MAPLEWOOD, NJ — Sustainable Jersey has named Candice Davenport, the Maplewood Township health officer, its August 2021 Sustainability Hero.
“Ms. Davenport has been instrumental in providing a healthy and sustainable balance for our community,” Maplewood Mayor Frank McGehee said. “Her thoughtful leadership has kept us ahead of the curve in terms of community health and environmental health. Congratulations to Health Officer Davenport.”
Davenport has more than 20 years experience in clinical nursing and public health, working in a hospital setting in maternal/child health and at the federal, state and local levels of government and academia. An advocate for health, education, the arts and the environment, Davenport has distinguished herself as a standout sustainability leader and dedicated steward of positive change in New Jersey.
In addition to providing leadership to her community during the COVID-19 crisis, her extensive professional experience has also made Davenport a valuable member of the Sustainable Jersey Health Task Force. The task force launched the Gold Star Standard in Health in July 2021, after a two-year effort of collaborative research, strategy development and program implementation. The actions are aimed at leveraging the potential of local governments to build a culture of health and advance health equity.
“I support a ‘Health in All Policies’ approach,” Davenport said. “A healthy environment creates a healthy person and vice versa. If we are engaged and present in our relationship with our environment and surroundings, then we will be moved and take action on its behalf. This is the basis of the Sustainable Jersey Gold Star in Health. It’s a first step to help municipalities implement large-scale efforts to impact health behavior and make systemic changes.”
Davenport serves on the Sustainable Maplewood Committee, which includes township department heads, elected leadership, community development, Green Team and Environmental Advisory Committee members. Maplewood achieved silver-level Sustainable Jersey certification in 2013, 2016 and 2019 and has been continuously certified since 2009.
For more information on Davenport’s many efforts in Maplewood, visit https://bit.ly/SJAugustHero.
Davenport and her husband, Paul, have three children and have lived in Maplewood for 20 years. In addition to her role as health officer, Davenport has served as a PTA president and community volunteer.