Essex County Cancer Coalition

Essex-Passaic Wellness Coalition

Essex-Passaic Wellness Coalition logo

After eight years serving as separate coalitions, the Essex and Passaic County Cancer Coalitions united on July 1, 2012 to form the regional two-county Essex-Passaic Wellness Coalition, with an enhanced mission and combined meetings.

Information and resources on cancer survivorship during the COVID-19 pandemic

Reducing the Risk of Heart Attack & Stroke in Essex County

Warning Signs of Heart Attack and Stroke!


In the fall of 2011, the Essex County Cancer Coalition (one of the predecessors of the Essex-Passaic Wellness Coalition) began a new extension of its long collaboration with the “S.A.V.E. Women and Men” NJCEED program.  With support from the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services (NJDHSS) Division of Family Health Services, we educated S.A.V.E. and other patients on how to reduce their risk of heart attack and stroke.  Patients who are at increased risk of heart attack or stroke were invited to participate in a series of six “Take Control of Your Health” workshops where they learned, in a friendly and supportive environment, how to reduce those risks and improve their health.

In the spring of 2012, with continued NJDHSS support through June 30, we extended our offering of “Take Control of Your Health” workshops to persons who are at least 50 years old throughout Essex County.  We cooordinated with a broad range of community organizations to offer these workshops to participants in these organizations’ programs.

From July 1, 2012 to February 28, 2013, support from the Grotta Fund for Senior Care enabled us to continue to offer new “Take Control of Your Health” workshops in Essex County as well as to extend these to nearby counties. Further NJDHSS funding, as well as funding from the New Jersey Department of Human Services, enabled us to offer additional “Take Control of Your Health” workshops in Essex County in the remainder of calendar 2013.

We received additional funding from the NJDHSS to provide the closely related Diabetes Self-Management Program (DSMP) to patients with Type II diabetes mellitus at University Hospital.Most recently, we were funded by the New Jersey Department of Health to provide the DSMP in community settings in our region in calendar 2014 and 2015.

The “Take Control of Your Health” program is sponsored by the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services.  It implements the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP) and its Spanish-language counterpart, Tomando Control de su Salud, in New Jersey.  These programs, both from Stanford University’s Patient Education Research Center, are widely used and have been well tested to show that they really help people improve their health.

Here are some places where you can learn more about New Jersey’s “Take Control of Your Health” program, the CDSMP, and related topics:


Warning Signs of Heart Attack and of Stroke!

Warning Signs of Heart Attack

  • Chest discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
  • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body such as pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  • Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
  • Other signs may include breaking out in a cold sweat, weakness, nausea/​vomiting, lightheadedness and back or jaw pain.

Calling 9-1-1 is the fastest way to get lifesaving treatment!

Warning Signs of Stroke

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg – especially on one side of the body.
  • Sudden confusion or trouble speaking or understanding others.
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
  • Sudden dizziness, trouble walking, or loss of balance or coordination.
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause.

If one or more of these symptoms happens, immediately call 9-1-1 and check the time.  Knowing when the symptoms started is very important for doctors to be able to most effectively treat a stroke.