Section: Newark Beth Israel Medical Center News

Pastors, Worshippers and Community to Walk Together


Pastors, Worshippers and Community to Walk Together
Before Winners of a 12-Week Weight Loss, Fitness and
Nutrition Challenge for Churches Are Announced

NEWARK, New Jersey (June 4, 2013) – Wellness, for many in Newark’s South Ward, recently began in the church with pastors and congregations making a commitment to lose weight, eat more nutritious food and exercise regularly. Nearly 400 people; from six Newark churches will walk together on a 2.5 mile walk through the South Ward marking the end of The Beth Church Challenge, sponsored by Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of New Jersey at their 2nd ANNUAL WALK FOR WELLNESS. The event, which will be held on Saturday, June 8, will begin and end immediately outside the Main Entrance of the medical center, 201 Lyons Avenue at Osborne Terrace, Newark. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. and the race begins at 9 a.m.

The free WELLNESS WALK is being held as a result of a partnership with Newark South Ward Councilman Ras J. Baraka. The public is invited to join in this annual walk that celebrates each congregation’s commitment to wellness. An awards ceremony for the healthiest church, with the greatest weight loss, will be announced at the conclusion of the Walk.

“Wellness is the foundation of good health,” said John A. Brennan, MD, MPH, President and Chief Executive Officer of Newark Beth Israel Medical Center (NBIMC) and Children’s Hospital of New Jersey (CHoNJ) and Executive Vice President of Barnabas Health. “Our goal at The Beth is to improve the quality of life within the communities we serve by offering this 12-week challenge to become fit and healthy and to make the tenets of The Beth Challenge, a way of life. The Beth Church Challenge has changed the lives of so many congregations - our goal is to continue working through the churches and others to promote wellness in Newark and surrounding communities.”

The Walk was established two years ago after a number of Newark churches joined NBIMC’s The Beth Challenge, created and led by Barbara Mintz, MS, RD, Assistant Vice President of Wellness at NBIMC. The Beth Challenge, began at the medical center, where employees have lost more than 13,000 pounds since the program’s inception in 2009. Others who have participated in The Beth Challenge include Newark Mayor Cory Booker and employees of City Hall; Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo and employees of county administration and others.

Ms. Mintz said, “We are walking to celebrate the weight loss and wellness accomplishments of the individuals from six churches in the South Ward who completed our Beth Church Challenge.” She continued, “Together we hope to raise awareness about how important nutrition and exercise are to your health.”

Seven churches are participating in the Beth Church Challenge: Greater Abyssinian Baptist church, Clear View Baptist Church, St. John’s Community Baptist Church, Pleasant Grove Baptist Church, Franklin St. John’s United Methodist Church and Union Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

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 and 3,200 employees with over 300,000 outpatient visits and 25,000 admissions annually. NBIMC is fifth 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. NBIMC received three of the top awards for 2012 by the New Jersey Hospital Association and was one of five hospitals nationwide to receive the coveted 2012 NOVA Award from the American Hospital Association. To learn more, visit us on line at

About ChoNJ
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 1-888-724-1723.

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