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News Release

   PO 360
   Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

   For Release:
   April 15, 2002


Clifton R. Lacy, M.D.

For Further Information Contact:
Laura Otterbourg or Marilyn Riley
(609) 984-7160

Department Announces Availability of
$600,000 in Minority Community Health Grants


TRENTON - The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services is making available $600,000 in grant funding to help improve the health of the state's racial and ethnic minority populations, Commissioner of Health and Senior Services Clifton R. Lacy, M.D. announced today.

Minority community-based organizations are invited to apply for community mobilization grants to improve health in the areas of childhood asthma, diabetes, heart disease and stroke - areas in which minority populations suffer higher incidence of disease or death.

Completed grant applications are due at the department's Office of Minority and Multicultural Health by May 10. From six to 10 grants will be awarded in fiscal year 2002, and may be renewed for up to three years.

"Health disparities are an important public health issue in our state and in the nation," Dr. Lacy said. "For example, New Jersey's asthma death rate for African-Americans is more than five times the rate for Caucasians, and minorities account for more than half of all asthma-related hospitalizations in the state."

"Minority community groups are vital partners in the state's effort to reduce the burden of these diseases on African-Americans, Latinos and Asian-Americans," Dr. Lacy added. "These groups know their communities. They know the types of health awareness, education and outreach programs that are most likely to be effective."

These are the first grants to be awarded since legislation was signed last year expanding the duties of the office, allowing it to make grants to community organizations and renaming it to include multicultural health.

Grant recipients must conduct intensive outreach programs educating the targeted community on healthy behaviors that can prevent chronic health problems. The organizations will also help people identify health problems that may need treatment or better manage health conditions they currently have. Those who need health care will be referred to a health center, hospital or health department.

Grantees are also required to identify new minority community-based organizations during the first year of the grant. The grantees will serve as mentors to the new organizations, so that the new group can perform some of the grant functions in the second and third years of the project. The goal is to develop more organizations with the experience needed to compete for grants in the future.

For more information about grant availability, please call (609) 292-6962 or visit the department's web site at

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Department of Health and Senior Services
P. O. Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

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