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The Work to Build a Culture of Health Continues…

Despite the profound challenges of COVID-19, members of the HealthierJC partner network pivoted to reimagine and reinvent delivery of needed community health services. Throughout the year, blog posts will highlight HealthierJC Mini-Grant winners and share how they have persevered throughout the pandemic. 


Featured Mini-Grantee | CHOICES Mindfulness Training

February 5th, 2021|

Helping Jersey City Students Make Mindful CHOICES The CHOICES Program is an alternative special education program, implemented in the Jersey City Public School system to achieve positive change and outcomes for at-risk students.  The acronym CHOICES stands for Choosing Honor, Opportunity, Integrity, Character, Excellence and Service. It signifies a commitment to help children with behavioral and emotional disabilities acquire self-regulation skills, social skills, and anger management techniques to improve their overall mental health and sense of well-being. The CHOICES academic program: Offers a low student to teacher ratio with a typical maximum of six students per class. Utilizes a behavioral management system (Class Dojo) to monitor classroom behavior. Teaches and reinforces behaviors necessary for a positive classroom setting. Provides 1:1 and group in-classroom counseling by psychologists and social workers. Includes art therapy, music therapy or adapted physical education. Requires daily engagement in movement, relaxation, and Mindfulness activities. Mindfulness is a [...]

Mini-Grantee | Hudson Pride Center

February 5th, 2021|

Addressing LGBTQ+ Health Sensitivity Training Priorities Hudson Pride Center (HPC) is an organization that seeks to be an inclusive home and voice for the diverse LGBTQ+ community in Jersey City – home to the largest Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer/Questioning population in New Jersey. Over the past 25 years, HPC has delivered a wide array of services, programs, and events to address the evolving health and social support needs of LGBTQ+ individuals, peer circles, and families.   Health disparities affecting LGBTQ+ individuals in America most often arise from access-to-care barriers, such as a lack of financial/insurance resources, institutional discrimination, provider lack of knowledge about LGBTQ health needs, and perceived fears of how they might be treated by providers. Determined to address unmet LGBTQ+ health concerns, HPC prioritized constituent reluctance to access healthcare and related social services due to the insensitivity, dismissal, and discrimination they often experienced when interacting with medical [...]

Featured Mini-Grantee | Kismet of Kings

February 4th, 2021|

Nurturing to Achieve Greatness  The word “Kismet” is an Islamic term that refers to something that is “meant to be”.  The Kismet of Kings organization believes in nurturing young men to realize their “meant to be” destiny as responsible family members, distinctive contributors to society, and positive community champions.   Kismet of Kings (KOK) serves black and brown male students ages 11-18 in Jersey City, New Jersey. The program engages this population, many of whom are from low income households, in academic and social learning opportunities. KOK seeks out mentors from diverse professional backgrounds including, but not limited to, individuals involved with the legal system, public service, science and medicine, law enforcement, and the private sector.  Mentor selection is important because it establishes an inner circle these young men can respect, as well as provides diverse professional role models they can aspire to be.  Young men of color in Jersey [...]

Featured Mini-Grantee | Act Now Foundation

January 26th, 2021|

Cognitive Vitality for Jersey City Seniors The Act Now Foundation (ANF) is dedicated to providing Senior Cognitive Vitality Education for a twofold purpose.  First, to maintain and extend cognitive capabilities during later stages of life, and second, to prevent the onset and progression of brain disorders like Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and variant forms of dementia.   Cognitive Vitality Education is focused on a balanced approach to prevent, slow, and possibly reverse mental decline due to aging.  Seniors are introduced to the following lifestyle factors that are proven to have a positive impact on brain health: Continuous Learning Physical Activity Personal Connection Nutrition Sleep Sense of Empowerment   Partnering with HealthierJC to Create a Culture of Cognitive Senior Wellness In June 2019, ANF ben to conduct a series of ten (10) 60-minute group seminars for Jersey City Seniors in all five wards.  ANF worked collaboratively with HealthierJC to reach as many Seniors [...]

Featured Mini-Grantee | Good Grief, Inc

January 20th, 2021|

Supporting Our Jersey City Children in Grief The NY Life Foundation estimates that 1 in 7 Americans will lose a parent or sibling before the age of 25.  And according to Good Grief, this translates to over 280,000 grieving children and adolescents under the age of 18 in the state of New Jersey.  So that no child has to ever grieve alone, Good Grief provides free, innovative, and comprehensive bereavement care through family coaching, peer support, education, and advocacy. Childhood bereavement is an adversity like neglect, abuse, and abandonment.  Grief can have physiological ramifications that lead to toxic stress, which can even change the architectural reconstruction of a child's brain. Social, emotional, and cognitive development can be impaired, resulting in unhealthy behaviors that manifest as obesity, substance abuse, heart disease and diabetes.  Bottomline – an overall decrease in life expectancy. In recent years, HealthierJC increasingly recognized that urban youth coping with trauma had [...]

HealthierJC: A Look Back at the First 100 Days of Covid-19 Response

June 13th, 2020|

Co-authored by Maryanne Kelleher, Director, Partnership for a HealthierJC & Mike McLean, Immigrant Affairs Division Director The Covid-19 pandemic is an historic threat to public health, and Jersey City Health & Human Services has worked tirelessly to defend the most vulnerable and ensure equitable access to services for all. We are forever indebted to the City employees and community partners who sacrificed, saved lives, and worked for a Healthier Jersey City. Let’s take a look back at the first 100 days of response, made possible with strong partnerships and a resilient Jersey City community. Evidenced Commitment to Test and Eliminate Spread In the first 100 days, Jersey City acted quickly to launch its own testing, resulting in more than 31,000 free nasal swab and antibody tests conducted at a variety of sites throughout the city. With seven-days-a-week testing for twelve weeks, HHS staff from the City Clinic, Bureau of Healthy [...]