flight Up, Two Flights Down" stairwell campaign. The initiative encourages employees to use stairs instead of elevators and marks stairways with distinctive signs.
    • The New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids - Camden is applying Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) concepts to the city. They conducted park tours to assess crime and vandalism in the parks and are working with community members to gather input from the community about strategies to improve the parks. A survey is being developed to learn about community member perceptions of the current physical conditions of the park and perceptions and opportunities to incorporate CPTED methods.

    ShapingNJ Grantee Featured in the National Association of School Nurses Journal
    The Monmouth County Health Department, a ShapingNJ first-round community grantee, partnered with the local Medical Reserve Corps and the NJ School Nurses Association to pilot a health council at Farmingdale Public School. The National Association of School Nurses published an article on the school health council's activities in the May 2013 issue of their journal. The article reported on how the school health council guided the adoption of a healthy party policy, reducing the intake of sugar and empty calories at those events.

    Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation and ShapingNJ Bring Healthy Concessions to NJ Minor League Baseball
    During April, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of NJ launched the new "Healthy Plate" concession stand at three NJ minor league baseball stadiums: Lakewood Blue Claws, Trenton Thunder's Arm & Hammer Park and Camden Riversharks. ShapingNJ co-branded with HBCBSNJ on their concession stands to support the availability of healthy options at baseball games.

    Healthy New Jersey 2020 Goals Released
    Modeled after the federal Healthy People initiative, Healthy New Jersey is the state's 10-year public health agenda, aimed at improving the overall health of New Jersey's residents. Each topic area outlines specific objectives with targeted measures for improving health outcomes and health behaviors among the total population, as well as in racial/ethnic, age, and gender subgroups. The goals and objectives will be used throughout the current decade to identify state health improvement priorities; and raise public awareness and understanding of the various social, political, or economic factors which influence health.

    Newark Public Schools Food Service Professionals Upgrade Kitchen Skills for Healthy School Lunches with Cook for America
    Co-founders of Cook For America taught a Kitchen Essentials Knife Skills workshop at Newark's St. Philips Academy's kitchen to strengthen the capacity of food service staff to prepare and serve fresh, healthy scratch-cooked meals to students. With support from ShapingNJ partners, NJ Farm to School Network and the NJ Department of Education, managers and senior cooks who are in charge of meals in Newark's cafeterias participated in a hands-on training and used their skills to make healthy recipes. 

    Congratulations to 2013 NJBIZ Healthcare Heroes Finalists!
    Several ShapingNJ partners are nominated for this year's 2013 NJBIZ Healthcare Heroes awards, an initiative that honors individuals and organizations that are making a significant impact on the quality of healthcare in NJ. Winners will be announced at an event on June 18, 2013, and we celebrate the efforts of our partners in their nominated categories:

    • Barbara Mintz, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center (Education Hero - Individual)
    • SurroundHealth (Education Hero - Organization)
    • Clara Maass Medical Center (Hospital of the Year)
    • Barnabas Health & Newark Beth Israel Medical Center (Innovation Hero - Organization)
    • The Workplace Wellness Campaign [Employers Association of New Jersey] (Innovation Hero - Organization)

    ONF and the Nemours Foundation Kick-Off Early Care and Education Learning Collaboratives Project
    ONF, the Nemours Foundation and the ShapingNJ Child Care workgroup convened a kick-off meeting for the Nemours-funded NJ Early Care and Education Learning Collaboratives Project (ECELC). The initiative will create five learning collaboratives around the state and provide training and technical assistance to 30 early care and education centers (ECEs) in each collaborative for a total of 150 ECEs each year for the next 5 years. More than 40 early care and education stakeholders attended and learned about the new initiative. Collectively, the group identified the location of the collaboratives, determined the curriculum to use in the project, identified criteria for those providing the training and technical assistance and decided other key program components.

