The City of Salem & Partners HealthCare team up to help residents live healthier

SALEM – The City of Salem has been awarded a four-year $240,000 grant from Partners HealthCare and North Shore Medical Center to fund the City’s Mass in Motion Initiative, which promotes healthy eating and active living. Mass in Motion programs are taking place in over 50 other communities throughout the Commonwealth. Additional Partners HealthCare funding will be utilized for a multi-media awareness campaign through Mass in Motion that is intended to raise awareness of the coalition’s work to help Salem residents eat better and move more.

A celebratory event will take place next Tuesday, May 28, 2013, from 1:30 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. at the school garden at Witchcraft Heights Elementary School in Salem (1 Frederick Street). The event will highlight the Mass in Motion Salem Coalition’s planned efforts for the year ahead. Garden tours by students and refreshments from Life Alive Salem will be available.

“School gardens provide a space for students to reconnect to nature around them. Gardens teach students about agriculture and how we nourish ourselves, which leads to healthy eating habits. It also makes a perfect outdoor classroom for the teachers,” said Deborah Jeffers, Food Services Director for Salem Public Schools. “I think it is great that MIM is supporting this endeavor to have a garden at every school in the City of Salem.”

Mass in Motion Salem is focusing on five areas to help increase opportunities for physical activity, as well as healthier foods. These areas are Farmers Market promotion and expansion, coordination and expansion of school gardens, promotion of the Salem Spins Bike Share program, increasing Safe Routes to School partner schools, and identifying infrastructure barriers to daily physical activity opportunities. Mass in Motion Salem’s work on school gardens will be the focus of this event with Mayor Kimberly Driscoll, Massachusetts Farm to School, Mass Department of Public Health, and Partners HealthCare speaking on the topic.

“Mass in Motion Salem has already made so many positive contributions to our community,” said Mayor Kimberley Driscoll. “I welcome their continued partnership with the City and our schools and look forward to all that we can accomplish working together to improve the health and wellness of Salem’s residents and children.”

“Mass in Motion has been a wonderful project for the Salem community and the work we are doing will be transformational for many Salem residents,” said Margaret A. Brennan, MPH, CEO of North Shore Community Health, Inc.

Launched in 2009 by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Mass in Motion is a state-wide obesity prevention initiative that stresses the importance of healthy eating and physical activity.  Last year, Partners support has helped to extend the Mass in Motion program to the communities of Revere, Chelsea and Lynn, in addition to Salem. Although Massachusetts compares favorably to most other states, overweight and obesity are still major public health challenges. Through environmental, systems, and policy changes, communities have the power to reduce obesity, asthma, heart disease, high blood pressure and cancer.

“Keeping our communities healthy requires the on-going dedication of local governments, health care providers, and committed residents.  North Shore Medical Center is proud to join Partners Health Care in supporting Salem’s Mass In Motion health initiative and to be part of a community that works so well together,” said Robert Norton, President and CEO, North Shore Medical Center.

The multimedia campaign to support Mass in Motion in Salem and three other communities can be seen on MBTA buses, subway stations, and commuter rail trains, as well as at Boston.com and at the Showcase Theatre in Revere. Residents can also view the locations for the campaign bus shelter posters in Salem here. For more information on Mass in Motion Salem, click here. For more information on Mass in Motion, click here.

[toggle title=”About Mass in Motion Salem, a program of the Office of Mayor Kimberley Driscoll”]

Mass in Motion Salem, works locally to increase opportunities for Salem residents to eat better and move more in the places they live, learn, work, and play. Salem is among 52 cities and towns throughout the Commonwealth that are part of the MA Department of Public Health’s Mass in Motion Municipal Wellness and Leadership Program. Mass in Motion is working to implement Safe Routes to Schools and Parks, expanded farmers markets, and school garden initiatives that will make the healthy choice the easy choice for residents of Salem. The initiative is funded in part by Partners Healthcare and North Shore Medical Center with additional support from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

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[toggle title=”About Partners HealthCare”]

Partners HealthCare is an integrated health system founded by Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital. In addition to its two academic medical centers, the Partners system includes community and specialty hospitals, community health centers, a physician network, home health and long-term care services, and other health-related entities. Partners is one of the nation’s leading biomedical research organizations and a principal teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School.  Partners HealthCare is a non-profit organization.

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