Healthier Somerset’s Bound Brooks Initiative (BBI) seeks to make Bound Brook and South Bound Brook healthy communities. To engage the communities and gather resident input, the BBI Leadership team — American Lung Association of New Jersey; Family and Community Health Sciences of Rutgers Cooperative Extension; Middle-Brook Regional Health Commission; Middle Earth; and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset — implemented numerous strategies.
The team developed a flyer on the project, gathered secondary data from various organizations, developed focus group questions, identified individuals and organizations for key informant interviews and drafted a survey. The group also developed a work plan and timeline to achieve its goals.
The first goal set by the BBI team was to host a community event to explain the Initiative and conduct a focus group. On November 5, “Salsa y Salud,” a Diabetes Awareness Day event geared toward the Latino community, was held at the Bound Brook High School. Bound Brook and South Bound Brook residents participated in several activities to promote health, including a cooking demonstration.
Bound Brook and South Bound Brook residents learned about nutrition and prepared healthy snacks as part of “Salsa y Salud.”
As part of the event, the BBI conducted a focus group for Latino residents of Bound Brook and South Bound Brook. The focus group was facilitated in Spanish. Participants voiced their concerns about the challenges they face to lead healthier lives:
- There is no health clinic in town.
- Transportation is limited to get to the hospital or the clinic.
- There is a farmer’s market, but it is expensive.
- The main supermarkets are far and require taxis.
- There is a lack of awareness of community recreation resources.
- There is no health education available.
The team intends to schedule 5 more focus groups with different sectors of the community and is presently scheduling over a dozen key informant interviews. The survey will be distributed to residents and it will be available in Spanish and English. The data from the focus groups, interviews and surveys will assist in the development of a Blueprint for Action.
All of this activity will help make Bound Brook and South Bound Brook healthy places to live and work!