    ONF Partners with Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services to Convene Affordable Care Act Program
    On May 8, 2013, approximately 230 NJ stakeholders attended "Bringing the Affordable Care Act Home" to learn about the implications for medical care and prevention from the national healthcare legislation. The program featured opportunities for stakeholders to collaborate with partners to improve health through technology, enhanced care coordination, and prevention; to share resources and form partnerships with federal, state and local organizations; and, to learn from a panel of experts how electronic health records and delivery system reforms are already working in NJ. Key presentations included comments from Camden's premier physician, Jeffrey Brenner, M.D. and the State of Healthcare in NJ by Melita Jordan, CNM, MSN, Director of Chronic Disease Control and Prevention at the state health department.

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    New Jersey News:
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    2013 County Health Rankings for NJ Released
    The County Health Rankings, an effort of the University of Wisconsin, Population Health Institute, in collaboration with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation ranked NJ counties on their health outcomes, health factors and additional measures including the physical environment, demographics and social and economic factors. The top three healthiest counties were: 1) Hunterdon, 2) Morris and 3) Somerset. The lowest ranking counties were: 19) Essex, 20) Salem and 21) Cumberland.

    Vineland Hopes New Bike Lanes Lead to Safer Commutes
    The city of Vineland recently established bike lanes down two streets - Elmer and Wood streets. The city already marked the lanes down the streets and delineated new parking spots along the road, using approximately $37,000 in grant funds.

    New Jersey Ranks 7th in the 2013 Bicycle Friendly State Rankings
    The League of American Bicyclists ranks states annually based on their level of bike-friendliness. In 2013, NJ ranked 7th with particular strengths in policies and programs as well as education and encouragement related to biking. See NJ's report card here.

    Visit our New Jersey news page on our website, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for more New Jersey news.

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    National News:
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    CDC Releases the State Indicator Report on Fruits and Vegetables, 2013
    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the updated State Indicator Report on Fruits and Vegetables. The report outlines data around: consumption of fruits and vegetables, healthy food in schools and early care and education, healthier food retail in communities, and food system support. In NJ, 33.9% of adults report consuming fruits and vegetables less than one time each day. In addition the percentage of farmers markets that accept WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program coupons jumped from 4.9% to 32.1%.

    Team Nutrition Updates the Child and Adult Care Food Program Provider Handbook
    The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) released an updated version of its popular tool for early care and education providers to create healthier environments for the 2 through 5 year-old children in their care.

    The Long-Term Returns of Obesity Prevention Policies
    The Campaign to End Obesity conducted a study that determined that to adequately measure the costs and savings attributable to obesity prevention efforts, the timeframe to be considered should be expanded from 10 years to 75 years. The current federal approach extrapolates costs and savings over a 10 year timeframe and misses billions of dollars in potential savings over the long haul.

    Better Recess May Equal a Better School Day
    A recent study funded through the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that a well-organized and active recess has the potential to drive better student behavior, health, and learning. The study looked at the impact of Playworks, a national nonprofit that provides safe, healthy recess and other playtime at low-income elementary schools in 22 cities nationwide. Schools with Playworks programs experienced: 1) less bullying and exclusionary behavior at recess; 2) students engaging in more vigorous physical activity; and 3) kids returning to class ready to learn and teachers needing less time to transition to learning activities.

    Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program Helps Boost Consumption at Low-Income Elementary Schools
    Students at elementary schools participating in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program consumed 15% more fruits and vegetables, according to a USDA study. Increased consumption was due primarily to students eating more fruit.

    Visit our National news page on our websitelike us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for more news.

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    June 6, 2013
    ShapingNJ 2013 Partnership Meeting
    8:45am - 3:00pm
    The 2013 Annual Partnership Meeting will highlight national and state trends, and partners will share promising practices. We will look back at the last 5 years and ahead to new opportunities. Click here to register!

    June 9, 2013
    Move It to Lose It
    11:00am - 4:00pm
    Join the SKN Foundation in the 14th Annual Health and Safety Fair in Edison, NJ to learn about healthy living and physical activity for the whole family.

    June 17, 2013
    Expanding Baby-FriendlyTM in New Jersey and Leading the Way
    8:45am - 3:30pm
    This learning session is intended to continue the "all teach-all learn" collaborative work of the initiative and to expand its successes through the designated hospitals' expertise.

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