Integrating Health Into Program Planning
Bloomfield Department of Health & Human Services (BDHHS) has two important initiatives planned for 2021. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), getting enough physical activity can prevent 1 in 10 premature deaths, by reducing risk of stroke and/or depression, delaying onset of cognitive decline, promoting favorable body composition, etc. In preparation for a Spring/Summer Walk for our Bloomfield community, BDHHS is in the planning process right now; our community stakeholders include the Police Department, Recreation Department, the City Planner, the Chamber of Commerce, etc. While we hope a majority of our residents and community members will recognize these health benefits and take advantage of a 12-week program, we are especially targeting those with limited transportation access and/or limited financial means for other opportunities for exercise. The Police Department is hard at work mapping out a centralized and accessible route within Bloomfield. Consultations with the City Planner will inform on the need and feasibility of making walking paths accessible to wheelchairs, strollers, walkers, etc. We are looking forward for a kick-off in April/ May.
In addition to a walking program, BDHHS is also collaborating with the Bloomfield Community Garden to incorporate inclusive practices to reach a new group of gardeners and residents in town. Work is in motion to make the Millbank Park Community Garden wheelchair accessible, and at Pulaski Park – due to lack of pavements – the community garden will be designed for gardeners who can navigate grass/ wood chips but prefer to sit rather than use a traditional short raised bed. Both parks/ community gardens are located within Ward 3 of the township, which is home to many in our community from low socioeconomic status.
About the Grantee
The Bloomfield Department of Health & Human Services' mission is to prevent disease and promote physical and mental well-being through policy development, disease detection, prevention, education, and enforcement. We aim to do so in a culturally competent manner that ensures the highest quality of life for the residents we serve.