In the hopes of continuing its mission of awareness, access and action, Susan G. Komen North Jersey has forged a partnership with the City of Newark and will present a free Women’s Wellness Expo this weekend for women in Newark and surrounding communities.

The inaugural Expo, to be held on Saturday, October 28, at the JFK Recreation Center, will draw on resources from public, corporate and medical communities to raise awareness for breast health and healthy lifestyles, provide free access to breast and general health screenings and advocate for women to take action with their health. TAPintoNewark is a presenting sponsor of the Expo.

Newark has been the site of several other firsts for the Komen North Jersey affiliate, including their first grant to the Saint Michael’s Medical Center “In the Pink” program, as well as their first Race for the Cure in 2008 at Branch Brook Park.

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Kelly Nagle Witkowski, executive director of Susan G. Komen North Jersey, said that last year, Komen North Jersey set a bold goal to reduce the current number of breast cancer deaths by 50 percent in the U.S. by 2026. 

“One of the ways we are going to reach this goal is by working to ensure that everyone, especially the most vulnerable populations, have access to and utilize high-quality breast cancer care,” she said.

“Our vision for the Women’s Wellness Expo is to raise awareness for the critical resources available to women in Newark and the surrounding area, provide access to these resources, and ultimately then turn that awareness into action," Witkowski said. "By doing this, we will identify more cancers in their earliest stages and thereby reduce the number of deaths from breast cancer.”

In 2017, it is estimated that there will be more than 250,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer and more than 40,000 breast cancer deaths among U.S. women, according to the American Cancer Society.

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka said a healthier community translates into a stronger city for all.

“Where you live should not determine whether you live,” Baraka said. “Susan G. Komen has been working on a global scale to level the playing field for medically-underserved communities. Their goal to reduce the number of breast cancer deaths in the U.S. by 50 percent by the year 2026 is ambitious, but crucial. The people of Newark are working closely with the local Komen North Jersey Affiliate on this inaugural event to ensure that all people in our communities—especially the most vulnerable—have access to the highest quality breast cancer care.”

Highlights of the event include free health screenings for clinical breast exams, A1C, blood pressure, cholesterol, vision, oral, foot screenings, cardiovascular testing, bone density, HIV testing and BMI.

Presentations and Q&A sessions by medical professionals will include Living a Healthy Lifestyle, Breast Health/Breast Cancer 101, Advances in Technology/New Screening Methods, New Treatment Options/Metastatic Breast Cancer, Understanding Insurance with a focus on Medicare and Medicaid, and Genetic Testing/Knowing Your Risk. 

In addition, there will be exercise and fitness advice and demonstrations, nutrition guidance and food tastings and entertainment for both children and adults.

Newark Director of Recreation, Cultural Affairs and Senior Services Patrick Council has been heavily involved in the planning and implementation of the expo.

“Our joining forces has enabled us to offer a more comprehensive, free-of-charge health and wellness event for the people of Newark, people who otherwise might not have this kind of access,” Council said. “It’s a big step towards saving more lives right here in our communities.”

Komen North Jersey currently funds a grant at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center that offers educational programs on breast health and breast cancer, and assists Newark women undergoing treatment for breast cancer by providing psychosocial and practical support.

Since its founding in 1997, Komen North Jersey has awarded more than $18 million in local community grants and has directed more than $7 million to national research programs in pursuit of new breast cancer screening techniques, better and more effective treatment options, and ultimately, the causes and cures to eradicate breast cancer.

Through their annual Race for the Cure®, Pink Tie Party and other events and activities, Komen North Jersey raises funds to support local community non-profit organizations that provide screening and diagnostic services, breast health/breast cancer education, treatment support, and survivorship programs for underserved women and men in Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren counties.

“It is very serendipitous that, at this 20-year milestone, we are bringing to Newark another important initiative designed to help break down barriers, encourage screenings and promote wellness and a healthy lifestyle,” Witkowski said. “We want everyone in our communities to know that we’re here for them, and that we are turning awareness into action.”

In addition to TAPinto.net, the 2017 Women’s Wellness Expo is also sponsored by CarePoint Health, Horizon BCBS, NJ.com/Star-Ledger, New Jersey Family, New Jersey Monthly, Outfront Media, Summit Medical Group Foundation, The Foundation for University Hospital and WellCare Health Plans, Inc.

For more information on the 2017 Women’s Wellness Expo visit www.KomenNorthJersey.org/expo, email cure@komennorthjersey.org or call 908-277-2904.