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Healthy Town Designations Also Awarded to Highland Park, Hanover Township and Beachwood

PRINCETON, New Jersey — The New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute today announced that Stone Harbor has been named the 2016 New Jersey Healthy Town by the Mayors Wellness Campaign (MWC), a program of the Quality Institute, in partnership with the New Jersey State League of Municipalities. The award will be presented to township leaders with a commemorative sign in February.

Two other towns, Highland Park and Hanover Township, have been named Healthy Towns to Watch.

A new award, the MWC Continued Excellence Award, goes to Beachwood.

The MWC began in 2006 in partnership with the New Jersey State League of Municipalities to leverage local leadership to prioritize health and wellness in communities statewide. Today, the MWC has grown to over 380 municipalities – two-thirds of the state’s 565 municipalities.

This is the 10th consecutive year the MWC Healthy Town designation has recognized mayors and communities for promoting health and wellness activities conducted in the past calendar year. The Healthy Town designation recognizes mayors and communities that have worked creatively to engage residents in health and wellness activities that improve community health for youth, seniors, employees, and the overall community.

Linda Schwimmer, President and CEO of the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute, congratulated the winners.

“So many of our towns are marshaling their resources to improve the health of their residents —from organized community walks to yoga on the beach to healthy farmer’s markets,” Schwimmer said. “We know the strong leadership of our mayors can help build healthier communities and engage residents to lead healthier lives.”

Stone Harbor, 2016 Healthy Town Winner

From left to right: Miranda Duca, Mayor Judy Davies-Dunhour, Mayor Emeritus Suzanne Walters, Janan Dave (New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute), and Robin Stolaff.

Stone Harbor received the top award for a variety of activities, including:

  • Weekly Walks – A weekly, low-impact walk around different locations in Stone Harbor explores various routes on the island, including the Stone Harbor Bird Sanctuary.
  • Free Fitness Center Passes – Six free passes were given to MWC participants to help them get comfortable with gym equipment and to receive a free nutritional consultation.
  • Healthy Restaurants – Local restaurants participated in the MWC by offering healthy menu specials weekly, and by listing nutritional content and calorie counts.

Stone Harbor Mayor Judy Davies-Dunhour began working with the MWC when she was a councilperson and chaired the Beach, Recreation and Tourism Committee. “That committee, along with our recreation director, Miranda Duca, brought forward many innovative ideas and really connected with the employees and the community. I am so proud now as Mayor to accept this honor on behalf of Miranda, Borough Council and the rest of Stone Harbor. May we all continue to take steps toward a healthy lifestyle,” she said.

Hanover Township, Healthy Town to Watch

Fitness instructor Stephanie Addeo (front row left) brings the Hanover Township Recreation Department Total Body Workout Class to Central Park to check out the Township’s new “Fitness Circuit at Central Park.” Mayor Ron Francioli (seated) demonstrates how to use the equipment. Also on hand are Stephanie Addeo, Jen Cowhig, Mayor Ron Francioli, Denise Brennan, Superintendent of Recreation and Parks Administration, Diane Hertzig, Health Department Registrar. Back row: Julie Mehta, Julie Amitrano, Bob Brueno, Recreation Director, Cindy Schleifer, Senior Fitness Instructor, Brian Foran, Superintendent of the Department of Public Works, and Brian Pillion, Recreation Foreman

Hanover Township was named a Healthy Town to Watch because of its creative programs. “Hanover is proud to have been selected as the ‘Healthy Town to Watch’ and we are energizing our community with wellness programs of nutrition and exercise. Thanks to all who helped make this possible,” said Mayor Ron Francioli. Hanover Township’s programming includes:

  • Discover Hanover Walks – A series of monthly walks led by residents who explore different neighborhoods on a three-mile walk. A different neighborhood is featured each month.
  • Kids Tri Harder Triathlon – A ‘triathlon’ open to children ages four – 12 who swim, bike, and run their way to increased physical activity.

Highland Park, Healthy Town to Watch

A yoga class is held with Highland Park residents

Mayor Gayle Brill Mittler and the community have developed innovative ways to promote health and wellness. “Incorporating healthy lifestyle into the everyday life of our residents and employees has been part of our overall mission. Healthy lives leads to healthy minds and creativity,” Brill Mittler said. The town’s programs include:

  • Stretch with the Mayor – A yoga-inspired class at a local fitness center, and an opportunity for residents to speak with the mayor in an informal atmosphere.
  • Heart Healthy Cooking – A local celebrity such as a Freeholder or member of Congress hosts a healthy cooking show at a restaurant in a demonstration that is also broadcast on HPTV. Highland Park was designated as the first HeartSafe municipality in New Jersey in 2016 for promoting survival from sudden out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.

Beachwood, MWC Continued Excellence Award, Winner

Beachwood residents go on a walk and talk with Mayor Roma

Beachwood has a long commitment to creating innovative ways to engage the community in health and wellness programming. “I’m flattered and excited that the Beachwood Mayors Wellness Campaign is again receiving recognition and praise for the many healthy program and activities we offer our community. It takes a lot of commitment and dedication from the staff and volunteers involved to make our programs fun, exciting and successful. But most of all it takes community participation. People willing to come out and have a good time and socialize with their fellow townspeople while learning how to be healthy and fit. So, I tip my hat to the residents of Beachwood who participate in our programs. They are the reason we are so successful,” said Mayor Ronald Roma.

The community was a Healthy Town to Watch in 2014 and a Healthy Town winner in 2015 for activities such as:

  • Kids Healthy Cooking Workshop – A healthy cooking workshop supported by local dieticians, where kids are taught how to prepare healthy foods.
  • Beach Yoga – A yoga program in partnership with Beachwood Recreation on Beachwood Beach. The popularity of this program led to the creation of Full Moon Yoga on Beachwood Beach once each month.
  • Senior Health Ease – A non-aerobic exercise class for seniors designed to improve flexibility, balance, and stamina. The program is free at the Beachwood Community Center and hosted by the Beachwood Municipal Alliance.

For more information on the MWC visit: or contact Deborah Levine at


About the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute

The New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute is the only independent, nonpartisan, multi-stakeholder advocate for health care quality in New Jersey. The Quality Institute’s mission is to undertake projects and promote system changes that ensure that quality, safety, accountability and cost-containment are closely linked to the delivery of health care services in New Jersey.

About the Mayors Wellness Campaign

The Mayors Wellness Campaign is a program of the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute in partnership with the New Jersey State League of Municipalities. The program empowers mayors across NJ with tools, strategies, and support to champion health and wellness in their communities.