Mayor’s Wellness, a Campaign for a Healthier South Plainfield
Thursday, May 15, 2014 • 12:00am
SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - As Mayor of South Plainfield there are many situations that come about that may not grab headlines or much fanfare, but I find to be tremendously rewarding. One of these items is the Mayor’s Wellness Campaign.
When I was sworn into office in 2010, South Plainfield was registered with the State Mayor’s Wellness Campaign, but little in the way of action had ever been initiated. In the fall of 2011, I initiated the Borough’s first ever Mayor’s Wellness Fair. The objective was to promote healthy living for residents of all ages and to provide various health related screenings. The response from South Plainfield was great.
The Mayor’s Wellness Campaign has embarked on a number of health initiatives such as “Caught on a Walk” and the Biggest Loser, but so many other valuable initiatives have come-about from the Mayor’s Wellness Campaign.
In December 2013, I met with South Plainfield resident, Dawn Giakas, to discuss some of the Mayor’s Wellness initiatives. Ms. Giakas is an executive with JFK Health Systems Hartwyck Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. Ms. Giakas suggested we could do a Spring health fair that JFK would sponsor and they would provide a number of healthy initiatives to the residents and employees of the Borough.
As everyone knows, we had a tremendous first ever Spring Mayor’s Health Fair. It was a great event for everyone that was involved; and mother-nature even cooperated by providing good weather.
In addition to this, JFK has been able to provide a number of tremendous initiatives that may seem to go unnoticed, but for which I am grateful. Every other Tuesday JFK personnel from the Hartwyck and Cedarbrook facilities provide free blood pressure screenings at our Senior Citizens’ Center. The screenings are very popular and heavily utilized by our seniors. JFK has also begun doing some healthy initiatives for Borough employees.
Making South Plainfield a place for healthier lifestyles and living was not part of any platform when I ran for Mayor. Four years later, with the help of numerous residents, businesses and volunteers I am proud to say healthier living has become an important issue and lifestyle for many South Plainfielders.