Getting Started: Supporting Healthy Lives in Elizabeth!

Shaping Elizabeth is off and running (walking for some of us) but definitely moving.

Members of Shaping Elizabeth from left to right planning for sustainability. Alane McCahey, The Gateway Family YMCA, Michele Ali and Abby Nagel, Trinitas Regional Medical Center (RMC), Karen Ensle, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, Michael Johnson, TGFY and Jonathan Phillips (taking the picture), Groundwork Elizabeth.

Members of Shaping Elizabeth from left to right planning for sustainability. Alane McCahey, The Gateway Family YMCA, Michele Ali and Abby Nagel, Trinitas Regional Medical Center (RMC), Karen Ensle, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, Michael Johnson, TGFY and Jonathan Phillips (taking the picture), Groundwork Elizabeth.

We started 2014 focused on expanding and continuing the work we began in 2013.  Expanding our Community Garden, planning for healthy eating education, expanding and improving “One Flight up, Two Flights Down” for employee wellness and working with the City of Elizabeth for improved Walkability.  Our team received a grant from The Elizabethtown Healthcare Foundation to continue this work and we hope to serve over 50 children and 30 adults with nutrition education, 10 families working with the community garden, over 400 employees with increased activity and the Mid town area of Elizabeth with improved Walkability.

New in 2014 is our commitment to sustainability.  Our Shaping Elizabeth team is strategizing for the organization format that will ensure we continue to focus on policy and environmental changes to support increased physical activity and healthy nutrition options.  A task force of committed team members from Trinitas Regional Medical Center, Groundwork Elizabeth, The Gateway Family YMCA and Rutgers Cooperative Extension met several times in Jan and Feb. We have developed a vision, structure and guidelines which will be vetted with the whole team on March 4, 2014. (Attached is our first draft of our model).

On Feb 28, 2014 a task force met to plan a community meeting tentatively planned for June 17, 2014.  The purpose of the meeting is “To raise community awareness of healthy equity issues in Elizabeth Community”.  The working title is “Zip Codes as a Predicator of Health” The tentative agenda includes a Key Note Speaker, Breakout sessions with directed questions for data collection, Healthy Snack Break ending with a Panel representing communities engaged in this work discussing the successes and barriers they have encountered.  The Date and place will be set in the next few weeks as well as contacting possible key note speakers.

As we develop we will be testing using social media more effectively to communicate both internally with team members and externally through blogs, facebook and twitter.  Our hope would be to enhance the work using social media as an effective tool.

Our team is excited and growing.  More to come………

Michelle Ali from Trinitas RMC and Earnestine Brookings, the Gateway Family YMC plan forupcoming nutrition education classes for the families in YMCA supportive housing program.

Michelle Ali from Trinitas RMC and Earnestine Brookings, the Gateway Family YMCA plan for upcoming nutrition education classes for the families in YMCA supportive housing program.

Two women prepare dinner for their families at YMCA supportive housing program. In April, they are excited to participate in the healthy nutrition program sponsored by Shaping Elizabeth.

Two women prepare dinner for their families at YMCA supportive housing program. In April, they are excited to participate in the healthy nutrition program sponsored by Shaping Elizabeth.

Shaping Elizabeth Organizational Model First Draft

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