Published in the Cape May County Herald
STONE HARBOR – The New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute announced yesterday that Stone Harbor has been named the 2016 New Jersey Healthy Town by the Mayors Wellness Campaign (MWC), a program of the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute (NJHCQI) in partnership with the New Jersey State League of Municipalities. The award will be presented to Mayor Judy Davies-Dunhour and Borough Council with a commemorative sign at the Feb. 21, 2017 Council meeting at 4:30 p.m.
The MWC began in 2006 to leverage local leadership to prioritize health and wellness in communities statewide. Their mission is to equip mayors and other key leaders with the tools to develop and implement active-living initiatives in their communities with the ultimate goal of improving health and reducing the skyrocketing health care costs that come with the obesity problems in New Jersey. Today, the MWC has grown to over 380 municipalities – two-thirds of the state’s 565 municipalities are participating in the campaign.
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.
The Borough of Stone Harbor developed a free 10-week wellness program in 2015 and 2016 to guide their community towards becoming a healthier, more active town, especially during the bleak winter months. With the help of their partners at Cape Regional Health System, Stone Harbor was not only able to educate their community on topics such as nutrition, stress management, early cancer detection, and holistic methods to healing, but provided multiple free health screenings.
In addition to the weekly educational lectures, Stone Harbor also received the top award for a variety of activities, including:
• Weekly Walks – A weekly, low-impact walk around different locations in Stone Harbor exploring various routes on the island, including the Stone Harbor Bird Sanctuary and Chelsea Place Park.
• Free Fitness Center Passes – Six free passes to Island Aerobics, Miracles Fitness, Muscle World Fitness Center, Shape Fitness and Wellness Studios, Stone Harbor Yoga, and Surfside Fitness, were given to MWC participants to help them get comfortable with gym equipment or try group fitness classes.
• Healthy Restaurants – Local restaurants such as Fred’s Tavern, Sax at the Reeds, and the Yacht Club of Stone Harbor participated in the MWC by offering healthy menu specials weekly, and by listing nutritional content and calorie counts.
• Social Activities – To appeal to all aspects that make us “well”, MWC hosted a Comedy Night, Paint Night, Cooking Lite Demonstrations, Line Dancing, and Shuffleboard Socials
“The Stone Harbor Mayors Wellness Campaign formed a true community connection,” said Miranda Duca, Director of Recreation for the Borough of Stone Harbor. “It was remarkable to see the impact the campaign made in our town… from the generous time and resources our local partners invested, to witnessing the transformation in our community’s well-being and overall awareness of Stone Harbor offerings in the shoulder season. We’re grateful to the NJHCQI for recognizing our efforts. It validates and inspires us to keep healthy and active in the years to come.”