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New Jersey was awarded a Healthy People 2020 Action Project grant to launch an internal and external awareness campaign, develop new and cultivate existing partnerships, and enlist multi-sector partners in priority setting for health planning initiatives statewide. Special attention was to be paid to social determinants of health. To that end, three meetings were held in South, Central, and North Jersey to achieve these goals.
The meetings were planned by the Healthy New Jersey 2020 Regional Meeting Steering Committee at NJDOH and were arranged by the Center for State Health Policy at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ. The half-day meetings consisted of four presentations that provided overview information about the Healthy New Jersey 2020 initiative, social determinants of health, the proposed state leading health indicators, and the New Jersey State Health Assessment Data system (NJSHAD). Additionally, a set of small group breakout sessions were held to facilitate the exchange of best practices,emphasize the concept of “measurable” objectives, demonstrate how attendees could align and tie local health initiatives to Healthy New Jersey, and identify what local agencies need to implement health improvement strategies that are consistent with Healthy New Jersey 2020.
More than one hundred public health professionals from around the state attended the meetings. Attendees included employees of local health departments, NJDOH and other state agencies, community- and faith-based organizations, educational institutions, hospitals and health care providers, special interest groups, and private for-profit corporations and businesses. The populations the attendees serve included specific geographic regions, health conditions, age groups, and racial/ethnic/cultural groups as well as professional groups.