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EDISON – The physical and mental health and well-being of residents and planning beyond the pandemic will be at the center of the Middlesex County Commissioners Council in 2022.

The commissioners shared their vision for the future at their annual reorganization meeting Thursday at Middlesex College, where Ronald G. Rios began another term as director of the council.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the inequalities in health care in our country,” said Director Director Ronald G. Rios. “We have seen more clearly than ever this limited access to health care, including basic information on the benefits of immunization. in general, can have a devastating effect not only on vulnerable and at-risk members of our community, but also on our community as a whole. “

Ronald G. Rios was sworn in for a new term on the Middlesex County Commissioners Council on Thursday.

The county, working with partners Hackensack Meridian Health, RWJBarnabas Health and St. Peters Healthcare System, among others, plans to expand the telehealth pilot program.

The goal of the program, launched in October, is to increase understanding and use of telehealth services within the Latinx community, and to expand access to health care for underinsured residents of County of. Middlesex.

The county’s Destination 2040 strategic vision, based on its economic development strategy, remains a priority.

READ:More COVID test sites added in Middlesex County from January 10

“Destination 2040, led by the County Department of Transportation and overseen by Commissioner Charlie Kenny, is based on input from residents, businesses and city leaders, and is designed to take into account the current and future needs of our community,” all with the aim of continuing to build a strong and well-prepared Middlesex County for the future, ”said Rios.

The county will invest in transportation safety this year and is launching a “Vision Zero” initiative that aims to reduce the number and severity of vehicle accidents.

“Middlesex County will lead the charge as the first New Jersey county to develop such a plan and will be positioned alongside other major counties and cities around the world that have demonstrated their commitment to ending all death and serious injury. on the “avoidable” route, ”Rios said.

The Council of Commissioners is also focusing its efforts on strengthening diversity, equity and inclusion by creating an office dedicated to identifying opportunities to shape policies and operations that will refine its focus in these areas.

“We will hire a professional partner to guide us in creating this office and, ultimately, a Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging, to oversee this office and ensure what these core principles are reflected in everything we do, “said Rios.

Rios reaffirmed the council’s commitment to invest in educational institutions.

“As a result, in 2022 the county will work with Middlesex College and Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools to explore investments to improve and expand campuses and facilities,” he said. declared.

Commissioners Chanelle Scott McCullum, Shanti Narra and surrogate Claribel Cortes were sworn in at the meeting, which Gov. Phil Murphy and other state and federal officials were in attendance.

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Susan Rent covers Middlesex County and more for MyCentralJersey.com. To get unlimited access to his work, please register or activate your digital account today.