Mayor's Wellness Campaign

About The Mayors Wellness Campaign (MWC)

New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute’s Mayors Wellness Campaign (MWC) is a statewide community health initiative in partnership with the New Jersey State League of Municipalities.  The MWC is a program that provides Mayors tools and strategies to champion healthy and active living and to improve the overall health of their communities.  When Mayors promote healthy living they can drive community wide change. As part of the MWC, Scotch Plains works to promote health in the following domains: youth; seniors; employees; and, communities. 

2020 Mayor's Wellness Campaign Medal Challenge Update

APRIL 2020 - As part of the Mayor’s Wellness Campaign, an initiative to promote a healthy and active Scotch Plains, Mayor Al Smith will award the Mayor’s Medal to any individual participating in various healthy activities. Given that the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the cancelling of the 5K races in town normally used to qualify for the Mayor’s Medal, the Medal challenge has refocused to encourage residents to engage in good nutrition and alternate forms of exercise. 


Participants in the challenge will need to earn 5 points to qualify for the 2020 Mayor’s Medal by December 1, 2020. The challenge is open to Scotch Plains residents only. Points can be earned through nutritional activities, exercise activities – indoors and outdoors, or mental wellness activities including:


1 Point(s) 

  • Sunrise YOGA at Brookside Park (worth 1 point for each Yoga session you participated in). 
  • Cook any plant-based meal prepared by Rev. Cates in her weekly cooking series. Earn 1 point for each meal you cook. Send pictures to See link to find videos: 
  • Participate in Here to Help mental wellness programs found on Mayor’s Wellness page. Earn 1 point for each program you participate in.  · Participate in any daily session Lori of SternFitness conducts on “Like” the session video to be counted. 

2 Points 

3 Points 


“I challenge all residents of Scotch Plains to participate in this year’s challenge, live healthy, and win a medal,” said Mayor Al Smith. “If I can do it, you can do it. Let’s go Scotch Plains!” 


The Mayors Wellness Campaign is a program of the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute in partnership with the New Jersey State League of Municipalities. To learn more about the Mayor’s Wellness Campaign please visit: 


For questions, contact Tom Strowe at (908) 322-6700 ext 317 or email


Click here to watch Mayor Al Smith promote the initiative.

Scotch Plains Named 2019 Healthy Town: Quality Institute Releases Mayors Wellness Campaign New Jersey “Healthy Town” Designations for 2019

Mayor Al Smith, joined by the Scotch Plains Governing Body and Township officials, unveiled the new 2019 New Jersey Healthy Town banner in front of Town Hall on Tuesday evening.


Scotch Plains was one of seven New Jersey communities to win recognition as a 2019 Healthy Town through participation in the Mayors Wellness Campaign (MWC), a program of the Quality Institute, in partnership with the New Jersey State League of Municipalities.


“Achieving the Healthy Town designation is a tremendous achievement for Scotch Plains,” Mayor Smith said in a press release earlier this year. “It reflects our commitment to being a sustainable community and our recognition that healthy lifestyles on the part of our residents are a key component of our community.”


The Township would like to reinforce its commitment to improving the health and wellness of our community.


Click here to read the entire press release. 

From The Mayor's Office

Dear Scotch Plains Residents,  The greatest wealth is health. ~Virgil. I believe this quote says it all. For without health, your ability to participate and enjoy life is diminished.  As a person who has had his own health challenges, I would like to see everyone in town as healthy as possible and enjoying life to the maximum. When I became Mayor and discovered the Mayor’s Wellness Campaign, I embraced it, and I am using it to hopefully help you to live a healthier life. 


The Mayors Wellness Campaign, in addition to the programs directly offered by the township, coordinates programs throughout the year that are designed to promote healthy activities and well-being in the Scotch Plains community. The goal of this campaign is to increase opportunities for residents of all age groups, from youth to seniors, to participate in healthy eating, physical activity, and stress management with a long-term goal of improving health. 


Today some of the biggest health challenges are heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and high blood pressure. But the good news is that the way we conduct our personal lives, we can diminish our chances of having to deal with these deadly diseases.


