Toms River, N.J. – The Center for Women’s Health at Community Medical Center has been awarded a $254,000 grant from The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to support the hospital’s Project Basic Osteoporosis Nutrition Education and Screening (Project B.O.N.E.S.) over the next three years. More than 6,200 women are expected to be served by this program.
The grant, awarded through RWJF’s New Jersey Health Initiatives program, will enable the Center for Women’s Health at Community Medical Center to provide comprehensive osteoporosis education and screening for the community through Project B.O.N.E.S.
Michele Lardieri, division director of Community Health Services at Community Medical Center, said Project B.O.N.E.S. is an osteoporosis prevention program for women throughout Ocean County.
“Thanks to this generous grant, the Center for Women’s Health at Community will offer free educational workshops and osteoporosis screenings at various community locations,” Lardieri said. “Each screening will include appropriate follow up on those whose screening indicates that further evaluation is required. In addition to the extensive screening opportunities, educational offerings, various exercise classes, and on-going support groups will be offered.”
Osteoporosis is a major public health threat for an estimated 44 million Americans. With 19% of total statewide cases, Ocean County has the highest prevalence of osteoporosis in the state. Lardieri points out that in 2003, Community Medical Center saw 1,671 patients with a primary or secondary diagnosis of osteoporosis. Coupled with Ocean County’s large senior population, the Center for Women’s Health at Community Medical Center is an ideal site for this new osteoporosis detection/prevention initiative.
Lardieri said that osteoporosis is a growing problem that needs a coordinated, cohesive approach. “Each Project B.O.N.E.S. element – education, screening and exercise – is essential to meeting this coordinated approach.”
Under the Project B.O.N.E.S. initiative, the Center for Women’s Health will hold three screenings per month coupled with a half-hour lecture called Understanding Osteoporosis. The Center will also offer one screening per month in the community at varying locations, and will conduct an additional 10 screenings per year in coordination with the Arthritis Foundation. Ten sessions of a post-menopausal Tai Chi class will be held annually; a nationally recognized exercise program for those with osteoporosis called Healthy Bones will be presented twice annually; and a new session of Weight Bearing Exercise for Women will be held at the Center’s Lacey site every eight weeks.
Nancy L. Wollen, Executive Director of Community Medical Center, said the hospital is proud to receive this grant, and even more excited to implement Project BO.N.E.S. which will have a long term effect on the overall health status of the community. “Osteoporosis is a debilitating disease that can greatly affect one’s quality of life,” Wollen said. “Project B.O.N.E.S. will help ensure that the women of our community have the opportunity to receive information, education, early detection and treatment options regarding this very serious condition.”
Richard Pallamary, Community Medical Center’s Vice President for Development, added, “We are very grateful to The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for awarding this significant grant to us and appreciate their acknowledgement of our program’s merits.”
Community Medical Center was one of only eight recipients out of a pool of 215 applicants statewide to be awarded a grant in 2004 from the New Jersey Health Initiatives program, which seeks to identify projects that present innovative strategies and collaborations to resolve health care needs in New Jersey communities.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, based in Princeton, New Jersey, is the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to health and health care. It concentrates its grantmaking in four goal areas: to assure that all Americans have access to quality health care at reasonable cost; to improve the quality of care and support for people with chronic health conditions; to promote healthy communities and lifestyles; and to reduce the personal, social and economic harm caused by substance abuse – tobacco, alcohol and illicit drugs.
The Center for Women’s Health at Community Medical Center is the region’s most comprehensive resource for women’s health with sites in Toms River, Lacey and Whiting. The Center provides a complete range of educational, preventive and support services for women of all ages including childbirth education, breast health, fitness, heart health, menopause, nutrition, osteoporosis and stress management. Several women’s-related support groups are offered through the Center.
Project B.O.N.E.S. will be available to any woman in Ocean County, and anyone with questions or seeking more information may call the Center for Women’s Health at (732) 341-1400.
,Date: November 16, 2004