12/3/2012 - A Healthier Cumberland County




CUMBERLAND COUNTY, NJ – The Cumberland County Health Department continues to work to make Cumberland County Healthier.  A recent federally funded Healthier Communities Grant has given Cumberland County the opportunity to implement initiatives in our community that would improve upon our county’s health status.  Most recently the health department collaborated with Tri-County Head Start to provide every head start classroom in Cumberland County with an Earth Box.  Earth Boxes, along with the curriculum, help kids learn about horticultural, technological, and the importance of nutritious and healthier foods that help fight obesity and other diet-related health conditions.  George Sartorio, Health Officer for the Cumberland County Health Department, visited the child care center in Bridgeton recently to see how the children are progressing with their Earth Boxes.  “This is the age where children really enjoy learning about how things grow and watching seeds they planted themselves growing.  We want to see children engaging in these types of activities and learning how easy it is to grow fruits and vegetables and how healthy they are to eat.”



And we haven’t forgotten the adults!  We’ve been working on some activities for them as well.  With rates for people with chronic diseases increasing, exercise and more nutritious diets are needed in both adults and children.  The Cumberland County Health Department is offering free education material as well as some exercise tools to support our area walking clubs.  Pedometers, water bottle holders, and a few other educational items will help people understand the important aspects of exercise and eating healthier.  For those that want to prevent or improve upon a chronic disease, such as high blood pressure or diabetes, we offer free blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes screenings.  Education on chronic diseases and how to manage your disease is an important part of improving your health.  Our Chronic Disease Self-Management Program is a free program that we offer one day a week for 6 weeks to groups of people that would like to learn more about managing chronic diseases.



Another area important to New Jersey’s health is ensuring workers have a safe, smoke-free workplace and that all nonsmokers, including children and senior citizens, can breathe smoke-free air in public places.  If you own a business in Cumberland County and would like to support the smoke-free initiative, the county health department will provide you with an aluminum smoke-free sign. 


Here is our complete Healthy Communities list of what the Health Department has to offer our residents:



  • Educational material and tools for area walking clubs
  • Chronic Disease Self-Management Program to groups of individuals (minimum 10, maximum of 20)
  • Aluminum smoke-free sign for a privately owned Cumberland County business
  • Health screenings


The Healthy Communities initiative has given the Cumberland County Health Department opportunities to increase their public health capacity in chronic disease, healthy lifestyles and obesity prevention, and tobacco education.  We will continue efforts in preventing and reducing major diseases through chronic disease self-management programs, chronic disease screenings, and collaborations with our partners, local and statewide, to ensure our residents have the tools necessary for improving their health.  Healthy residents make for a healthy community!  If you would like more information about our initiatives or would like to request something from our Healthy Communities List, please contact Megan Sheppard at the Cumberland County Health Department by calling: (856) 327-7602 ext.7109.