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PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
September 09, 2008

Heather Howard
Commissioner

For Further Information Contact:
Donna Leusner
(609) 984-7160
S. Patricia Cabrera
(609) 984-7160


 
DHSS Awards $800,000 to Organizations Dedicated to Reducing Health Disparities In Recognition of Minority and Multicultural Health Month


 

Camden- - New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) Commissioner Heather Howard, in recognition of Minority and Multicultural Health Month, today awarded $800,000.00 in grants to eight community and faith-based organizations statewide. Grantees joined Commissioner Howard at a health fair hosted by the Hispanic Family Center in Camden.

 

“As I travel around the state to celebrate Minority and Multicultural Health Month, it is my pleasure to support all the front-line community organizers and organizations that on a daily basis continue to help and support communities dealing with chronic disease,” said Commissioner Howard.

Community Health Mobilization grants were awarded to:

  • Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies of Essex, Inc., Newark - Reducing Pediatric Asthma Disparities
  • Nanicoke Lenni-Lenape Indians of New Jersey, Bridgeton - Reducing Diabetes Disparities
  • Center for Human Services, Bridgeton - Reducing Diabetes Disparities
  • Friends of Grace Seniors, Englewood - Reducing Diabetes Disparities
  • Henry J. Austin Health Center, Trenton - Reducing Pediatric Asthma Disparities
  • The Puerto Rican Association for Human Development, Inc., Perth Amboy - Reducing Diabetes Disparities
  • Hispanic Family Center of Southern New Jersey, Camden - Reducing Pediatric Asthma Disparities
  • Catholic Charities, Diocese of Camden, Camden - Reducing Diabetes Disparities

The Department awards Community Health Mobilization grants, $100,000.00 each, to educate and train community leaders about effective methods and activities that can help individuals live with chronic diseases such as pediatric asthma and diabetes. 

Annually in September, the department brings attention to the issue of health disparities in New Jersey by sponsoring Minority and Multicultural Health Month. This year, DHSS’ Office of Minority and Multicultural Health (OMMH) has selected as its theme A Healthy Community Begins with You, which will focus on healthy mothers and healthy babies and will support the national Office of Minority Health’s campaign, A Healthy Baby Begins with You, during Minority and Multicultural Health Month.

 

On September 4, 2008 Commissioner Howard addressed New Jersey’s efforts to reduce racial disparities in birth outcomes and to announce recommendations made by the Prenatal Task Force at the 9th Annual Perinatal Health Disparities Conference at the University of Medicine and Dentistry (UMDNJ) in Newark.

 

“Infant mortality rates tell us how well we are doing as a society and reflect social support and access to health care,” said Commissioner Howard.  “The Prenatal Task Force’s recommendations have laid the foundation for New Jersey to improve access to prenatal care and work to reduce barriers to health care.  Early prenatal care is not only an important component for a healthy pregnancy, but furthers our purpose to ultimately reduce health disparities.”

A Healthy Community Begins with You is designed to offer communities resources, best practice methods and guidelines on how to improve the health of their communities and the importance of care for mothers and babies and other diseases that disproportionately impact minority communities such as asthma, obesity, diabetes and heart disease. 

“We are very pleased to partner with the Department’s Office of Minority and Multicultural Health,” said Elsa Candelario, Executive Director for the Hispanic Family Center of Southern New Jersey.  “Our hope is that events like these raise awareness about the critical need for more culturally and linguistically competent health programs and services in South Jersey.  These grants will support a range of health care initiatives that will ultimately improve the health of our communities and reduce the number of Emergency Department visits.”

DHSS encourages New Jersey residents to participate in health events this month to educate themselves about how to take action to improve their health. This month is a perfect opportunity to schedule a doctor’s visit, start an exercise program, incorporate more fruits and vegetables to the diet and get screened for diabetes, heart disease, breast, colorectal and, prostate cancer, HIV/AIDS and other diseases which disproportionately impact minority communities.

The DHSS publishes a free calendar of Minority and Multicultural Health Month events statewide and it is available to individuals, legislators, community groups and participating organizations to help promote events.  It is also available online at http://nj.gov/health/omh/documents/mmhm_calendar2008.pdf.

 

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