Building a Culture of Health: Communities Move into Action

Steve Adubato talks with four community leaders about how their organizations are working with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s New Jersey Health Initiatives to tackle the health challenges in their unique communities.

10/7/17 #3025






"Welcome to Caucus, I'm Steve Adubato. New Jersey towns and cities are working really hard to break down barriers to good health in lasting ways. Here in the studio to discuss how some communities are tackling these health challenges, we are joined by Alane McCahey, Senior Director of Initiatives at the Gateway Family YMCA in beautiful Elizabeth, New Jersey, Doctor Monique Griffith, who is Director of Irvington Health Department and Senior Services, Bob Atkins, Director of New Jersey Health Initiatives at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and finally, Rachel Bland, Director of the Orange... excuse me, the Healthy Orange Coalition for the Orange public schools. I apologize for that. We're gonna be seeing a website up throughout this program that talks about important health initiatives. And Bob, let me ask you, what in fact is a culture of a health from your point of view? And then we'll talk a little bit more about what the foundation's doing. Yeah. Well, a culture of health is really this idea right now, it's this idea of how we take this health conversation, which typically occurs, you know, traditionally downstream, right? Between our patients and providers, and our healthcare systems, addressing issues like asthma or diabetes. Childhood obesity? Childhood obesity, all these things that are kind of already kind of fixed. They've happened. Hmm. And taking this conversation and moving it upstream to where we work, play, live, and learn, and then really engaging new sectors, new voices, making health a shared value. And so it's something that's very exciting, it's very new, but it's really a different conversation we're having. Also, to make things clear, everyone here, if I'm not mistaken, is a grantee of the foundation? Yeah. We are, in fact, a grantee as we disclosed up front in the introduction of the foundation's efforts to support programming that supports public health. Let me ask you doctor, the Irvington Health Coalition does what? Talk about it. The Health Coalition really worked to bring together a lot of the stakeholders within the community to improve the quality of life within the township as a whole. Some of the challenge... the health challenges facing a community like Irvington would be? Many that you mentioned. We see high rates of diabetes, childhood obesity, hypertension, heart disease, and so we came together because we want to address that. And a lot of times there are health disparities and disparities that we're noticing within Irvington. And working to develop programs and strategies to address each one of those within the township. Is Orange much different? Or do they have some of the same challenges? They are very much the same challenges. What is one of the opportunities and..."