Capitalizing On Our Strengths

NJHI 2015: Building a Culture of Health in New Jersey – Communities Moving to Action Shaping Elizabeth Community Health Initiative


Elizabeth Library Team Members

In 2018, Shaping Elizabeth focused on leveraging the Elizabeth Public Library (EPL) as a central location to meet the community to improve health outcomes in healthy eating, physical activity, mental health and clinical care.  We recognized the Elizabeth Public Library was a great resource for partners and the community to come together for improved health, and our strategy worked!

Thanks to Shaping Elizabeth, EPL has made it a central mission to increase and improve health-related programming at the library. From September 2017 to September 2018, EPL offered 45 programs related to community health, with more than 560 total attendees. Read more about some of these programs here

Shaping Elizabeth Coalition Meetings at the Library

“As the center for lifelong learning in the City of Elizabeth, the Elizabeth Public Library recognizes its role in changing health outcomes in our community through education. Our Shaping Elizabeth Library Committee brings together service providers who recognize the unique position of the public library as an asset and agent for community change,” said Ally Blumenfeld, Head of Information & Adult Services, Elizabeth Public Library. “We are grateful to Shaping Elizabeth for enabling us to provide free health and wellness programs, the untold benefits of which strengthen both the public and the library.”

Being Active at the Library

Based on the feedback we received regarding “A Better You,” we are redeveloping the program into “A Passport to Health” for 2019. It will have a similar focus, and include hands-on workshops and educational events. The biggest difference will be the addition of quarterly check-in meetings that engage the community in caring for their own health. Considering the momentum we’ve already built, we can’t wait to see the results!

The Grantee Blog publishes a different NJHI-supported community’s update every week. Bookmark this site to stay up-to-date and share in the work of building healthier communities across New Jersey.
Alane McCahey
The Gateway Family YMCA