Colleen Bianco Bezich is the first Haddonfield mayor to have signed the Mayor’s Wellness Campaign Pledge, something she did last year through a statewide initiative by the New Jersey League of Municipalities.
Now the community is invited on May 7 to participate in the borough’s first annual Mayor’s Wellness Day on Kings Highway, from Haddon Avenue to Tanner Street.
The initiative gives mayors and other officials tools and resources to evaluate a community’s health and promote equitable health outcomes and wellness. That includes areas like physical health, nutrition, the environment, education and the arts.
“For us as a community, I think the focus is really on urging people to take advantage of the preventative health care and services they might not have been doing during the pandemic,” Bianco Bezich explained. “ … And (the theme) really speaks to so much more than the physical. It’s about reconnecting with people, and also connecting with resources to combat addiction to address mental health and wellness.”
The free Wellness Day event is a collaboration between the mayor, the Partnership for Haddonfield and Camden County and borough businesses and residents. It will be a one-stop shop for anyone interested in learning more about local health resources.
Included will be a wide array of health-related activities, from free health screenings by the county and other local practitioners, to COVID vaccination and testing. Holistic and integrative health representatives will also be there.
Near the Haddonfield Public Library, there will be a sensory-safe area for kids and others who are less inclined to participate in loud or overstimulating environments. It will feature storytime with therapy hens, arts and crafts and sensory kits with craft supplies.
Other participants include representatives from Jefferson Health and Virtua and Cooper hospitals. The borough Garden Club will host a plant sale, and members from the public safety department will be present with a medication drop for disposal of unused medicines.
Downtown Haddonfield will continue with the wellness campaign by holding a week-long series of promotional events. Other activities will take place next year.
“When we look to next year, I hope we’ve set up a model, and every year, we’ll kick off in the spring rain or shine, and it becomes an experience that people want to come to Haddonfield for,” Bianco Bezich said.
“ …They don’t have to go to Center City Philadelphia to access premier health-care institutions.”
The May 7 event will include activities at library point via the Haddonfield Public Library. Hours for the day are noon to 4 p.m. To learn more about the Mayor’s Wellness Campaign, visit https://www.njhcqi.org/mayors-wellness-campaign/.
Stay tuned for more updates to come by following the borough’s Facebook page or visiting https://downtownhaddonfield.com/events/.