For Immediate Release: July 2, 2008
Contact: Donald Sico 609-351-3591 or Judy Doyle 609-393-4931
WOODBRIDGE NAMED NEW JERSEY “HEALTHY TOWN”
MIDDLESEX COUNTY TOWN HONORED FOR PARTICIPATION IN MAYORS WELLNESS CAMPAIGN
Woodbridge, New Jersey – The Township of Woodbridge and its Mayor John McCormac today were honored by the Mayors Wellness Campaign as only the fourth community in the state to receive designation as a “New Jersey Healthy Town.” Woodbridge received the designation for its strong and active participation in the Mayors Wellness Campaign.
“We are delighted to recognize the efforts of Mayor McCormac and Woodbridge to promote active living and healthy lifestyles through the Mayors Wellness Campaign,” said Judy Doyle, Mayors Wellness Campaign Director. “Our statewide effort, which now involves more than 250 New Jersey towns, is beginning to pay dividends.”
“Putting our community in motion towards better health is one of our top priorities in Woodbridge,” said Mayor McCormac. “The recognition as a New Jersey Healthy Town speaks volumes about our community commitment to better health.”
The Township of Woodbridge received the “Healthy Town” designation for meeting the following requirements:
- A community must be a Mayors Wellness Campaign participant for one year or more;
- A community must demonstrate sustainable programs in each of the Mayors Wellness Campaign categories: Youth in Motion, Seniors in Motion, Employers in Motion and Community in Motion.
- A community must be willing to share its program information with other communities.
The Mayors Wellness Campaign’s new “Healthy Town” designation is being funded by a $100,000 grant from the Aetna Foundation.
“Aetna is thrilled to play a role in this new effort to promote active living and healthy lifestyles in New Jersey,” said Patrick Young, President, Aetna Small and Middle Markets. “We hope to make a real difference in the everyday lives of New Jersey residents.”
The City of Woodbridge has instituted scores of wellness programs including:
Youth in Motion
A “Fitness Check” program for school health testing, lead poison screening clinics for children, asthma screening clinics for children, anti-obesity nutrition programs for children, a healthy pregnancy program, a bike rodeo and a children’s safety seminar.
Seniors in Motion
Lunch and Learn Breast Health program, a Senior Olympics, a Healthy Cooking Classes for Seniors with Diabetes, an Active Older Adults Day, a Melanoma Screening clinic Seniorcize Program, and Celebration 50+ Expo at Woodbridge Community.
Community in Motion
Downtown Farmers Market, Mayor’s Health Expo, Community Healthy Walking Initiative, ALS Awareness Walk, Crossroads community run Ovarian Cancer Awareness workshop, Flu & Pneumonia vaccine clinics, Pandemic Flu Awareness initiative, Asthma screening for adults, Swim-a-thon for fitness, Diabetic Health screening, Ongoing We Feed Woodbridge Food Drive, Have a Heart Food Drive, Mayors’ Healthy Cook-off, Bike Tour of Woodbridge, Mayor’s Healthy Walk, Downtown Health & Fitness Day, Woodbridge Walks for Breast Cancer Awareness, Woodbridge Walks Against Domestic Violence, Walk Your Child to School Day, Anti-Idling School initiative, Township walking Assessment (w/ YMCA, School District, Raritan Bay Medical Center and Township), Woodbridge Wellness & fitness Day at the Farmers Market, Wellness Woodbridge” television show on TV35, and Mayor’s Healthy Choice Menu in local restaurants.
Employers in Motion
Ordinance prohibiting smoking on township property, Stairwell cleanup to encourage employee use, Pedometer challenge with Mayor’s Office & School District, Monthly employee blood pressure screenings and Tri-monthly employee cholesterol checks.
According to Mayor McCormac, “Woodbridge is well on its way as a New Jersey Healthy Town. From hosting the Central Jersey Mayor’s Healthy Cook-Off... to joining with the YMCA’s Pioneering Healthier Communities Program in sponsoring pedestrian advocate and ‘walkabilty’ expert Mark Fenton’s tour of Woodbridge geared to help us prepare creative initiatives to encourage more walking and bicycling... to producing “Seniorsize” – a daily cable TV exercise show designed just for seniors... to encouraging Woodbridge young people to participate in planned exercise and healthy diet regimens... to hosting the New Jersey Senior Olympics this September... Woodbridge is on the move as the “healthiest New Jersey Town.”
The Mayors Wellness Campaign is an initiative of the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute (www.njhcqi.org) in partnership with the New Jersey State League of Municipalities (www.njslom.org). The MWC supports mayors as champions of community health. The goal is to increase opportunities for New Jersey residents to participate in daily physical activity with a long-term goal of reducing health care costs secondary to obesity. Through public-private partnerships, the MWC provides structure and resources for healthy community initiatives. By encouraging mayors to play a leadership role in supporting local opportunities for active, healthy lifestyles, the intent of the MWC is to improve health and make New Jersey a national leader in community-based health interventions. In 2006, each of the 566 mayors in New Jersey’s municipalities were mailed the MWC “Toolbox,” a manual designed to guide them through the implementation of wellness programs in their communities. Broken down into four major sections – Youth in Motion; Employees in Motion; Seniors in Motion; and Communities in Motion – the Toolbox outlines programs that can be directly used in every community in New Jersey. The Toolbox can also be found on the MWC website at www.mayorswellnesscampaign.org.