More than 150 residents of Essex County and nearby locations gathered in Newark this Saturday, November 16, 2019 to discuss issues impacting children from the prenatal stage to three years of age.
The annual event is a joint effort hosted by Assemblywomen Cleopatra Tucker, Shanique Speight and Britnee N. Timberlake. New Jersey First Lady Tammy Murphy was a special guest while the event’s keynote speaker was Dr. Shereef Elnahal, President and C.E.O. of University Hospital.
The goal of the summit is to promote awareness and education while finding solutions to the problems young children and their caretakers may face. Current and future parents along with various childcare providers were able to connect with medical professionals, legislators and other experts who provided helpful advice.
“Keeping a young child safe and healthy all while facilitating proper development is a challenging task for any caretaker,” said Assemblywoman Cleopatra Tucker (D-Essex). “That’s why we created this summit – to provide our residents with the right resources and assistance to help ensure the wellbeing of their children.”
Attendees also had access to free health screenings and relevant giveaways as well as a complementary lunch.
“It’s vital to the success of any community that people work together to guarantee the most vulnerable members are taken care of,” said Assemblywoman Shanique Speight (D-Essex). “Babies completely rely on the adults in their lives for protection and support, so it’s important we make sure those hardworking adults have the support they need to fulfill that role.”
Several organizations contributed to the summit, including Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, the Newark Department of Health & Community Wellness, RWJ Barnabas, United Healthcare Community Plan, University Hospital and Rutgers University – Newark.
“As the mother of a one-year-old son and a public servant, it was important to me to be a part of this initiative to ensure that we cultivate conversations between health care providers, childcare providers and parents to resolve long-term issues and create solid solutions,” said Assemblywoman Britnee N. Timberlake (D-Essex and Passaic). “I’m glad to have been part of this effort, and am looking forward to continuing in this initiative each year.”