Innovative Program at the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital Receives Funding from the NY/NJ Snowflake Youth Foundation

The Snowflake Youth Foundation, the charitable arm of the NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Committee, is providing a $100,000 gift to the Healthy Futures Program at the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital at HackensackUMC to support programming space and child-appropriate equipment at the newHackensackUMC Fitness & Wellness Powered by the GIANTS centerin Maywood. Half of this $100,000 gift comes from a $1.5 million grant the Snowflake Youth Foundation received from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to renovate and improve more than two dozen sites in New Jersey focused on youth activities.   HackensackUMC began the Healthy Futures program more than two years ago for children and teens who are overweight or obese, and it includes exercise sessions, nutrition lessons and group counseling. 

 “We are grateful to the NY/NJ Snowflake Youth Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for this much needed infusion of support,” said Jeffrey R. Boscamp, M.D., vice president and chief academic officer, HackensackUMC, Marvin I. Gottlieb, M.D., chair in Pediatrics, physician-in-chief,  Joseph M. Sanzari Children's Hospital. “Childhood obesity is a fast-growing problem in both the United State and New Jersey and can lead to many health conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.   The improvement of a gym for the Healthy Futures program will further enable us to teach kids about the importance of exercise as a means to improve their physical and emotional well-being and live a healthier life.”

Healthy Futures is a medically supervised, comprehensive weight management program that addresses topics such as emotional and social eating, self-esteem, coping with social pressures, learning to make healthy food choices and exercise instruction with a certified exercise trainer for children ages eight through 18.  The goal is to improve the physical and emotional well-being of participants in a fun and supportive atmosphere. 

The “Healthy Futures Youth Gym” will be equipped with dedicated equipment in the wellness portion of the new center where children will utilize child-friendly and age-appropriate exercise equipment and teach families best exercise practices. The grant will also support community outreach programs in conjunction with the Healthy Futures program, including “Healthy Cooking” classes and “Youth Fitness” exercise sessions.

“Obesity affects children from all socio-economic backgrounds,” says Maureen Keating, RN, vice president, Joseph M. Sanzari Children's Hospital, HackensackUMC. “Thanks to the support of the NY/NJ Snowflake Youth Foundation, we will be able to support this important program keeping the enrollmentcost to families manageable so that more children may benefit from participating in the Healthy Futures program to improve their overall health and quality of life.”

HackensackUMC Fitness & Wellness Powered by the GIANTScombines medically based care with a world-class fitness club.   The 112,000 square foot facility includes 35,000 square feet of wellness/medical space, which houses behavioral health services, the MOLLY Diabetes Education/Management Center for Adults and Children, Physical Therapy, a Women’s Health Center with Mammography and Bone Density Screening, a large community health education area with a demonstration cooking studio and a host of preventive wellness-based services.   The Fitness portion of the facility features an expansive fitness floor with state-of-the-art cardio and strength training equipment, salt-water filtered pools, a large variety of group fitness classes, a sports performance training center, luxurious locker rooms with towel service, a day spa and much more.  

For more information about the Healthy Futures program, please call 1-855-Go Futures (1-855-463-8887) or email  You can also visit www.HackensackUMC.orgfor more information.

About Hackensack University Medical Center

HackensackUMC, a nonprofit teaching and research hospital located in Bergen County, NJ, is the largest provider of inpatient and outpatient services in the state. Founded in 1888 as the county’s first hospital, it is the flagship hospital of Hackensack University Health Network, one of the largest health networks in the state comprised of 1,140 beds, nearly 10,000 employees and 2,200 credentialed physicians. HackensackUMC was listed as the number one hospital in New Jersey and one of the top three New York metro area hospitals in the U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospital rankings for 2013-14. It also received 10 national rankings in: Cancer; Cardiology & Heart Surgery; Ear, Nose & Throat; Gastroenterology & GI Surgery; Geriatrics; Neurology & Neurosurgery; Orthopedics; Pulmonology; Urology; and the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital ranked as one of the Top 50 Best Children’s Hospitals for Neurology and Neurosurgery in the 2013-14 Best Children’s Hospitals list. The children’s hospital is housed with the Donna A. Sanzari Women’s Hospital in the Sarkis and Siran Gabrellian Women’s and Children’s Pavilion, which was designed with The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center using the highest “green building” standards, and was included on the Green Guide’s list of Top 10 Green Hospitals in the U.S. HackensackUMC is among Healthgrades® America’s Best 100 Hospitals in five different areas – more than any other hospital in the state, is one of Healthgrades America's 50 Best Hospitals™ for seven years in a row, and received the Healthgrades Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence™ 12 years in a row. The medical center has also been named a Leapfrog Top Hospital, and received 22 Gold Seals of Approval™ by the Joint Commission – more than any other hospital in the country. It was the first hospital in New Jersey and second in the nation to become a Magnet® recognized hospital for nursing excellence; receiving its fifth consecutive designation in 2014. HackensackUMC is the Hometown Hospital of the New York Giants and the New York Red Bulls, and remains committed to its community through fundraising and community events. To learn more, visit:

About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is the largest private foundation in New Jersey and the nation’s largest philanthropy working to improve the health and health care of all Americans. We are striving to build a national culture of health that will enable all Americans to live longer, healthier lives now and for generations to come. The Foundation has invested more than $1.5 billion in New Jersey since 1972. For more information, visit Follow the Foundation on Twitter at or on Facebook at

About the NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Committee

The NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Committee is the entity created by the owners of the New York Football Giants and the New York Jets to raise the necessary funds and partner with the NFL to plan and stage Super Bowl XLVIII and all of its associated events. The Host Committee also works closely with area business leaders and public officials to coordinate key logistics and maximize the game’s positive economic impact for the region. Additionally, in an effort to give back to the surrounding region, the Host Committee supports an active roster of charitable initiatives, largely conducted through the work of the Snowflake Youth Foundation, including the rehabilitation of after-school centers, support for the Super Community Blood Drives, and various environmental works.

About the NY/NJ Snowflake Youth Foundation

The NY/NJ Snowflake Youth Foundation is a newly formed charity headquartered at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ. Created as an initiative of the NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Committee, the Foundation will harness the excitement of the Super Bowl XLVIII to raise critical funds to renovate and transform after-school facilities in the NY/NJ area that provide school-age boys and girls with safe and supervised recreational, educational, and character-building activities. More information can be found at




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