Section: Newark Beth Israel Medical Center News

Newark Beth Israel Medical Center Opens The Beth Greenhouse

06/23/2016

Bringing Healthy Vegetables And Enhancing Wellness Education To The Greater Newark Community

The Beth Greenhouse

(Back to front, left to right) Marc E. Berson, Chair, Board of Trustees, NBIMC and CHoNJ, Vice Chair, Board of Trustees, RWJBarnabas Health; Rev. Marilyn M. Harris, Newly Appointed Vice President of Community Relations, NBIMC and CHoNJ; Thomas A. Biga, President, Northern Region, RWJBarnabas Health; Assemblywoman Cleopatra G. Tucker; Tai Cooper, Chief Policy Advisor, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka; Stephen K. Jones, Chief Academic Officer, RWJBarnabas Health; Barry H. Ostrowsky, President and Chief Executive Officer, RWJ Barnabas Health; Barbara Mintz, Vice President, Healthy Living and Community Engagement, RWJBarnabas Health; Lorraine Gibbons, Owner, Garden State Urban Farms; Reverend William Christian; and Darrell K. Terry, President and Chief Executive Officer, NBIMC and CHoNJ.

Newark, NJ, May 27, 2016 – Despite a forecast for rain, the sun peaked through the clouds just in time for the ribbon cutting to celebrate the opening of The Beth Greenhouse at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center (NBIMC) and Children’s Hospital of New Jersey (CHoNJ), RWJBarnabas Health facilities located on Lyons Avenue in Newark.

The Beth Greenhouse, located adjacent to NBIMC and CHoNJ, takes the traditional urban garden to the next level by both teaching individuals how to live a healthy lifestyle and providing them with affordable healthy food options. It is part of a comprehensive wellness and prevention program based out of NBIMC and CHoNJ that began in 2011 with the introduction of The Beth Garden – an indoor farmers market that grew into a working farm located on an empty lot owned by NBIMC.

The Beth Greenhouse

An overhead view of the interior of The Beth Greenhouse, showcasing many of the greens currently growing. The 72 by 26 foot structure will yield approximately 10,000 pounds of food annually.

The Beth Garden produced 5,000 pounds of organic vegetables, fruits and herbs, and gave Newark affordable organic produce, as well as nutrition education though hands-on farming, nutrition analysis, recipes and more. Now, using hydroponics to provide water and nutrients to increase productivity, The Beth Greenhouse, which is next to the medical center, facilitates the growth of food for 12 months per year, increasing food production to 10,000 pounds annually.

“I am so proud of this innovative endeavor,” said Barry H. Ostrowsky, President and Chief Executive Officer for RWJBarnabas Health. “Not only does The Beth Greenhouse provide healthy food, but all important nutrition education. It also helps to create opportunities for job training and employment for members of our community who might not otherwise have the opportunity.”

The Beth Greenhouse

The Beth Greenhouse at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of New Jersey, RWJBarnabas Health facilities located on Lyons Avenue in Newark.

The Beth Greenhouse is part of a three-pronged wellness programs approach at NBIMC and CHoNJ developed by Barbara Mintz, MS, RD, Vice President of Health Living and Community Engagement for RWJBarnabas Health.

The two other programs, KidsFit – which addresses the treatment and prevention of obesity to kids through a school based curriculum that has reached 4,000+ children, parents and teachers – and The Beth Challenge – a successful weight loss and fitness program that has contributed to more than 20,000 pounds lost by all participants and a BMI and/or blood pressure and cholesterol level reduction of at least 70% – combine with the efforts through The Beth Greenhouse to serve as a living, breathing model for improving the health of our population. Luminaries such as Sen. Cory Booker (D- NJ) and First Lady Michelle Obama visited so that they could experience first-hand and recognize the innovative work being done to promote a healthy lifestyle in an urban setting.

“The Beth Greenhouse will offer nutrition education and fresh produce to encourage healthy lifestyle choices and offer opportunities for our community,” said Darrell K. Terry, Sr., MHA, MPH, FACHE, President and Chief Executive Officer for NBIMC and CHoNJ, during his welcoming remarks at the ribbon cutting. “I share in today’s excitement and look forward to the continued growth of The Beth’s wellness programs.”

Mr. Ostrowsky added, “As a health care system, we must be leaders in connecting to our communities in a socially responsible way. The Beth Greenhouse is a powerful and pioneering first step in integrated and holistic population management.”

For more information about The Beth Greenhouse, including volunteer opportunities, health and wellness activities, internships and job training, visit barnabashealth.org/bethgreenhouse or call 973-926-7381.

Contact: Carrie Cristello, ccristello@barnabashealth.org

Categories: Press Releases