By GABRIELLA DRAGONE
PATERSON, NJ – The Mayors Wellness Campaign has announced eight 2021 “Healthy Town” winners that are addressing food insecurity, supporting COVID-19 testing and vaccinations, and organizing programs to promote physical and mental health throughout their communities.
The Mayors Wellness Campaign (MWC) is a program of the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute in partnership with the New Jersey State League of Municipalities. In addition to the eight Healthy Town Winners, another seven towns were designated as 2021 Healthy Towns to Watch, and seventeen were designated as 2021 Healthy Towns Up-and-Coming.
Each year, communities participating in the MWC complete a comprehensive Healthy Town Application outlining the research they’ve done to identify their community health needs and explaining how they have organized their local MWC committee. The application also highlights the actions the towns have taken to make their communities healthier places to live, work, and play.
The City of Paterson has been growing its MWC program since 2019 and received its second Healthy Town designation this year. In 2021, the city focused on a variety of health and wellness areas including environmental clean-ups, a wide range of fitness classes, lead abatement efforts, and the first annual Green Fair to educate residents about sustainability efforts throughout the city. Mayor André Sayegh has also led the charge on significant COVID-19 testing and vaccination efforts, resulting in well above-average vaccination rates.
“Paterson is on the move and this designation for the second consecutive year proves it,” Sayegh said. “Our vaccination rate is the highest among cities in the state, and we are doing everything within our power to keep our residents safe. Moreover, we are investing heavily in renovating our parks and just completed construction on two inclusive playgrounds to accommodate children with special needs.”
Here’s a listing of the other winners: