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Update Healthy New Jersey 2000
Second Update and Review

Organization of This Update

Healthy New Jersey 2000 identified eleven priority areas. The 1996 update retained these goals, with minor modifications. This update follows the previous update and is divided into chapters focusing on each of the following priority areas:

Increase Access to Preventive and Primary Care
Improve Infant, Child Health and Maternal Outcomes
Improve Adolescent Health
Prevent, Detect and Control Cancer
Prevent, Detect and Control Cardiovascular and Other Vascular Diseases
Prevent and Control AIDS and HIV Infection
Prevent and Control Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Prevent and Control Vaccine-Preventable and Other Infectious Diseases
Prevent and Control Injuries
Reduce Occupational and Environmental Hazards
Reduce the Rates of Mortality and Morbidity Due to Addiction

For each priority area there are specific objectives, i.e. target indicators with target levels to be achieved by the end of the year 2000. As an example, the first objective for Infant, Child Health and Maternal Outcomes is: "Reduce the number of infant deaths per 1,000 live births to 7.0 infant deaths in the total population and 11.0 in the black population."

A few objectives appear in several different chapters. For example, an objective related to reducing smoking by adolescents also appears in the chapters on adolescent health, cancer and addictions. Generally, however, objectives are unique to each priority area.

Each chapter contains:

  • a brief introduction;

  • an overview of the likelihood of achieving each chapter objective;

  • a data update for each objective, showing the most complete data available since the benchmark year, with a brief interpretation of the data; and

  • a discussion that focuses on major accomplishments and initiatives underway, as well as significant challenges.

For many objectives, year 2000 targets were set for the population as a whole, as well as some subpopulations, often defined by age or race. There were serious data limitations which constrained the ability of the authors of Healthy New Jersey 2000 to set separate targets for different minority groups. For those indicators which require population estimates for denominators in order to calculate rates, such as mortality and incidence rates, or percentages, it is necessary to rely on Census Bureau population estimates. In 1990-91, when Healthy New Jersey 2000 was developed, the Census Bureau provided estimates only for "whites" and "all other races." Accordingly, many of New Jersey's year 2000 objectives include specific targets for "minority" populations, defined as all races other than white, rather than separate targets for all the racial groups with substantial representation in New Jersey, as well as targets for ethnic groups, such as Hispanics.

It should be noted that some objectives for Healthy New Jersey 2000 do contain specific targets for "blacks" and "Hispanics" rather than "minorities." Generally, these involve rates or percentages where denominators are derived from birth certificate data. Since 1989, New Jersey's birth certificate has had detailed coding for the race and ethnicity of an infant's parents, making it possible to set targets for more specific subpopulations.

The Census Bureau has subsequently developed population estimates for the following racial groups: white, black, American Indian, and Asian/Pacific Islanders, as well as for persons of Hispanic origin. The availability of these estimates should, when a subpopulation is large enough in New Jersey, make it easier to set targets for various minority groups when developing Healthy New Jersey 2010. Other challenges remain, however, in the Department's efforts to collect accurate data on race and ethnicity. The Department places great priority on enhancing its ability to better collect and report health data broken down by race and ethnicity, in order to support efforts to identify and address disparities.

At the time this update was prepared, the Department of Health had become the Department of Health. There is no priority area in Healthy New Jersey 2000 devoted exclusively to the health of older New Jerseyans. There are, however, many objectives throughout the other priority areas that have specific targets for people aged 65 and over. Appendix I lists such objectives. Consistent with the conviction that resulted in the consolidation of all services for seniors into one department of state government, the Department will discuss with our partners the best way to make seniors' health a separate priority focus of our agenda for 2010.

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