Therefore, for the last two years, the Mayor’s Wellness program has focused on healthy eating, exercise, and stress management. This year’s program will do the same but with more integration of the great programs that our Wellness Partners regularly offer.  I am fully appreciative that we all have personal circumstance that impact our ability to live more healthy lives, but with the stakes so high, small changes now can lead to big benefits later. I look forward to seeing you at Mayor’s Wellness events throughout the year. 


Wishing you a happy and healthy 2020 -- Mayor Al Smith

Healthy Eating Center with Reverand Susanna Cates

Mental Health Center with Mary Claire Givebler (Here to Help)

Daily Exercise Center with Lori Sternberg (Stern Fitness)

Catch a 5 to 10 minute daily workout or nutritional info with Lori everyday at

Nutritional Challenge 

Healthy Environment Center with Carla Kelly (Green Team)

Coming Soon!

Township Officials Participate in Sandy Hook Promise Start with Hello Program at School One

The Sandy Hook Promise Start With Hello program was introduced in our School District this week.  Mayor Al Smith, Municipal Manager Al Mirabella and Deputy Manager, Margaret Heisey joined Superintendent Dr. Hayes and School One Principal Mr. Justin Fiory for the Start With Hello activity in Ms. Christine Mills’ 4th Grade classroom on Thursday.       


The Township Council recently passed a Proclamation promoting Start With Hello Week and lauding the Scotch Plains – Fanwood Board of Education for its efforts to keep our students safe in a socially inclusive and connected student body.  The Start With Hello program, one of the Know The Signs programs of the Sandy Hook Promise, teaches children, teens and young adults how to be more socially inclusive and connected to one another.   


Click here for more information about the program.

Wellness Tip from MWC Committee Member and Pretty Beast Mode owner, Vernecia Adams

Heart Strong Through Exercise     


The heart is a muscle like many other muscles in your body.  The stronger your heart is, the better it can pump more blood with less effort.  One way of lowering your blood pressure, or gain control over your blood pressure - if it is already high is through regular physical activity.     


Exercise is an awesome, drug-free approach to lowering your high blood pressure so much so that it can even reduce or remove the need for blood pressure medication.  You don't need to spend hours in the gym to get the results you're looking for.  All you need is an environment where you can incorporate strength training exercises such as weight lifting tied in with some cardio or aerobic activity. 


By adding moderate physical activity to your daily routine, increasing your heart and breathing rates is the most efficient drug-free treatment approach to lowering your blood pressure.     


Visit  and fill out the "contact us"  for free fitness assessment & training to discuss ways to meet your goals. 

#ScotchPlainsStrong Campaign

Events and Webinars

Mighty Moves Karate Classes at Green Forest Park

Guided Meditation at Goshu-Kwan Studio

Health & Wellness Resources

Free Blood Pressure Checks at Scotch Plains Public Library

Every second Tuesday of the month (unless otherwise noted), the Scotch Plains Public Library (1927 Bartle Ave.) will be offering free blood pressure checks to residents from 10 a.m. to noon. The Township nurse will be performing the screenings -- no registration is necessary.


During the months of July and August there will not be a free blood pressure check. 

Chronic Disease Prevention

Mayor's Wellness Committee

Lidia Abrams  (Resolve Community Counseling Center, Inc.)

Robert O'Connell (RWJ Fitness)

Dona Mancuso (RWJ Fitness)

Dr. James Checchio (Chiropractor)

Sheri Cognetti (YMCA)

Donna Peart (YMCA)

Annie McNair (Union County Health Officer)

Mike Goldstein (JCC)

Kim Koza (JCC)

Debi Price (JCC)

Erika Handler (Resident)

Susanna Cates (Healthy Eating Advocate)

Lori Sternberg (Stern Fitness)

Mary Claire Givelber (Here to Help)

Carla Kelly (Green Team Chairwoman)

Samantha Kowalczyk (Business Owner/Resident)

Beth Ellen Hornstein (Play for P.I.N.K. Liaison)

Vernecia Adams (Business Owner-Pretty Beast Mode Fitness)

Alison Yablonowitz (Resident)

Tom Strowe - Program Coordinator

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