Starting with Mother's Day on the 12th, the New Jersey Department of Health is recognizing National Women's Health Week. The Department will participate in a number of events to honor women's health advocates and recognize female caregivers.

"It is important that we encourage women to make their health a priority and take steps to live longer, healthier lives," said Health Commissioner Mary E. O'Dowd. "Whether it's eating healthier foods, finding time to exercise or getting that overdue medical checkup, making small changes now can reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, depression and other health problems later."

Thursday, May 16: Commissioner O'Dowd will deliver opening remarks at the New Jersey Primary Care Association Women's Health Advocates Recognition Brunch honoring women who have made a significant contribution to women's health care. O'Dowd will also highlight recovery resources available to women and families that were impacted by Sandy.

Friday, May 17: The Department will hold its Ninth Annual Women's Caregiver Retreat at the Robert Wood Johnson Hamilton Center for Health and Wellness in Hamilton. The retreat will feature speakers, health screenings and workshops on fitness, healthy cooking and stress reduction.

Communities, businesses, government, health organizations and other groups are observing National Women's Health Week by educating women about the steps they can take to improve their health and lower their risk of diseases such as heart disease, cancer, stroke, osteoporosis and depression. These include exercising regularly, eating a nutritious diet, getting regular medical checkups and preventive screenings.