On March 29, 2017, the 2017 County Health Rankings & Roadmaps were released at an event at The Gateway Family YMCA – Elizabeth Branch, 135 Madison Avenue, Elizabeth, NJ. Local community organizations shared their collaborative efforts to create a Culture of Health within New Jersey.
“At The Gateway Family YMCA, strengthening community is our cause and our three pillars are youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. The work that we are doing achieves all of those goals and we know that we can only be successful serving our community by partnering with other key stakeholders. We are proud to have moved the needle toward greater health specifically in Elizabeth and overall in Union County,” stated Melynda A Mileski, EVP/COO, The Gateway Family YMCA, in the opening address.
Speakers at the event included Bob Atkins, Director, New Jersey Health Initiatives, a program of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Colette Lamothe-Galette, Director of the Office of Population Health, NJ Department of Health, Krishna Garlic, Director of Health & Human Services, City of Elizabeth, Alane McCahey, Project Manager, Shaping Elizabeth and Senior Director of Community Initiatives, The Gateway Family YMCA, Joseph McTernan, Senior Director of Community & Clinical Services, Trinitas Regional Medical Center, Priscilla Mendoza, MSW, Parent Advocate, Bayway Family Success Center, Jonathan Phillips, Executive Director, Groundwork Elizabeth and Toni Lewis, Community Coach, County Health Rankings & Roadmaps.
“The Gateway Family YMCA is a cause-driven, nonprofit charitable organization serving Eastern Union County and Northern Middlesex County since 1900. Our YMCA is honored to be chosen as the host site for this event, and to be asked to showcase our local collaborations and the health rankings in New Jersey, specifically in Union County,” stated Krystal R. Canady, CEO, The Gateway Family YMCA.
“In line with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation we are committed to supporting Elizabeth in order to ensure all people reach their full potential by improving where they live, work and play through policy and environmental changes which will create safe, affordable, accessible options for healthy eating and physical activity to reduce obesity and chronic disease,” stated Alane McCahey, explaining the work of Shaping Elizabeth, a coalition to decrease obesity and chronic disease through collective impact in order to support Health Equity in Elizabeth.
“Due to all of these factors, and the supporting data as well as the commitment and diligence of our Executive Committee and work group teams we have created a “roadmap” for the next 3-5 years which has focused our work on 6 priorities: An overarching strategy for community engagement and communication, Clinical care support, Increasing physical activity, Affordable, available and accessible healthy food, Aids Education and Diabetes Prevention. We have broadened our vision to reflect the social determents of health that create barriers for making the healthy choice the easy choice for our residents.”
“Today we are here to celebrate the work we have done thus far,” stated Krishna Garlic, Director of Health & Human Services, City of Elizabeth. Union County ranked 8 of the 21 New Jersey counties on the 2017 County Health Rankings for health outcomes. For detailed information on the county health rankings, visit countyhealthrankings.org.
The Gateway Family YMCA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, health and community service organization of caring staff and volunteers dedicated to strengthening the foundations of community and stands For Youth Development, For Healthy Living and For Social Responsibility. The Gateway Family YMCA impacts the community by providing quality services to people of all ages, races, faith or incomes. The Y doesn’t just strengthen bodies – it strengthens people, families and communities. The Y.™ For a better us.
To learn more about The Gateway Family YMCA, visit tgfymca.org or contact the Elizabeth Branch at 908-355-9622, Five Points Branch 908-688-9622, Rahway Branch 732-388-0057, Wellness Center Branch 908-349-9622 or the WISE Center YMCA Branch 908-687-2995.
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