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For Release:
June 22, 2011

Mary E. O'Dowd, M.P.H.

For Further Information Contact:
Office of Communications
(609) 984-7160

DHSS and the New Jersey Interagency Council of Osteoporosis Announce Winners of the 2011 New Jersey Osteoporosis Prevention Awards


Health and Senior Services Commissioner Mary E. O’Dowd and the New Jersey Interagency Council on Osteoporosis (ICO) announced the winners of the 2011 New Jersey Osteoporosis Prevention Awards.  Certificates of Achievement are presented to dedicated volunteers and professionals annually to coincide with Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month. 


          This year’s recipients are:


  • The Community Advocate Award – Ursula Michalowicz of Mountain Lakes, Morris County.  Ursula has been teaching a weekly Project Healthy Bones class in the Lakeland Hills Family YMCA for over 5 years.  She also teaches Chair Yoga.  During Osteoporosis Prevention month in May she provides information for those who are interested in learning more about care and prevention.  She sets up a table with information and invites people to participate in Project Healthy Bones classes.  She gives time to senior centers and does presentations on health and wellness.  She goes above and beyond to help educate the community and does so happily and with compassion.


  • The Professional Award – Angele Thompson, PhD, founder of LifeSTRONG, and a resident of New Providence, Union County.  For over 13 years Angele has been actively providing community education on osteoporosis and nutrition to a monthly support group in Madison.  She has been with the ICO since its inception 12 years ago and is a past chairperson.  She speaks at Project Healthy Bones classes in Millburn, Long Hill and Madison.  Her mother had osteoporosis and she has seen firsthand the consequences of the condition. 


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.  In this state, the cost per hip fracture with hospitalization ranges from $18,000-$27,000.  Almost one quarter of those with hip fracture will die within the first year following their fractures.


         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.  Participation in programs like Project Healthy Bones and A Matter of Balance can be helpful in preventing and reducing falls.


The New Jersey Interagency Council on Osteoporosis is dedicated to the development, implementation and evaluation of a comprehensive osteoporosis prevention and education program for the benefit of New Jersey residents.  Award recipients were presented with certificates at a special session of the ICO by it chairperson, Sue Shapses, PhD, RD, on June 17th in Lawrenceville.


            For more information on the ICO and Project Healthy Bones, call 609-633-8746, or go on-line to or, respectively.  To find out if there is an A Matter of Balance class near you, call 609-633-8746.


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