September 26, 2016
The Somerset County Board of Freeholders has named October “Healthier Somerset Month” in Somerset County. This month we invite all who live or work in Somerset County to join us as we raise awareness of good health practices.
Healthier Somerset is open to all because a healthy community produces benefits for everyone. Individuals improve their lives and wellbeing with good health habits. Employers save on healthcare costs and absenteeism while benefiting from improved productivity and performance. Communities enjoy enhanced economic benefits from the desirability of a location where people want to live and work.
Healthier Somerset is unique in that it is the only organization in Somerset County where everyone who has an interest in health convenes. The coalition is comprised not only of organizations whose primary focus is health, such as nonprofit healthcare organizations, public health officials, and healthcare providers, but also businesses, schools, government, and faith-based organizations.
The organization has grown since its founding in 2010 because our partners see the value of collaboration and networking. One of the greatest benefits is connecting our partners with others who are often working toward the same goals but would not otherwise meet in a common space to share information and ideas.
Healthier Somerset is also unique among health coalitions in that our agenda links public policy and economic development to health. For Somerset County, good health is also good business.
We have a rich legacy as home to many global pharmaceutical companies, and we remain a strong presence in New Jersey with a growing concentration of health research, biotech, and small pharma organizations. Our economic future is based on health and wellness.
Our government partners understand that health outcomes are part of every aspect of decision making in our municipalities and in the county. Our shared goal is to become the healthiest county in New Jersey, and our elected officials and our administrators incorporate this goal across departments.
Somerset County’s health goals are documented in the 2016-2019 Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP). The CHIP is the most comprehensive report available on the health of our county, and it lays out a three-year, county-wide commitment to Somerset County’s health improvement priorities: mental health and substance abuse; obesity; chronic care; and access to healthcare.
“Healthier Somerset Month” will be marked by a focus on our partners and the work they are doing, with special health and wellness events throughout October.
Two major events are the Somerset County Business Partnership’s Second Annual Workplace Health & Wellness Exposition on Thursday, Oct. 13, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. 270 Davidson Ave., Somerset, section of Franklin, and the Healthier Somerset Employer Wellness Breakfast on Monday, Oct. 24, 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the AVE Somerset, 199 Pierce Street, Somerset section of Franklin.
More information about these events, and about Healthier Somerset, can be found on the website at www.healthiersomerset.org. We invite you to celebrate “Healthier Somerset Month” by joining our mission to become the healthiest county in New Jersey.
Rebecca Perkins is the project manager for Healthier Somerset.