Vernon Participates in Mayors Wellness Campaign

Posted: March 6, 2020

Vernon Township has been named as a 2019 New Jersey Healthy Town to Watch by the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute, which is a silver designation and a level up from our 2018 “NJ Healthy Town in the Making” award.

Innovative programs such as mobile fresh food markets, community walks, weight-loss challenges, healthy corner stores, outdoor yoga, bike trails and health fairs helped New Jersey communities win recognition through the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute’s annual Mayors Wellness Campaign (MWC) “New Jersey Healthy Town” designation.

Each year, communities participating in the MWC complete a comprehensive application outlining the research they’ve done to identify their community health needs, explain how they have organized their local MWC committee, and highlight the actions they’ve taken to make their communities healthier places to live, work, and play.

The Vernon MWC has traditional health goals for Vernon such as encouraging healthy activities in all seasons, unplugging and getting outdoors, providing educational resources for healthy eating habits as well as ways to fit fitness into your life. The town also focuses on creating a more sustainable community, bringing more arts to the community and implementing appealing family friendly activities. Additional goals extend beyond the scope of a specific wellness and look at the overall health of the community and its future.

Former Mayor Harry J. Shortway initiated and was successful in many battles to protect Vernon’s overall health and Mayor Howard Burrell is ready to continue the charge with issues such as a failing sewer system, unsafe living conditions in an abandoned hotel, securing abandoned properties as well as continuing to collaborate with local citizens groups, plus county, state and federal elected officials fighting illegal dirt dumping in our town.

Mayor Howard Burrell states “It is indeed a significant achievement for Vernon Township to again be recognized as a Healthy Town. This award and the rigorous standards of performance that are necessary for its achievement are validation of the success of our on-going efforts to make Vernon Township an even better town in which to live and raise a family, as well as a town where businesses want to locate and prosper. I want to thank Mishelle Downtain, our town’s director of recreation and community affairs, for the key role that she played in leading our Mayors Wellness Team in the planning, organizing, directing, and coordinating functions required in researching and gathering the information and data required for the application to be considered for this prestigious award.”