Section: Clara Maass Medical Center News

Clara Maass Medical Center Foundation’s Lifeline Challenge to Healthy Living 5K Run and 2K Fun Walk Raises Money to Combat Obesity in New Jersey

Lifeline Bariatric Team
The Weight Loss Institute of New Jersey at CMMC staff, along with former weight loss patients, participated in LIFELINE CHALLENGE TO HEALTHY LIVING.

Belleville, NJ – On Sunday, September 29 2013, Clara Maass Medical Center (CMMC) Foundation, along with special guests Ken Rosato, WABC-TV Eyewitness News Anchor; George Ruthauser, Jersey Jackals Announcer; and Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. welcomed 350 walkers and runners to the Essex County Turtle Back Zoo for the annual LIFELINE CHALLENGE TO HEALTHY LIVING, a 5K Run and 2K Fun Walk to help eliminate and prevent obesity.

CMMC Lifeline Challenge with Ken Rosato
Jane Newman Kessler, Vice President, CMMC Foundation; Frank Mazzarella, MD, Vice President of Medical Affairs at CMMC; Mary Ellen Clyne, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer at CMMC; Ken Rosato, W-ABC TV Eyewitness News Anchor; Brendan Gill Essex County Freeholder; Robert Kuhl, President, CMMC Foundation Board of Directors; and Vince Matthews, Assistant Vice President, Policy Development and Government Affairs at Barnabas Health.

This year’s LIFELINE CHALLENGE raised in excess of $72,000, which will support CMMC programs that aim to prevent and eliminate obesity, including the Lifeline Challenge Afterschool Program, the Bariatric Program, and Community Outreach and Education. Through the Lifeline Challenge program, students in 14 local elementary schools in Bloomfield, Belleville, Newark, Nutley, Montclair, Kearny, Lyndhurst, Harrison and North Arlington are empowered to practice healthy eating and active lifestyles from an early age to break the cycle of obesity. These students have participated in Zumba and Martial Arts classes, ran relay races, and even grew their own vegetables through the CMMC Foundation-led program.

CMMC Lifeline Challenge Crowd
Hospital staff and walkers enjoyed the day at the LIFELINE CHALLENGE FOR HEALTHY LIVING on Sunday, September 29. Kneeling front and center is Ken Rosato, W-ABC TV News Anchor, who hosted the day’s event.

“This year marked a major change in the way we, as society, view obesity and its challenges,” said Mary Ellen Clyne, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer at CMMC. “With the American Medical Association classifying obesity as a disease this past June, our LIFELINE CHALLENGE TO HEALTHY LIVING event felt more important than ever. As with any disease, raising awareness is the first step, and that’s what this event accomplished for our neighboring communities.”

Other special guest appearances at the walk and run included Essex County Freeholder Brendan Gill; Irisha Brown, Montclair YMCA Zumba Instructor; and three interns of City Green Schultheis Learning Farm in Clifton, NJ, who performed an original song for the audience, “Gardening Is Awesome,” before the 5K race and 2K walk began.

CMMC Lifeline Runner
Ken Rosato, W-ABC TV Eyewitness News Anchor (left) and Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Essex County Executive, cheer on a runner crossing the finish line at LIFELINE CHALLENGE, a Clara Maass Medical Center Foundation event.

Clara Maass Medical Center is a facility of Barnabas Health, which recently teamed with the City Green Learning Farm in Clifton, NJ, to support the new eco-center encouraging education on environmental awareness, sustainable agriculture, and healthy food by donating native plants to the farm and supporting a new state-of-the-art Barnabas Health Outdoor Theatre.

“Clara Maass Medical Center and Barnabas Health are looking forward to many exciting health and wellness related ventures and opportunities,” said Jane Newman Kessler, Vice President, CMMC Foundation. “And fighting obesity is an important step in any wellness initiative. We will continue to host LIFELINE CHALLENGE TO HEALTHY LIVING until obesity is under control.”

21 sponsors were responsible for the success of this year’s LIFELINE CHALLENGE TO HEALTHY LIVING, including the Lifeline Challenge Sponsor, the Aetna Foundation and the Happy Living Sponsor, Prismatic Development Corp.

Clara Maass Medical Center has won numerous awards and accolades. In 2013, Becker’s Hospital Review named it one of “100 Hospitals with Great Heart Programs.” It is ranked among the 50 Best Regional Hospitals in the New York Metro Area by U.S. News & World Report. In 2013, it also received its third consecutive Grade “A” score in Hospital Safety by the Leapfrog Group, along with a HealthGrades Patient Safety Excellence Award™. HealthGrades awarded Clara Maass an Emergency Medicine Excellence Award. Thomson Reuters named Clara Maass among the top 100 hospitals nationwide in 2012, one of only three hospitals in New Jersey to attain the distinction. In addition, Clara Maass won the Thomson Reuters Everest Award, one of 12 hospitals in the United States to do so. Clara Maass Medical Center was ranked as the second highest in New Jersey for hospital safety by Consumer Reports. It is ranked top in the state for the treatment of Congestive Heart Failure and Heart Attacks by the New Jersey State Department of Health and Senior Services.

Located in Belleville, NJ, Clara Maass Medical Center, a Barnabas Health facility, provides a complete continuum of care to residents of northern New Jersey. Clara Maass’ centers and services include The Health and Wellness Center, Nuclear Medicine, The Cancer Center at Clara Maass, Adult Cardiac Services including Diagnostic Services, Cardiac Catheterization, Elective and Emergency Angioplasty and Rehabilitation, The Pain Management Center, The Joint & Spine Institute, a Vascular Center, Same Day Surgery, The Wound Center at Clara Maass, The Center for Sleep Disorders, The Bariatric Surgery Center, Rehabilitation Services, The Eye Surgery Center, Maternity Services and Parent Education, as well as Pediatrics. For a physician referral or more information about Clara Maass, call 1-888-724-7123 or visit

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Date: October 3, 2013

Contact: Courtney Lynch
Manager, Communications and Marketing

Categories: Press Releases,Weight Loss,Wellness