A World Wind of Activity for Shaping Elizabeth Team
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation came for our site visit for the Healthy Communities grant on April 15, 2015 at The Gateway Family YMCA. Seven members of the RWJ NJHI Team were welcomed by twelve members of our Executive Leadership Team and YMCA CEo, Krystal R. Canady. The animated discussion was exciting and allowed us to reflect on the past two year’s accomplishments, most importantly we were able to envision our future.
At the Shaping Elizabeth April Work Group Meeting Krishna Garlic, City of Elizabeth brought a “Surprise” Guest. Freeholder Sergio Granados arrived to discuss needed changes and renovations to Mattano Park. The importance of this environmental change is twofold: 1) the families in the BaywayCommunity (Mrvalag Housing) will have a safe, working park for physical activity 2) Shaping Elizabeth influenced this change – working together with Joe McTernan, Trinitas Regional Medical Center to support the residents of Mrvalag for healthy living. In 2013 in partnership with Bayway Family Success Center families were interviewed to discuss barriers for health eating and physical activity. Mattano Park adjacent to the housing complex was perceived as unsafe for their kids to play. The park is not a city park so it was difficult to affect change from that vantage point. Krishna spoke with Freeholder Granados. He came to our meeting to let us know changes would be made in the next year and half. Feedback from our team indicated the need for immediate changes.It was agreed in July we would schedule a “playstreet” in the park. The Freeholder and his staff would support and attend. The park would receive some immediate clean up and security.The long term project would be outlined at the event. A great win for the community.
In March, Anna Ramos from NJ Food Trust shared information about the Corner Store Initiative. At our April meeting our Healthy Nutrition Work Group led by Jonathan Philips Groundwork Elizabeth and Karen Ensle, Rutgers Cooperative Extension planned phase 1 action steps including: indentifying team members to take pictures of corner stores and bodegas in 3 target areas: Bayway, Elizabethport and Midtown Elizabeth and use the assessment guide to identify stores ready to make some changes to be healthier. We will meet on May to review locations and select stores for engagement.
In addition the following occurred:
Planning for play streets enticed Well Care Health Care, to provide bikes for a raffle and the City health department will supply 75 bike helmets.
Our School Wellness Work Group will partner with Healthy U schools and the Elizabeth Public Schools to provide an end of year Health Fair with activities and information.
Our Community Wellness Team now combined with the Trinitas Community Advisory team is planning for moving people from Emergency Room visits for primary care to primary care physicians.
Partners: Prevention Links and Well Care Health Plans are working together to plan activities and programs to support change through the Bayway Family Success Center.
Partners are highlighted above in addition: Proceed, Inc. Community Food Bank of NJ, Elizabeth Neighborhood Health Center, United Way of Greater Union County, Elizabeth Housing Authority, Elizabethport Presbyterian Center, EatWell, Jefferson Park Pre School, YWCA Union County and community members.
Key Decision makers are engaged in various ways: Invited to attend a community forum, SE meetings, email, letters but the most impactful method is face to face conversations with passionate team members.
www.tgfymca.org www.hacenj.com www.groundworkelizabeth.com www.proceedinc.com www.getmovinggetheatlhynj.rutgersedu www.uwguc.org www.elizabethnj.org www.cfbnj.org www.trinitashospital.org www.ywcaunioncounty.org www.preventionlinks.org www.eportcenter.org www.jeffersonparkpreschool.org www.ywcaunioncounty.org www.wellcare.com