MENNA CHALLENGES RED BANK TO GET FIT

Mayor Menna’s Wellness Challenge kicked off Tuesday with free screenings in the municipal courtroom. (Photo by Danielle Tepper. Click to enlarge)

By DANIELLE TEPPER

As part of a statewide campaign to promote healthier lifestyles, Mayor Pasquale Menna is getting Red Bank involved in an ongoing project to keep his administration and borough residents fit and feelin’ good.

The Mayor’s Wellness Campaign, an initiative of the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute, is partnered with the New Jersey State League of Municipalities. It works to “equip mayors 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 problem in New Jersey,” according to the website.

Red Bank’s Mayor’s Wellness Committee, spearheaded by Councilman Mike DuPont, is comprised of borough officials as well as residents and representatives of the business community. It was brought together with the goal of spreading the mission of “Creating a Healthier Community – Today, Tomorrow, Together.”

The campaign website states a staggering statistic: 57 percent of New Jersey residents are obese or overweight. While municipal clerk Pamela Borghi said the program is not weight-loss focused, improving eating habits and exercising regularly in order to improve overall body health will likely achieve that effect.

To kick off the four-month long employee portion of the challenge, Riverview Medical Center, Meridian Health, and the Community YMCA all participated in a day of free tests and screenings available to borough employees. Anyone could come in and consult with a registered nurse and “learn their numbers.” Screenings included blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose, body mass index (BMI), pulse, and stroke risk assessment. No appointment was necessary and participants received free T-shirts.

“The overall platform is a citizen and business partnership all working toward a common goal – to be considered a healthy town,” said Borghi.

Menna, DuPont and Councilman Art Murphy stopped by to demonstrate the health evaluations that everyone should utilize every once in a while to be attuned to their body’s needs. A total of 46 people had stopped by before the final hour.

Future events include a one-mile walk led by the Mayor on Saturday, October 20. For information on the committee or how to get involved, please contact committee member and administrative secretary Doreen Hoffmann at 732-530-2748.