NEWARK, New Jersey, June 26, 2012— Newark Beth Israel Medical Center (NBIMC) and Children’s Hospital of New Jersey (CHoNJ), has been chosen as one of five hospitals nationwide to receive the NOVA Award from the American Hospital Association. The Award will be presented at the Health Forum/AHA Leadership Summit in San Francisco next month.
NBIMC and CHoNJ is being honored for their program, “The Beth Embraces Wellness: An Integrated Approach to Prevention in the Community.” The medical center has three major award winning wellness programs: Kids Fit, The Beth Challenge and The Beth Garden.”
“Innovation and the integration of wellness into your daily routine is the best prescription for a healthy life,” said John A. Brennan, MD, MPH, President and Chief Executive Officer of Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of New Jersey. “Each of our award winning programs provides a different aspect of healthy living, and together they represent a prescription for a better quality of life for children, teens and adults.”
Dr. Brennan said the goal of the three programs is to have a positive impact on the community at every level; from grammar school children challenged by obesity and to creating healthy behaviors at a young age (Kids Fit), to adults looking to focus on nutrition and exercise in their daily routine (The Beth Challenge) and finally, to the entire community of Newark and the state of New Jersey through the provision of fresh organic produce available right in the neighborhood (The Beth Garden).
“The impact of the three programs has changed lives,” according to Barbara Mintz, Assistant Vice President of Wellness at NBIMC and CHoNJ and program developer. There are endless stories of hope and triumph in Kids Fit and The Beth Challenge.” A 12 and 11 year old sister and brother joined “Kids Fit” to lose weight and improve their overall health. They lost 25 and 21 pounds, respectively, improving their health and building self-esteem and confidence – they both became peer mentors and helped motivate and support other children in the group challenged by obesity. The young boy began playing basketball and the young girl became a cheerleader as a result of their weight loss. Selina Holmes from Clear View Baptist Church had attempted many times in the past to lose weight. She could not walk up a flight of stairs without becoming out of breath. She, like others in her church, prayed for weight loss and better health. When offered the invitation to join her church members in a weight loss competition, she accepted and began a journey to wellness in The Beth (Church) Challenge and led her church in a competition with six other churches, resulting in an overall church weight loss of nearly 2,000 pounds in just 12 weeks.
These stories are told over and over again by participants in Newark Beth Israel Medical Center’s award winning programs, Kids Fit, The Beth Challenge and The Beth Garden.
Kids Fit is provided to 1,500 children and their families at Maple Avenue School and George Washington School (including the Bruce Street School for deaf children) located across the street from Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of New Jersey. The programs learning objectives were created by and are being taught by registered dietitians from the medical center and are incorporated into the physical education, math and science curricula of these schools to meet the needs of children from Pre -K to 8th grade. As a result of the program, many positive outcomes have been realized indicating improvement in lifestyle behaviors. Two examples include: 74% of students eat breakfast (an increase of 12%); there is a decrease in soda consumption from 27 to 12% and sugary snack consumption. Additional outcomes not measured in numbers but in anecdotal remarks have shown that parents and teachers have also changed their lifestyles as a result of the program. A parent whose child participated in the 10 week program reports losing 20 pounds through his child’s lesson plans and homework assignments. Thirty deaf children grades Pre-K through 8th from the Bruce Street School are included in the program and through the help of an interpreter, are being taught the benefits of healthy food and exercise by an NBIMC.
The Beth Challenge
This program is a community participatory weight-loss program. More than 15,000 pounds have been lost by hospital employees and community residents, including 2,000 pounds by members of six churches located in a 5 block radius of the hospital. In addition, elected officials including Newark Mayor Cory Booker and Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo lost 2,200 pounds combined. Employees of NBIMC and CHoNJ have lost nearly 9,000 pounds since the program began in 2009. Thousands of people are registered in The Beth Challenge and continue to use it as a way of life.
The Beth Garden
The medical center has partnered with Garden State Urban Farms to increase residents’ access to healthy foods in Newark’s South Ward. The Garden, located across the street from the medical center, provides staff and area residents with affordable organic vegetables, fruits and herbs along with nutrition education. The garden is cared for by volunteers and the formerly incarcerated who also receive job training. State and local elected officials have visited the garden and school children from Maple Avenue School participate in lessons on nutrition at the garden. The Garden has also become a “hub” for the diverse community of Newark where many cultures can learn from each other through a robust recipe exchange and story telling. The garden provides access to healthy food for at-risk pregnant mothers and children as well as Senior citizens through W.I.C and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program vouchers.
Ms. Mintz said, “We have the opportunity and challenge to change lives by changing behavior, for children and adults. Our vision and passion is to keep our community healthy through access to wellness and lifestyle education as well as healthy food through programs that engage people of all ages.”
Dr. Brennan said, “What started as an exercise program for employees has become a way of life and a corporate culture not only for Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of New Jersey, but also for the entire Barnabas Health System.”
The Biggest Loser visited NBIMC and CHoNJ on two occasions over the last year, including conducting an East Coast Casting Call and First Lady Michele Obama visited the Maple Avenue School as part of her Let’s Move Campaign.
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.com
Children’s Hospital of New Jersey
Children's Hospital of New Jersey, located at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and part of Barnabas Health, 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.
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Date: June 26, 2012
Contact: Tracy Munford
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