the staff of the Ridgewood blog
PRINCETON NJ, The New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute has issued its annual New Jersey “Healthy Town” designation to eight communities participating in the Mayors Wellness Campaign (MWC), a program of the Quality Institute, in partnership with the New Jersey State League of Municipalities. Another seven towns were designated as 2018 Healthy Towns to Watch and three were designated as 2018 Healthy Town in the Making.
Ridgewood’s goals for 2018 were to promote a stigma-free environment for all ages, provide health education, and encourage physical activity. To address this, Ridgewood offered the following activities:
• Weight Loss Challenge – A 12-week program available to all residents that consists of various events, including exercise classes, walking groups, weekly support meetings, and health education seminars. The first 75 participants received free pre and post blood tests for cholesterol and blood sugar levels. One-on-one nutrition counseling with a local nutritionist and blood pressure screenings were provided to all participants.
• Annual Wellness Festival – A collaboration of local businesses and community organizations to promote health and social inclusion.
In addition, Ridgewood offered Mental Health First Aid trainings to teach residents how to identify and respond to signs of mental illness and substance use disorders as part of its Stigma-Free initiative.
Each year communities participating in the MWC complete a comprehensive application outlining the research they’ve done to identify their community health needs, explain how they have organized their local MWC committee, and highlight the actions they’ve taken to make their communities a healthier place to live, work, and play.
The MWC is now in its 12th year. The Quality Institute provides participating communities with a toolkit on how to get started, guidance on how to identify local health needs, and examples of specific actions that other communities are taking to improve health and wellness in their community. The resources and toolkit are available here http://www.njhcqi.org/MWCtoolkit.
“The commitment to improving health and wellness, by these Mayors and volunteers, is impressive” said Linda Schwimmer, President and CEO of the Quality Institute. “It was inspiring to read their applications this year and we are excited to share some examples of their great work.”