Health & Wellness

Union County Ranks As Eighth Healthiest in State

Dr. Bob Atkins, director of New Jersey Health Initiatives Credits: The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Dr. Atkins with Toni Lewis, community coach Credits: The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

ELIZABETH, NJ – Union County ranks as the eighth healthiest in the state according to the eighth annual County Health Rankings, released March 29 by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.

Hunterdon County ranks healthiest in New Jersey and Cumberland County is the least healthy county in the state. The rankings are available at

“New Jersey’s health improvement plan, Healthy New Jersey 2020, empowers local communities with interactive data to monitor health improvements and track progress on disease prevention,” New Jersey Health Commissioner Cathleen Bennett said. “State grants to local communities are funding innovative projects to keep the well healthy, support those at risk for health problems and prevent those with chronic conditions from getting sicker.”

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Last summer, members of the Governor's cabinet formed the Population Health Action Team to advance policies and grant opportunities to build healthy communities and improve health outcomes. “The local level data makes it clear that good health is influenced by many factors beyond medical care including housing, education, jobs, access to healthy foods, and more,” said Bennett.

Among the factors measured, Union County residents have 100 percent access to exercise compared to 95 percent statewide. Alcohol-related deaths were slightly higher, 27 percent to 24 percent across the state. Premature deaths, a focus of this year’s rankings, were lower in Union County than others in the state, 4900 to 5500.

CDC Releases Groundbreaking, Neighborhood-by-Neighborhood Health Data for Elizabeth

In addition, there is now first-of-a -kind data estimates for 27 chronic disease measures down to neighborhood level. This development provides public health professionals, public officials, city planners, nonprofits, and other community leaders an opportunity for more effective and efficient health improvement efforts.

The new, interactive data—released for 500 of the largest cities across the United States—represents a watershed opportunity for communities to gain an additional perspective on how specific city areas fare on chronic disease measures such as smoking, obesity, mammogram and cholesterol screening rates and other factors that impact health. 

The 500 Cities data, released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, CDC Foundation, and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is the first time that such data is available for cities and small areas within cities. A series of interactive maps allow users to see where chronic diseases are unique to a specific area or overlap across communities. To view Elizabeth’s maps, click Elizabeth Data.

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Upcoming Events

Sat, March 24, 10:00 AM

Burent Middle School , Union

Union County Wide - March for Our Lives

Government Law & Justice

Wed, April 18, 6:00 PM

Linden Public Library, Linden

Friends of Linden Library annual book sale

Arts & Entertainment Other

Thu, April 19, 6:00 PM

Linden Public Library, Linden

Friends of Linden Library annual book sale

Arts & Entertainment Other

Free Citizenship Workshop to be Held This Saturday in Elizabeth

March 19, 2018

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The Citizenship Drive is an annual event that assists eligible residents to apply for naturalization. Immigration attorneys will be present to screen eligibility and trained volunteers will assist in the ...

Teacher Training at Trailside

MOUNTAINSIDE, NJ  - Teacher Training programs at Trailside will be offered this spring for teachers of students in Kindergarten through grade twelve starting March 15.

Project WET, a teacher training program for teachers K – 12 will be offered on Thurs. March 15 from 9 a.m.. to 3 p.m.  This workshop will provide the necessary tools, resources, and lessons for teachers ...

Daylight Savings Time Begins this Weekend - Remember to Turn Your Clocks Forward

ELIZABETH, NJ - The winter months are about to come to an end. You know spring is definitely around the corner when Daylight Savings Time begins. A reminder to everyone to turn your clocks forward one hour tonight when you go to bed. Daylight Savings time officially begins at 2 a.m. Sunday morning. 

While many will dread losing that hour of sleep, that extra hour of daylight will be ...

Elizabeth Rotary to Hold “Pancakes to the Beat” Fundraiser

ELIZABETH, NJ - The Rotary Club of Elizabeth is holding their 44th Annual Pancake Breakfast on Saturday, March 24 from 8 a.m. to noon in the cafeteria at Victor Mravlag School #21, located at 132 Shelly Avenue, Elizabeth.  

Entertainment will be provided by School #21’s, Third Grade Recorder Ensemble. Tickets are $8 and include a full pancake and sausage breakfast. The ...

Union County Students to 'March for Our Lives' Saturday in Union

March 19, 2018

UNION, NJ – Students from all over Union County will be walking from Burnet Middle School to Town Hall on Saturday morning, March 24, in an anti-gun violence march.

Led by steering committee chairman Colin Sumner, the march, which has the support of Senator Joseph Cryan, Moms Demand Action, Union County Chapter, and the Union County Freeholders, is not aimed at taking away guns, but ...

Hillsborough: Suspended HS Athletic Director Charged with Theft

March 20, 2018

HILLSBOROUGH, NJ - Suspended Hillsborough High School Athletic Director Michael Fanizzi has been arrested and charged with the theft of $10,704 in athletic event receipts over a four-year period from 2013-2017, according to Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson.

Fanizzi, 53, a resident of Conover Way in Hillsborough who had been athletics director for 14 years,, had been suspended ...

'Trying' explores age, youth and points of history in poignant production

‘Trying’ explores youth, age and points of history in poignant production

By Liz Keill

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – The George Street Playhouse presents an engrossing, two-character play based on the real life of Francis Biddle, former Attorney General.

Biddle, a Harvard educated lawyer, served under Franklin Roosevelt and later Harry Truman during the Nuremberg Tribunal. His ...

Union County Celebrates Arbor Day 2018 with Free Trees for Schools

March 20, 2018

In recognition of Arbor Day 2018, the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is once again partnering with the Union County Shade Tree Advisory Board to sponsor the annual Arbor Day Tree Planting Program, which provides free trees for participating schools.

“The Arbor Day tree planting program is a Union County tradition that provides students with important hands-on lessons about the ...