New Jersey Department of Health

PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Cathleen D. Bennett
Acting Commissioner

For Further Information Contact:
Office of Communications
(609) 984-7160

Christie Administration Recognizes National Public Health Week, April 4-10

New Jersey Acting Health Commissioner Cathleen Bennett is recognizing National Public Health Week, April 4-10, by highlighting New Jersey's effort to build healthier communities.

"National Public Health Week reinforces our mission to keep healthy New Jerseyans well, prevent those at risk from getting sick, and keep those with chronic conditions from getting sicker,” Acting Commissioner Bennett said. “We promote prevention, wellness and equity in all environments, resulting in a healthy New Jersey.”

This year’s National Public Health Week theme is "Healthiest Nation 2030" with the goal of encouraging individuals and communities to help make the U.S. the “Healthiest Nation in One Generation.”

New Jersey celebrates many successes. The number of people who have quit smoking has steadily decreased over the last 25 years. Infant mortality has decreased by 50 percent since 1990. Violent crime has decreased significantly. Premature deaths have decreased by 13 percent over the past decade. Cancer deaths have continued to decrease.

These successes were noted in the 2015 America’s Health Rankings conducted by the United Health Foundation. New Jersey ranked 11 in the country in the study, and healthier communities are one reason cited. 

Last year, the Department, in conjunction with Partners for Health and Atlantic Health System, awarded $380,000 in ShapingNJ Healthy Community grants to 31 communities to improve access to healthy food and opportunities to be physically active.

Grants range between $5,000 and $12,000 and were awarded to local communities for strategy implementation. Local projects include corner store initiatives, community/school gardens, community walking and bike paths, Safe Routes to School programs, new farmers’ markets and “Take the Stairs” campaigns at the workplace.

ShapingNJ is the state partnership for nutrition, physical activity and obesity prevention. The goal is to prevent obesity and improve the health of populations statewide that are at risk for poor health outcomes by creating easier and healthier choices in their everyday routines.

National Public Health Week is organized by the American Public Health Association. For more information, visit

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