safetyNetworking Reaches More Than 200 in Newark, NJ

“Getting vital information to the community” was the theme of the safetyNetworking event held in Newark, NJ on Tuesday, November 15, 2011.  More than 200 enthusiastic representatives of community and faith-based organizations and government agencies attended the activity at the Newark campus of the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). The Newark event was the most comprehensive and best attended in the history of safetyNetworking in Region II. safetyNetworking is an outreach and information sharing event designed to spread the word about a wide range of Federal programs and resources. safetyNetworking is a two-way street—it’s an opportunity for representatives of Federal, state and local government agencies and non-government organizations to meet each other.

The day was sponsored by the Region II Interagency Federal Partners Council, the Office of Newark Mayor Cory A. Booker and NJIT.  Coordinating the event were the Region II offices of the Administration for Children and Families, led by Joyce A. Thomas, Regional Administrator, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, Dr. Jaye Weisman, Regional Administrator. Following welcoming remarks, Dr. Jaime R. Torres, Regional Director for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in Region II, delivered a presentation about national and regional initiatives, including the Affordable Care Act.

Feedback indicated that the day was time well spent—“excellent,” “practical” and “very thorough” were among the participants’ comments.   Highlights of the event included two dozen exhibits and twelve workshops.  Attendees had great opportunities to network and learn more about federal and state programs and resources. The workshops or”spotlight” presentations provided an opportunity to focus on a wide variety of topics and population groups suggested by a group of Federal, state and local community members. Attendees could explore multiple subjects including health careers, financial asset building, health insurance, legal rights, federal grant opportunities, family strengthening, nutrition and housing.

In addition to ACF and CMS, other participating HHS components included the Administration on Aging, Health Resources Services Administration, Food and Drug Administration, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health and the Office of Civil Rights.  Other participating federal partners included the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Education, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Justice, Labor and Veterans Affairs; the Internal Revenue Service, the Social Security Administration and the U.S. Postal Service.  Prior safetyNetworking events have been held in Lower Manhattan, Camden, NJ and Washington Heights, NY.