HUD New Jersey Field Office Director Maria Maio-Messano and HUD NJ Senior Management Analyst Carleton Lewis recently joined Newark, New Jersey Seniors at the “Jazz Your Brain” event, sponsored by Rutgers University. Created by Mark Gluck, Professor of Neuroscience at the Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience, this was the latest in a series of events that brings together nutritionists, Zumba instructors, and other local advocates of good health to provide information to seniors living in Newark Public Housing about the importance of good nutrition and brain health.
The session focused on improving memory and reducing the risk for Alzheimer’s Disease. In welcoming remarks, Ms. Maio-Messano noted the importance of partnering with housing authorities to promote brain and general health and discussed HUD’s initiative to promote smoke-free public housing, to rousing applause. Seniors braved some light Zumba exercises and were rewarded with a healthy lunch.
These events are sponsored by the Rutgers-Newark African-American Brain Health Initiative, a program jointly run by the Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience and the Office of University-Community Partnerships with community and faith-based organizations. Combining research, education, and community engagement, the AABHI addresses why African Americans are at greater risk for Alzheimer’s disease, memory loss, and other age-related brain health problems, and what seniors can do to improve their memory and brain health.