New Jersey Health Initiatives

An RWJF program in its home state

Dates of the Program: January 1987–

Description: Like the rest of the nation, New Jersey—home state of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF)—faces an array of health and health care problems. Meeting the needs of the state's residents requires creative, community-based projects.

New Jersey Health Initiatives supports innovative projects by non-profit, community-based organizations in New Jersey to improve the health and health care of the state’s residents. Since 2008, the projects either:

  • Address specific health and health care needs in New Jersey, or
  • Bring effective models and best practices to New Jersey, based on work RWJF has funded elsewhere (by using themes and lessons learned from other work and/or locally replicating or adapting RWJF national programs in New Jersey)

Most grants awarded through 2014 are for two or three years. Technical assistance and networking opportunities (primarily through workshops and webinars) help the grantees implement their projects and enhance their potential for sustainability, while, at the same time, learning from each other.

Since 1987, RWJF has invested more than $81.1 million in New Jersey Health Initiatives.

Key Results

  • From 1987 to October 2014, New Jersey Health Initiatives has supported 252 innovative, community-based projects to improve the health and health care of New Jersey residents. The program has 20 active projects as of October 2014. Current work includes:

    • Addressing Specific Health and Health Care Needs in New Jersey:
      • Primary Care Workforce Innovations (2013): Seven primary care practices in New Jersey are implementing creative workforce models and using staff more effectively to improve access to and quality of primary care services without increasing costs.
      • New Paths to Professional Nursing (2014): Projects at five universities, colleges, and university hospitals are preparing certified nursing assistants, medical assistants, and licensed practical nurses from underrepresented communities to enroll in baccalaureate nursing programs in New Jersey by fall 2016.
    • Bringing Effective Models and Best Practices to New Jersey:
      • Collaborating for Community Needs Assessment (2011): Six projects developed community needs assessments and health improvement plans, a requirement for non-profit hospitals under the 2010 Affordable Care Act.
      • Building a Culture of Health in New Jersey—Communities Moving to Action (2015): Projects in up to 10 communities will address health behaviors, social and economic factors, clinical care, and the physical environment to make sustainable changes to build a Culture of Health. NJHI initiatives will support existing multi-sector, community-focused coalitions over four years, bringing together local leaders and community members to create solutions that give everyone the opportunity for a healthy life.
      • NJHI will use the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps—a national collaboration between RWJF and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, that offers an annual snapshot of what makes people sick or healthy in nearly all 3,000+ counties in the nation, and provides resources to support local leaders and residents in working together to improve health in their county—to motivate community members and leaders in New Jersey to work together to build a Culture of Health and provide them with appropriate tools and supports, including coaches.