Healthier Somerset Awarded ShapingNJ Healthy Community Grant

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Healthier Somerset Awarded ShapingNJ Healthy Community Grant

Somerville, NJ – February 3, 2015 – Healthier Somerset has been selected by the New Jersey Department of Health to participate in the ShapingNJ Healthy Community Grants Initiative 2015 and has been awarded a $12,000 grant.  ShapingNJ is a public/private partnership for nutrition, physical activity and obesity prevention.

Healthier Somerset will focus on the expansion of Complete Streets, a program to provide safe access for all roadway users, and increased access to farmers’ markets in Bound Brook, Manville, and Somerville.  Healthier Somerset partner agencies EmPoWER Somerset, RideWise TMA, RWJUH Somerset, Somerset County Health Officers Association, and Zufall Health Center will direct the program.

 “Preventing obesity has been a major focus of Healthier Somerset since the coalition was formed in 2010,” said Serena Collado, Director of Community Health at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset and Healthier Somerset convenor.  “These programs combat obesity and associated diseases and promote active and healthy lifestyles.”

“We are pleased to provide grant funding to support these efforts,” said Health Commissioner Mary E. O’Dowd, M.P. H.  “We know that sustainable change happens at the local level. Over the past four years of this initiative we have seen promising policy and environmental changes in our communities as a result of rich partnerships, ongoing technical assistance and participation in a learning collaborative.  Communities are learning from one another’s successes and challenges as we continue efforts to reduce obesity and promote a culture of wellness in New Jersey.”

Somerset County has been named the second healthiest county in New Jersey in the 2014 county health rankings.  Healthier Somerset, a coalition formed to improve the health and well-being of everyone who lives and works in Somerset County, promotes healthy lifestyles through collaboration among its partners. The coalition’s strategic goals are to engage Somerset County in active participation in good health habits, increase access to choices that promote healthy lifestyles, and promote policy changes that improve health. For more information about Healthier Somerset, visit www.healthiersomerset.org.

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