The Mayor Wellness Campaign, a program of the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute, in partnership with the New Jersey State League of Municipalities, has named eight New Jersey locations “2020 New Jersey Healthy Towns.”

According the MWC, these towns were picked for their innovative responses to local needs created by the COVID-19 pandemic, including things like addressing food insecurity, helping keep residents physically and mentally active and supporting COVID-19 testing facilities.

The eight winners are:

  • Asbury Park
  • Evesham Township
  • Montclair
  • Paterson
  • Plainfield
  • Scotch Plains
  • Wildwood Crest
  • Woodbridge

In addition, the following municipalities were name “Healthy Towns to Watch:”

  • Bayhead
  • Freehold Borough
  • Denville
  • Franklin Lakes
  • Hillsborough
  • Jefferson Township
  • Jersey City
  • Norwood Township
  • Vernon Township.

Finally, the MWC designated the following towns “Healthy Towns Up and Coming:”

  • Highlands Borough
  • Lawrence Township
  • Morristown
  • Princeton
  • Willingboro.

To participate, communities 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 they’ve taken to make their communities healthier places to live, work, and play. Some of the common programs cities undertook include community pantries, transportation to doctors’ appointments, health screenings, and successfully shifting community programs to the virtual space in the face of a pandemic.

The mission of the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute is improving the safety, quality, and affordability of health care for everyone. For more information, check out their website.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.

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