The Meland Foundation believes that the more information on medicine and health that is provided to family members, the better able they are to make decisions that will have a positive effect on their well being. This information must be accurate, up to date, timely and have physician approval and support. Your family physician is your most important resource.
The Meland Foundation participated in Hip Hop Public Health’s video “Behind the Mask” to promote the wearing of masks, washing of hands and social distancing while assuring children that they “will still be seen behind the mask.”
Participation in the Englewood Health Foundation Shriven Family Live Well Center:
In prior years, the Meland Foundation has helped support Englewood Health’s Discovery Youth
Program – A Youth Wellness Introduction.
Building on that success, the Shirvan Family Live Well Center will provide essential nutritional, emotional and physical well-being education and hands-on experience to at-risk community members designed to forestall the on-set and progression of chronic diseases including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
The 4,000 square foot space will feature a kitchen for healthy cooking demonstrations with professional chefs; meeting rooms for support programs and psychoeducational group work focused on pressing issues facing vulnerable populations; and a workshop area for program wellness activities. Programming will target specific at-risk populations within the local community, including middle school and high school students.
Data collected for Englewood by the Community Health Needs Assessment shows that more than half the city’s population identifies as Black/African American or Hispanic/Latino and carry high-risk health profiles. Of the students attending the city’s public high school, Dwight Morrow High School, 94% are Black or Hispanic from low-income homes. Childhood obesity rates stand at 24% for boys and 22% for girls, more than double the national average of 9.5%. Furthermore, individuals who were engaged during this assessment identified children as one of the most vulnerable and at-risk populations in the region due to the prevalence and impact of mental health and substance use.
Since the onset of the pandemic, delays and disruptions in routine health check-ups are exacerbating existing health risks for underserved youths. Additionally, COVID-19 has ushered in “a parallel pandemic” of mental health challenges including depression and anxiety among New Jersey’s youth. Children from lower-income backgrounds with less access to health care and emotional wellness services suffer greater impacts, as the pandemic has worsened inequities. In order to thrive, children and adolescents need strong, supportive families and/or other support networks to guide them through the early stages of life.
Englewood Health’s Shirvan Family Live Well Center is a proactive response to help prevent chronic disease conditions among at-risk populations. The Center engages at- risk community members as active partners in their healthcare journey by improving access to care and offering value-based community services that are convenient, equitable and patient centered. Through bi-lingual classes and workshops, the Center will build awareness around the importance of nutrition, exercise and emotional status to help vulnerable community members develop healthy lifestyle habits.
Youth programming at the Center will serve over 500 at-risk children and teens each year and will include activities like these:
- Discovery – A youth-based multi-wellness experiential opportunity for kids to explore new healthy and positive wellness activities including art expression, cooking, exercise and coping skills.
- Kids in the Kitchen – A learning lab for children. Classes to include nutrition and education, and practical hands-on cooking – the basics, new food exploration, snack preparation and food label fundamentals.
- Emotional Wellness for Life – Deepen the understanding of stress and trauma, and the coping tools and management techniques to help create one’s own happiness. Will leverage positive psychology and group sharing.
- Fun and Fit – A series of sessions that explores ways to exercise and build good physical skills that do not require a gym membership including yoga, strength training and more.
- Art Expression – A series of sessions using art as a form of expressive therapy, allowing the creative process of making art to improve a person’s physical, mental and emotional well-being.