New Jersey Health Commissioner Mary E. O'Dowd celebrated National Public Health Week, April 1 - 7, by recognizing the substantial investment that New Jersey is making in its health care safety net by supporting programs and institutions that improve the health of residents.
"Investing in public health is an investment in the future of our children, our parents, our communities and our state," said Commissioner O'Dowd. "The return on our investment is seen through the gratitude of parents whose newborn's life was saved with a screening for congenital heart defects; through a woman whose cancer was diagnosed early through the state's Cancer Education and Early Detection Program (NJCEED); or in the satisfaction of a patient who received critical care in one our hospitals."
Governor Christie's proposed Fiscal Year 2014 Budget includes nearly $1 billion in support for New Jersey hospitals including $675 million in charity care, a subsidy for the care that hospitals provide to uninsured individuals; $100 million for Graduate Medical Education for costs associated with medical residents training to become physicians, and $166.6 million for the Delivery System Reform Incentive Payments that is replacing the Hospital Subsidy Relief Fund.
In addition to hospitals, the State is supporting New Jersey's 20 Federally Qualified Health Centers with a record $50 million for care provided to the uninsured. Each year, these centers provide primary medical care for more than 420,000 people in 1.3 million patient visits.
The Governor's Fiscal Year 2014 Budget also increases funding to the Department's Newborn Screening Program by $1.6 million. This $25 million program tests more than 100,000 babies each year for 54 disorders that can cause serious health problems. The funding will allow the program to test for six additional life threatening disorders. More information on Newborn Screening is available at: http://www.state.nj.us/health/fhs/nbs/index.shtml
The Department's NJCEED program budget was increased $3.5 million to $12 million in the current fiscal year. Over the last five years, the program has helped 42,000 women and provided more than 67,800 mammograms. The increased funding will provide screening for an additional 4,800 women. NJCEED provides comprehensive outreach, education and screening services for breast, cervical, colorectal and prostate cancers.
More information on NJCEED is available at: http://www.state.nj.us/health/cancer/njceed/
Total funding for the Department including all state and federal resources is $1.8 billion.
According to the American Public Health Association, investing $10 per person in proven community-based public health efforts could save the nation more than $16 billion within 5 years: a $5.60 return for every $1 invested.
National Public Health Week was first proclaimed in 1995.