PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
December 8, 2021

Judith M. Persichilli

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

Suzanne Ghee
Thrive Public Affairs

Media Advisory: 9th Annual Building a Culture of Health Conference December 9-10 in Atlantic City

The ninth annual “Building a Culture of Health in New Jersey” conference opens Thursday evening, December 9, in Harrah's Waterfront Conference Center in Atlantic City. The theme of this year’s conference is Healing Communities and Connecting Voices.

The two-day conference is co-sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the New Jersey Department of Health, the NJ YMCA State Alliance, and Healthy New Jersey 2030. It begins on Thursday, December 9, at 6 p.m. with presentations of artwork, poems, and performances by selected Community Conversation participants describing their experiences during the pandemic.


Speakers and attendees will gather both in person and virtually. They include public health professionals, social workers, educators, dieticians, leaders of the YMCA, and other community groups and representatives of hospitals.


Speakers and attendees will focus on health equity and healing communities as a result of a pandemic that has deepened existing health disparities and inequities – especially among marginalized and underrepresented communities. They will also share personal stories about their experiences and discuss strategies to improve the health and well-being of New Jersey’s communities.

Welcome remarks on Friday - 9:30 a.m. to 10:05 a.m.

Dr. Darrin Anderson, CEO, NJ YMCA State Alliance, Co-Chair, Culture of Health Conference

Dr. Brent L. Arnold, Dean, School of Health Sciences, Stockton University

Judith M. Persichilli, Commissioner, New Jersey Department of Health  

Congressman Andy Kim, U.S. House of Representatives, NJ 3rd Congressional District

The Commissioner and Congressman Kim will address the conference remotely.

Keynote speakers on Friday

Dr. Jubril Oyeyemi – 10:10 a.m. to 11:10 a.m. Dr. Oyeyemi is founder of the Cherry Hill Free Clinic, Medical Director of Care Management Initiatives at the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers, and an Internal Medicine Physician at Virtua Health.

Dave Ellis – 1:25 p.m. to 2:25 p.m. Dave Ellis is the first Executive Director of the NJ Office of Resilience in the NJ Department of Children and Families. The Office coordinates statewide efforts to prevent, protect against and heal from the effects of adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs.

Other speakers:

Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small – 1:15 p.m. – 1:25 p.m.

To register for the conference, visit www.njymca.org/culture-of-health.

To view the conference agenda, visit bit.ly/3ECp9cm.

Follow the New Jersey Department of Health on Twitter @njdeptofhealth, Facebook /njdeptofhealth, Instagram @njdeptofhealth and LinkedIn /company/njdeptofhealth.

To join the new Culture of Health Facebook group, visit facebook.com/groups/njcultureofhealth.

Last Reviewed: 12/8/2021