Choose Healthy Life mourns the passing of New Jersey Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver who died earlier this week after a sudden illness.  The Lt. Governor was a strong advocate for Choose Healthy Life as the organization established a base of churches in the greater Newark, N.J. area to deliver health services through the Black church.

“Lt. Governor Oliver welcomed us with open arms and supported our establishment of a faith-based community health workforce in our Choose Healthy Life churches in Newark, N.J.,” said Debra Fraser-Howze, Founder and President of Choose Healthy Life.  “She was a beacon of light and a strong leader in state government. Our prayers go out to her family and all those who knew and loved her.”

“She grew up in Newark and understood the challenges facing our community when it comes to accessing healthcare,” said Rev. David Jefferson, Choose Healthy Life’s Clergy Leader for New Jersey and Senior Pastor at Metropolitan Baptist Church. “She was a strong advocate for our program.”

The Lt. Governor met with leaders from Choose Healthy Life and provided valuable input/feedback to its successful model where churches are funded and supported to educate, train and deploy faith-based community health workers to provide much needed services for the community.

“She was a great person who cared so deeply about our community,” said Rev. Kimberly L. Williams, who served as Newark’s Health Navigator Supervisor before being named Choose Healthy Life’s Executive Director this past May.  “Her leadership will be sorely missed.”