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For Release:
June 11, 2008

Heather Howard

For Further Information Contact:
Marilyn Riley

DHSS and NJ Interagency Council on Osteoporosis Conclude Osteoporosis Month by Honoring Volunteer and Professional





Health and Senior Services Commissioner Heather Howard and the New Jersey Interagency Council on Osteoporosis (ICO) today announced the winners of the 2008 New Jersey Osteoporosis Prevention Awards.  Certificates of Achievement are presented to dedicated volunteers and professionals annually during May, Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month. 


          This year’s recipients are:


  • The Consumer Award – Martha May, Chatham Borough.  Ms. May has been instrumental to the Madison Health Department’s Project Healthy Bones program and for seven years has overseen six classes serving more than 80 participants.  She has taught her own classes, recruited leaders, substituted, become a lead coordinator, followed a class when the participants’ town withdrew from the Madison Health District, trained new leaders, supervised and monitored leaders, and has always been a supporter and facilitator for the program.  Ms. May is an eager and enthusiastic promoter of Healthy Bones and she is also helping Essex County restructure and rebuild its program by serving as the county’s lead coordinator.


  • The Professional Award – Jeffrey Levine, MD, MPH, Hillsborough, Associate Professor/Master Educators' Guild, Director, Women's Health Programs, Department of Family Medicine, UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.  Dr. Levine has been a champion of bone health in New Jersey since the 1990s, when he provided leadership to a statewide Osteoporosis Coalition.  The coalition secured passage of the New Jersey Osteoporosis Prevention and Education Program Act, which established the ICO.  He was one of the original members appointed to the Council and served as its first chair.  Dr. Levine provided the leadership for the development of the Osteoporosis Point of Care PDA Program, an innovative, advanced software that will provide clinicians with instantaneous ability to diagnose and manage osteoporosis.


Osteoporosis, known as the “Silent Disease,” is a serious condition in which bones become thin, brittle and easily broken.  Nearly one million New Jersey residents have osteoporosis or low bone mass (osteopenia) and about 8,000 individuals over age 65 have a hip fracture annually.  Nearly half of all women and 20 percent of all men can be expected to sustain an osteoporosis-related fracture in their lifetime.


Osteoporosis can be prevented through healthy behaviors including a balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D, weight-bearing exercise, a healthy lifestyle without smoking or excessive alcohol consumption, and bone density testing and medications when appropriate.


The New Jersey ICO is dedicated to the development, implementation and evaluation of a comprehensive osteoporosis prevention and education program for the benefit of New Jersey residents.  Dr. Levine and Ms. May will receive their certificates at a special session of the ICO on June 12th in Lawrenceville.


Project Healthy Bones is a 24-week peer-led low impact exercise and education program is available in all New Jersey counties program designed to decrease bone loss, increase bone density and improve strength, balance and flexibility.  More than 2,000 older adults have participated in Project Healthy Bones annually since its inception in 1997.


For more information on the ICO and/or Project Healthy Bones call 609-943-3498, or on-line at


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