Section: Children's Hospital of New Jersey (NBI) News

Jewish Women’s Foundation of NJ Funds New Program for Wellness for Newark Teens

03/24/2015

"Healthy Body, Healthy Mind"
Students from Barringer High School's School Based
Youth ServicesProgram/The Bear Zone
Make Wellness and Positive Living a Way of Life

NEWARK, New Jersey, March 23, 2015 – A new program for Barringer High School teen girls, entitled, "Healthy Body, Healthy Mind," is seeing positive results in the months since the program was created with funding from the Jewish Women's Foundation of New Jersey. The program is part of a larger, award-winning program, the School Based Youth Services (SBYSP) Program/The Bear Zone, implemented 10 years ago by Children's Hospital of New Jersey (CHoNJ) and Newark Beth Israel Medical Center (NBIMC).

Healthy Body, Healthy Mind” after-school participants having fun with kettle balls during an exercise class at Barringer High School.

"Healthy Body, Healthy Mind" after-school participants having fun with kettle balls during an exercise class at Barringer High School.

Creating a culture of health and wellness and positive life experiences is the foundation of "Healthy Body, Healthy Mind." The SBYSP is a unique and highly successful program whose mission is to provide students, ages 13 – 20 years, with the services and support they need to complete their high school education and obtain skills leading to employment or post-second education.

"Thank you to the Jewish Women's Foundation of New Jersey for their foresight and commitment to improving the lives of teenage girls in Newark," said John A. Brennan, MD, MPH, Executive Vice President of Barnabas Health and President and Chief Executive Officer of Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and Children's Hospital of New Jersey. "The Healthy Body, Healthy Mind" program provides an excellent foundation for engaging young people in their health and wellness and creating healthy behaviors that we hope will stay with them through their lifetime."

"Healthy Body, Healthy Mind"

Inaugural group of “Healthy Body, Healthy Mind” participants.
Inaugural group of "Healthy Body, Healthy Mind" participants.


"Healthy Body, Healthy Mind" (HBHM) is an after-school program designed to be a safe haven for girls that promotes positive self-worth and assist girls in making informed decisions about their health and life choices. According to Program Director Desiree Barber, funding from the Jewish Women's Foundation of NJ for the "Healthy Body, Healthy Mind" program provides an opportunity for the girls to improve academically, socially, and physically. It also helps to foster relationships between students and staff, build character, leadership, and self-esteem as well as establish a supportive environment and assist them in making healthy choices and learning important life skills to last a life-time.

The goals of the program are:

  • Improve self-esteem
  • Build self-confidence
  • Improve knowledge of healthy nutrition
  • Improve student body mass index (BMI)

Ms. Barber added, girls who participate in the "Healthy Body, Healthy Mind" program learn positive and healthy life skills. They are also provided academic resources and participate in activities to enhance their ability to get higher grades, graduate high school, and improve self-esteem.

Program participants meet twice a week with a personal trainer/nutritionist with an emphasis on improving physical activity and healthy eating habits. Additionally, there are weekly "bag & gab" luncheons where healthy lunches are served and topics are discussed, with a focus on identifying positive qualities, developing leadership skills, improving communication skills and building healthy relationships. The girls are encouraged to share and discover their true feelings in an intimate, safe and confidential setting where they are free to express and explore their beliefs. "Healthy Body, Healthy Mind" also includes individual counseling, journaling, and group activities.

Discussion topics include but are not be limited to "Who Am I and What Can I Do," "What are My Personal, Family and Community Values," "How well do I Communicate with Others," and "What are my Relationships with Others Like." In addition, several life skills are addressed such as "Dressing for Success," "Etiquette- Minding your Manners," "Personal Hygiene" and "Basic Sewing." The program also addresses dating violence, prevention of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

School Based Youth Services Program at Barringer High School

The Children's Hospital of New Jersey at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center has managed the School Based Youth Services Program at Barringer High School (SBYSP@BHS) for over ten years. The mission of the SBYSP is to provide adolescents (aged 13 to 20) with the services and support they need to complete their high school education and obtain skills leading to employment or post-secondary education. Currently, the SBYSP staff serves over 400 students per year and approximately 100 students per day.

"The School Based Youth Services Program, under the leadership of Desiree Barber, continues to be one of the most successful and award-winning programs from The Beth," said Darrell K. Terry, Sr. MHA, MPH, FACHE, Chief Operating officer of Newark Beth Israel Medical Center (NBIMC) and Children's Hospital of New Jersey (CHoNJ). "Our goal is to create a Culture of Health for our children, our colleagues at The Beth and the community – this program goes a long way to doing that."

National research indicates that effective after school programs can have a significant impact on the reduction of negative behaviors and habits. After school activities provide a positive alternative that allows students to develop protective relationships such as caring relationships with adults and peers, the ability to resist negative peer pressure and the opportunity to build positive self-esteem while fostering resiliency.

"The girls in the HBHM program are experiencing great success through improved life skills that include increased physical activity, enhanced nutritional knowledge and healthy eating habits that impact not only their lives but the lives of their family members," according to Desiree Barber, Director of the School Based Youth Services Program at Barringer High School.

About Newark Beth Israel Medical Center
Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, (NBIMC), a 673-bed regional care teaching hospital, provides comprehensive health care to its local communities and well beyond. NBIMC has more than 800 physicians, 3,200 employees and 150 volunteers with over 300,000 outpatient visits and 25,000 admissions annually. NBIMC is in the top three hospitals in the nation in the number of heart transplants with better than expected outcomes, has the only lung transplant program in New Jersey, and combined with Saint Barnabas Medical Center, both Barnabas Health affiliates, is third in the nation for kidney transplants, by volume. To learn more, visit us on line at www.NewarkBeth.org

About Children's Hospital of New Jersey
Children's Hospital of New Jersey, located at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and part of the Saint Barnabas Health Care System, is the state's premier hospital caring for children, with specialized services to treat ill and injured children from newborn to adolescent years and has the most comprehensive pediatric cardiac care program in the region as well as preventive programs that promote wellness in the community. For a referral to a pediatrician or pediatric specialist, please call 973-926-7280.

Join us on face book at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and to register for our free on line E-Newsletter click http://www.barnabashealth.org/Newark-Beth-Israel-Medical-Center/News/Sign-up-for-E-News.aspx

Contact:

Patricia Mitrano
pmitrano@barnabashealth.org
973-926-7531

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