Leading Communities to a Better State of Health

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Hosted by New Jersey Health Initiatives (NJHI), in partnership with Lead New Jersey (Lead NJ) and coordinated by the New Jersey Prevention Network.

General Information

Wednesday, October 21, 2015
9:00 am to 4:00 pm
Conference Center at Mercer County Community College

Conference Agenda

9:00 am – 9:30 am         Registration
9:30 am – 10:00 am      Opening Remarks
10:00 am – 10:45 am    Keynote Presentation
11:00 am – 12:00 pm    Workshop Session 1
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm      Lunch
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm        Workshop Session 2
2:00 pm – 2:15 pm        Break
2:15 pm – 3:15 pm        Workshop Session 3
3:30 pm – 4:00 pm       Closing Conversation

Keynote Presentation

Buncombe County, North Carolina, a 2014 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Prize-Winning Community will talk about their journey from gathering the key players in their community to address health needs to being awarded the RWJF Culture of Health Prize to how their work continues today.

Workshop Sessions

Building Healthy Urban Communities through Parks & Green Infrastructure
Anthony Cucchi | The Trust for Public Land

Like many of New Jersey’s historic cities, the City of Camden is faced with the dual challenges of a dilapidated park system and environmental problems due to an outdated sewer system, which results in frequent flooding and unsafe conditions for residents after storms.   Working with a variety of local partners, The Trust for Public Land (TPL) and the Camden County Municipal Utilities  Authority (CCMUA) see the potential for addressing both problems through the creation of new parks, playgrounds, and other community spaces.  By incorporating ‘green infrastructure’ into community-designed parks and involving a broad spectrum of stakeholders in the process of designing, programming, and maintaining these new public spaces,  these projects have the potential to not only meet stormwater management goals, but also create healthier neighborhoods.  TPL, CCMUA and other panelists will discuss their plans and highlight  tools that can be applied in other New Jersey cities to  Build Healthy Urban Communities through Parks and Green Infrastructure.

Crime & Punishment: Justice Working for Healthy Communities
Mark Murphy | Lead New Jersey

See how innovative communities and courts are keeping neighborhoods safe while treating underlying causes.

Home Sweet Home: Housing is Healthcare
Richard Brown | Monarch Housing Associates

Panelists from local, county, and state-wide housing organizations will explore the importance of safe, affordable, permanent housing for building and maintaining health. Panelists will also present information about the opportunities and threats communities face in cultivating and maintaining such housing resources, as well as effective strategies from Mercer County’s effective coalition work to reduce and prevent homelessness. Participants will have the chance to consider how to apply these lessons in their communities, and engage in question and answer with the panelists.

The Civic Trust: A Civic-Driven Model in Collaborative Problem Solving
Jorge Cruz | The Citizens Campaign

The Civic Trust model is emerging as an evidence-based framework that has statewide, regional and even national implications….a framework that has the potential to have a longstanding impact in fixing a very broken political and civic system – more directly, a framework for game-changers and a growing community of ‘civic innovators’. What the Citizens Campaign began as individual tools to empower ordinary citizens has, after significant field testing, matured and developed into a robust offering of legal and political training, expert coaching, and a variety of power tools that empower leadership-ready citizens to work together as “Civic Trustees” to improve their cities. Local leaders come together to issue and articulate their individual “Civic Pledges” to work within a collective construct as Civic Trustees that we now identify as “Civic Trusts”. Operating as localized mechanisms, Civic Trusts are comprised of “leadership-ready” citizens working together in an array of evidence-based problem solving and ‘no-blame policy’ implementation.

The workshop offers a summary of the essential core values associated with the Civic Trust model. In addition, with active Trenton Civic Trustees as co-presenters, we will present two Trenton-based case studies that describe the effective application of the Civic Trust model and its connection to public health. More specifically, the Trenton Civic Trustees: (1) working with the Trenton Planning Board to initiate a community-driven storm and flood protection planning process along with broader “green/grey” infrastructure strategies; and (2) working with the City administration to form an Urban Auxiliary Police Unit within the Trenton Police Department that will concurrently improve police presence while improving police/community relations.

Schools as Wellness Partners: What Works, What Doesn’t, and Why
Abby Attias | Center for Supportive Schools

What better location for supporting community health than in schools, where students’ ability to learn is directly correlated with their physical, social, and emotional health? Yet to community organizations with high aspirations and wellness gifts to offer, schools can sometimes seem like fortresses, so well-defended as to make entry a massive challenge. In this session, we will hear from Center for Supportive Schools and several school leaders with whom they work closely, with a focus on the hard questions: how do schools think about wellness? How do schools perceive community partners? What gets in the way of partnerships between schools and community organizations? What expedites those partnerships?

Pathway to their Future: Addressing Adverse Childhood Experiences
Dan Rhoton | Hopeworks N Camden

Working in constant exposure to trauma changes both people and organizations. However, bringing a trauma informed perspective to that environment can change both the narrative and the outcome. Using the power of story and real life program outcomes, this workshop showcases how this happens in a real life, community-based environment.

Local Barriers to Statewide Change
Crystal McDonald | Faith in New Jersey

Building a culture of health requires a strong commitment to utilizing the strengths of a diverse set of stakeholders and motivating partners to act as a team. Patients and community are uniquely suited to identifying barriers to health that may not be obvious to others. Combining patient testimonies, stakeholder experiences, policy research, data and political insight make for a very powerful team. This workshop will use the non-emergency medical transportation project as a case study to examine: the vital role of community leaders, scaling up from local health barriers to statewide policy change, and how to appeal to an organization’s campaign and issue focuses.

Registration (Closed)


We’re sorry but registration is closed for this conference, as we’ve reached max capacity.