By Bob Kappstatter
Jenny from the block is finally throwing some money back into the borough that helped elevate her to fame and fortune.
Long criticized for leveraging her Bronx roots to boost her showbiz career without returning the favor, pop singer Jennifer Lopez is partnering her Lopez Family Foundation with Montefiore Medical Center to establish the Center for a Healthy Childhood.
Designed to promote healthy living through community health programming and messages and a healthy environment, the new initiative builds upon Montefiore’s activities throughout its health system and the community-at-large.
Lopez, who grew up in working/middle-class Castle Hill, has a “long-standing commitment to improving the health and well-being of women and children,” Montefiore said in a statement after Lopez and her sister Lynda visited the Norwood medical facility Tuesday, May 13 to announce the partnership.
“My roots are in the Bronx,” Lopez stated in the same announcement. “It was natural to join forces with Montefiore, an organization that has cared for and served the Bronx for more than 100 years.”
She noted that her Lopez Family Foundation “has done amazing work improving the health and well-being of children around the world and now we’re looking forward to expanding the efforts underway in the borough where I grew up.”
A borough in need
Montefiore noted that the need in the Bronx is real. Of 62 counties in New York State, the Bronx is ranked last in overall health outcomes. The Bronx also continues to be the epicenter of high rates of obesity, diabetes, asthma and teen pregnancy.
“We are so pleased to work with Jennifer and her Foundation to impact real change for people living in the Bronx and the surrounding region,” said Montefiore president and CEO Dr. Steven Safyer. “Our partnership is unique and our goals are large, but we are committed to expanding our efforts and continuing to reach patients and their families, children and young adults in school and community members in an impactful way.”
Making an impact
The Lopez Family Foundation advocates and invests in policies and programs that make a positive, measurable impact on communities. It strives to support organizations that make a difference in the lives of families around the world.
“We consider it a great honor to bring our efforts to the community in which we grew up and continue to love,” said sister Lynda Lopez. “Through this partnership, we know we can make a big difference to improve the health and well-being of families in the Bronx – and that brings us great joy.”