Health & Wellness

Family Promise, Overlook Family Medicine Partner to Host Community Health Fair Geared Toward 'Sustainable Independence'


ELIZABETH NJ — More than 80 adults and 30 children, either former guests of Family Promise’s Union County Program or neighbors in Elizabeth, visited the Community Health Fair, a biannual joint effort by Family Promise, a Summit-based national non-profit which provides services to families experiencing homelessness, and Overlook Family Medicine of the Atlantic Health System.

What started as a partnership to provide community health education to guest families in the program’s emergency shelter has mushroomed into an effort to provide health screenings and education to the community just outside the Family Promise Day Center, located at the First Baptist Church on Union Avenue in Elizabeth.

With the doors slated to open at 11 a.m., the kitchen at the First Baptist Church bustled with activity as volunteers chopped vegetables, arranged whole-wheat-low-sugar banana bread on trays, and prepared lemon-and-lime infused water pitchers. Meanwhile, doctors and staff from Overlook Family Medicine set up the “Healthy Avenues” medical screening bus on the church lawn, and arranged information packets about heart health, maintaining a healthy weight, and diabetes prevention in the church gymnasium. Simultaneously, students from the College of St. Elizabeth Dietetics program prepared free “Better Food Bags,” which were given to the first 100 participants who completed the medical screenings. Kelly Donovan of CSE said “we carefully selected three healthy recipes- chicken, seafood and vegetarian, being mindful of providing a delicious, and easy-to-prepare, low-sodium and diabetes-friendly meal.”

Sign Up for E-News

While the adults chatted with student dieticians about how to modify their eating habits after learning about their risk factors for diabetes and heart conditions from the medical personnel, children learned the importance of good hygiene with “Messy Molly” and made “gassy goo” at a table with Shonda Brooks, president and founder of Need2Read, a Union County non-profit and champion for improving childhood literacy.

With a buffet of fresh fruit, vegetables and healthy snacks available to everyone, the gymnasium at First Baptist Church felt like a health-conscious café, complete with tablecloths and flowers.

“Our mission is to help families achieve sustainable independence,” says Geleen Donovan, executive director the Union County Program. “How can anyone be sustainable or independent if serious health conditions are ignored? This is one way we can help our neighbors find the resources they need to live healthy and vibrant lives.”

The Community Health Fair is a biannual event.

“Our ongoing commitment to the Overlook Family Medicine-FPUC Health Education partnership stems from our earnest desire to be a lasting positive presence in our community,” Dr. Christina Johnson says of Overlook Family Medicine. “Our participation in FPUC’s Wellness program – through regular health education with FPUC families during the year and through our biannual community health fairs – is emblematic of our community spirit.”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Plainfield Convicted Felon, Sister Charged in Indictment Stemming from Violent Encounter with Law Enforcement

March 20, 2018

NEWARK, NJ – A brother and sister from Plainfield were indicted on Monday on drug distribution, felony possession of a firearm, obstruction of justice and other charges resulting from a violent encounter with law enforcement officers in October 2017, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito has announced.

Arthur Forman, 35, is charged with possession of cocaine, marijuana, and oxycodone ...

Mayor Brindle’s Update, Feb. 13

March 14, 2018

The following are highlights from the update that Mayor Shelley Brindle gave at Tuesday night’s town council meeting.

Last week’s back to back nor’easters left a wave of destruction that Westfield hasn’t experienced since Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Three thousand homes lost power. Over 40 roads were closed due to downed wires and/or trees. Our police responded to ...

Upcoming Events


Fri, March 23, 12:00 PM

Resolve, Scotch Plains

Free Teen Anxiety Group (Ages 14-17) at Resolve

Sat, March 24, 10:00 AM

Burent Middle School , Union

Union County Wide - March for Our Lives

Government Law & Justice


Sun, March 25, 11:00 AM

Shackamaxon Country Club, Scotch Plains

Hear Our Voices: MemoryCare Plays

Health & Wellness

Westfield Police Blotter: DWI, Reported Fraud & More

March 14, 2018

March 7, 2018 2:06 a.m.

Carlos C. Mendoza, age 33, of Garwood, NJ, was arrested on the strength of three Westfield Municipal Court warrants ($750) pursuant to a traffic stop in the area of South Avenue in Scotch Plains. Subject was transported to Westfield Police HQ where he was processed and refused after posting bail.


March 9, 2018 2:09 p.m.

A resident of Sandra Circle ...

UC Tech Student Volunteers Put Fun and Games to Work for Special Needs Learners

March 20, 2018

Earlier this month, a group of 51 students in grades 9 to 11 from the Teacher Education Academy at UC TECH staged an indoor carnival for special needs learners. More than 140 participants from the community attended the event and enjoyed plinko, corn hole, dance revolution, hula hoop activities, a DJ, prizes and more.

UC TECH is part of the Union County Vocational-Technical School District. It ...

'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 ...

Gratitude Goes to the Girls! Mindful Monday Series - # 1

March 19, 2018

I am thrilled to launch our first edition of "Mindful Mondays" today!  Why Mindful Mondays? After several years of working with individuals in a variety of settings, many have asked me: "What's all this mindfulness about anyway?"  I often respond with, "It's different for everyone," but in general I begin with this definition ...

16 Homes Sold Last Week in Westfield, Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Mountainside & Cranford

Sixteen homes sold last week, March 11 to March 18, 2018, in Westfield, Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Mountainside and Cranford:*


TOWN        ADDRESS                  STYLE           RMS    ...

Charitable Spirit Alive and Well in Westfield Public Schools

Students, staff and parents in Westfield Public Schools continue the district’s long tradition of helping others both in and outside of the community, with a number of students recently recognized for their efforts.

Fifteen Westfield High School juniors and sophomores were honored by the Community Food Bank of New Jersey for collecting more than 5,000 pounds of food items for families in ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 13

On this episode of AtlantiCast, new clinical studies in the fields of cardiology and immunotherapy, national and statewide recognitions for Atlantic Health System medical centers and the inaugural AtlantiCast Collab Challenge!


The Day After

Some years ago, the United Nations held the International Summit on Sustainable Development, here in Johannesburg. The Summit was a great success. One wonders, though, whether all the wonderful decisions and resolutions that were adopted were ever implemented. In other words, were they themselves sustainable?

Good ideas and worthwhile projects are suggested regularly. The question is, do they ...


Kathleen Marie Christian (nee Helmstetter), age 73 of Surf City, NJ, passed away peacefully at home ...
Read more

Suspended Hillsborough HS Athletic Director Charged with Theft

March 19, 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 ...