New Jersey post-hospital patient support program

Although the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation became a national philanthropy in 1972 and has operated on a national scale since then, it also has continued funding a limited number of local institutions and projects in the New Brunswick area and throughout New Jersey. It does so in part to honor the legacy of its founder, and in part to recognize the special responsibilities to the communities and the state in which it is located.This grant provides renewal assistance for a model system of personal support services for discharged patients intended to involve participation of all 75 New Jersey hospitals and related hospital systems. The essential feature of the program is a computer-based, patient-to-patient matching network that establishes communication between hospitalized patients and another individual who has experienced hospitalization for the same condition. The pairs are matched not only by diagnosis but also by age and similarities in interests and backgrounds. Hospital patients forming pairs report consistently positive outcomes for their post-discharge functioning and recovery. More than 3,000 individuals and their families from across New Jersey are current members of this matching network. Under the name Friends Health Connection (FHC), the pilot project attracted remarkable attention from hospitals, physicians, patients, and families throughout New Jersey, as well as from local and national media. The growth and institutionalization of FHC as a personal support service for people recovering from illness depends upon its successful integration with hospital patient education and post discharge planning programs. These programs constitute the infrastructure where seriously ill patients can be reached and where recovery can both begin and be continued into the post discharge period.

Grant Details

Amount Awarded $738,648.00

Awarded on: 1/9/2002

Time frame: 3/1/2002 - 5/31/2005

Grant Number: 42918


Friends' Health Connection

P.O. Box 114
New Brunswick, 08903-0114


Roxanne Black-Weisheit
Project Director