Free eye exams for children and baby food distribution at Newark Health Fest


NEWARK, New Jersey— The following press release is courtesy of a member of the Patch community. Learn how to post announcements or events to your local Patch site.

CareSparc Community Connections’ Sustainable Health and Wellness Village Festival (SHWV) in partnership with New Jersey Give a Kid A Dream – presents New Jersey’s only comprehensive health and wellness festival offering free eye exams and glasses for kids, organic baby food, health screenings, talks with doctors, healthy food resources, maternal and child health, wellness workshops and more.

The SHWV will be held at three locations from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. statewide, starting in Newark from Friday, September 23 through Sunday, September 25. The Newark event will be held at Branch Brook Park-Prudential Center Grove and will be followed by Festival SHWV in New Brunswick at Boyd Park on Friday and Saturday from September 30 to October 1, and in Atlantic City at the Showboat Hotel on Friday and Saturday from October 14 to 15. The Sustainable Health and Wellness Village is New Jersey’s only health and wellness festival held in three of the state’s major cities with a predominantly black and brown population. Johnson & Johnson, founded and based in New Brunswick, NJ, serves as presenting sponsor.

In Newark, the Friday program will accommodate approximately 250 seniors, the Saturday program will focus on children and families, and the Sunday program will focus on the faith community.

“At-risk populations need access to quality health care and community resources to lead healthier lifestyles,” said Keith Da Costa, co-founder and executive director of CareSparc Community Connections, which created the model. Sustainable Health and Wellness Village, informed by the CDC Social Determinants of Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Framework for Health Culture. “Our three-city health and wellness tour features a festival atmosphere, live entertainment, family-friendly activities, community resources to engage local residents; especially families, seniors and veterans who want to take an active role in improving the health and well-being of their families. We have conducted considerable research that has informed us of the tremendous need for access to health, welfare, and social service agencies, especially in our state’s largest cities. CareSparc Community Connections with its SHWV festival provides a roadmap to improving health outcomes – I hope you’ll join us.

This year, the SWHV will replicate the 2021 festival and feature doctors, nurses, health and public health personnel from numerous health care facilities, federally funded community health centers (FQHC), health agencies county departments and local health departments.

In 2014, the SHWV Festival was launched as the health and wellness component of the Lincoln Park Music Festival. CareSparc Community Connections has taken best practices from the Newark SHWV and expanded it to a statewide village.

“We welcome the CareSparc Community Connections Village Festival of Sustainable Health and Wellness to Newark and thank its partners for the essential health and vision services they will provide to our families,” said the Mayor of Newark. , Ras J. Baraka. “This health fair aims to provide our residents with free health checkups and educate them and their families about leading healthy lives and resolving any issues early on.”

DaCosta added that the Covid-19 pandemic has sparked a national conversation about the stark health disparities that exist in communities of color. He added, “As we examine the legacy of COVID, now is the time to address health justice and social equity in this state and this nation. The SHWV Festival is one of many strategies to address historic inequities in communities of color by providing health education, clinical screenings and community resources to ensure local residents understand and access clinical, social and economical to create and maintain a healthy lifestyle. ”

“Thank you to CareSparc Community Connections for inviting me to serve as their statewide ambassador for their 2022 Sustainable Health and Wellness Festival,” said LeRoy J. Jones, Democratic Party Chairman of the New Jersey. “I am honored to serve and look forward to carrying the torch of health and wellness in the three communities where the festival will be held and in the communities of New Jersey. Wellness is a cornerstone of my life, and I encourage others to attend the festival in Newark, New Brunswick, and Atlantic City, as well as other events that promote a culture of wellness. daily.

Representatives from the following hospitals and healthcare organizations will participate in the village, beginning with Newark: Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences,) University Hospital, St. Michael’s Medical Center, Clara Maass Medical Center and Silverlake Hospital. Screenings will also include a free eye exam+, HIV test, COVID-19 and blood pressure.

Susan Cleary, President of Local 1199J, who is also an ambassador for the 2022 SHWV Festival Tour across the state, said, “I have seen firsthand the devastating physical and emotional effects that COVID has had on the members I have the privilege of representing. The sacrifices they have must never be forgotten. We must continue to fight for safe working conditions and quality, accessible health care for essential workers and the communities they serve.

The following local leaders are also ambassadors for the Newark Sustainable Health and Wellness Festival 2022:

  1. Newark City Councilman Luis Quintana
  2. Anibal Ramos Jr, Newark North Ward Councilman
  3. Dr. Alan Sickles, President and CEO, St. Michaels Medical Center
  4. Dr. Maria Soto-Greene, Associate Executive Dean, Rutgers NJ Medical School

In addition to medical services, workshops and programs, there will be several programs for children and families, including the distribution of organic baby food from Kekoa Foods, 500 vouchers for the farmers market and 500 free meals for the elderly of the Essex County Division of Aged Services. and the Newark Department of Recreation, Cultural Affairs and Senior Services, fitness workshops and thousands of dollars in prizes and giveaways.

Since the inception of the Sustainable Health and Wellness Village (SHWV) model, it has served over 38,000 local community residents and has secured financial support from several major healthcare organizations and corporations.

In addition to the SHWV, CareSparc also created the COVID-19 Emergency Food Distribution Effort (CERFDE) in partnership with Table to Table and many community partners. It was one of the first door-to-door food delivery programs at the start of the pandemic. Each week, the program served the same 2,000 people for more than fifteen months, packing and delivering more than 1.4 million pounds of healthy food through a network of volunteers. CERFDE was visited and praised by First Lady Tammy Murphy and other city and state officials addressing food insecurity as a best practice food distribution program and network.

The 2022 sponsors are listed:

  • Johnson and Johnson – Presenting Sponsor
  • Casino Reinvestment Development Authority
  • Showboat Hotel
  • Health Horizon NJ
  • American group
  • United Healthcare
  • Local 1199J
  • NJ State Department of Health

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