Source: RLS Media
The New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) announced $116.5 million in grants that will help strengthen public health infrastructure across the state, according to NJ Health Department officials.
“The pandemic highlighted more than ever before just how critical it is for government to invest in public health,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “A robust network of county and local health departments can make all the difference in helping states identify, address, and respond to public health issues.”
“There is great need to make improvements to our physical and technological infrastructure as well as our public health workforce,” said New Jersey Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli. “The past two-plus years have shown us the need for and value of a strong public health system in addressing emerging health threats and health equity.”
Officials say, the first grant, Enhancing Local Public Health Infrastructure Partner Organization Grant, in the amount of $75 million, was awarded to the New Jersey Association of City and County Health Officials (NJACCHO) to administer grants to eligible county, municipal and regional local health departments (LHDs) across the state.
These funds aim to support the development or expansion of long-term health infrastructure improvements with a key emphasis on health equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility.
Supporting our local health agencies is of utmost importance at this critical time as our communities recover from the pandemic,” said Marconi Gapas, President of NJACCHO and Health Officer for the Township of Union Department of Health.
The County Health Infrastructure Grant Program will provide $41.5 million in direct support to the state’s 21 county health departments to continue their efforts in addressing and responding to complex public health emergencies, such as COVID-19 and monkeypox (hMPXV), emerging local needs, and other key public health priorities.
The funds come from the federal Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund established pursuant to the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
County health departments are encouraged to collaborate with local health departments and other partners and share services as necessary to serve vulnerable communities and minimize health disparities.
Such coordination and collaboration have been essential in vaccination and testing health campaigns during the pandemic.