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NJ Health Department Announced $116.5 Million in Grants to Strengthen Public Health Infrastructure

By metrostaff on
New Jersey

By: Yuritza Arroyo

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.

This investment will strengthen our public health infrastructure by making us more resilient and prepared to meet the challenges facing New Jersey both today and in the future.”

“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. This money will bring county and local health departments the resources needed to support their efforts.”

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.

Grants will be awarded to LHDs based on a funding allocation formula that accounts for the population served and greatest need.

LHDs may select any of the following goals to address in their grant application to NJACCHO:

  • Increase health equity for disproportionately affected populations;
  • Streamline processes supported by technology and automation;
  • Strengthen organizational capacity to drive progress on public health priorities and increase capacity across LHDs;
  • Expand data collection and infrastructure to drive data-driven decision-making with an aim to improve equity;
  • Develop multilingual, culturally-appropriate communications/public health campaigns and share across LHDs;
  • Codify institutional knowledge and COVID-specific lessons learned; or
  • Enhance or continue ongoing COVID-19/communicable disease mitigation efforts. 

The Enhancing Local Public Health Infrastructure Partner Organization Grant was made possible through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity (ELC) funding, which provides funding and technical assistance to state, local, and territorial health departments to implement and maintain surveillance for human disease and their vectors, improve diagnostics, and to implement and evaluate prevention strategies.

"The New Jersey Association of County and City Health Officials is delighted with this opportunity to continue our partnership with the State Department of Health.

The ELC grant award is a step forward in addressing the significant needs of our public health infrastructure.

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.

Funding amounts for each county are based on the Census Bureau’s 2021 Population Estimates.

Funding amounts by county:

  • Department of Health, Atlantic County Health Infrastructure: $1,224,215
  • Department of Health, Bergen County Health Infrastructure: $4,246,633
  • Department of Health, Burlington County Health Infrastructure: $2,067,037
  • Department of Health, Camden County Health Infrastructure: $2,331,954
  • Department of Health, Cape May County Health Infrastructure: $425,906
  • Department of Health, Cumberland County Health Infrastructure: $683,984
  • Department of Health, Essex County Health Infrastructure: $3,806,296
  • Department of Health, Gloucester County Health Infrastructure: $1,355,605
  • Department of Health, Hudson County Health Infrastructure: $3,127,534
  • Department of Health, Hunterdon County Health Infrastructure: $578,453
  • Department of Health, Mercer County Health Infrastructure: $1,718,111
  • Department of Health, Middlesex County Health Infrastructure: $3,832,520
  • Department of Health, Monmouth County Health Infrastructure: $2,873,271
  • Department of Health, Morris County Health Infrastructure: $2,275,010
  • Department of Health, Ocean County Health Infrastructure: $2,889,495
  • Department of Health, Passaic County Health Infrastructure: $2,306,781
  • Department of Health, Salem County Health Infrastructure: $289,600
  • Department of Health, Somerset County Health Infrastructure: $1,538,904
  • Department of Health, Sussex County Health Infrastructure: $647,992
  • Department of Health, Union County Health Infrastructure: $2,547,189
  • Department of Health, Warren County Health Infrastructure: $493,001

“On behalf of the County of Union, I would like to thank the New Jersey Department of Health and Commissioner Judith Persichilli for this grant award,” said Union County Manager Ed Oatman.

“We are constantly looking for ways to improve the health of our neighbors, family, and friends here in Union County, and this funding is an important tool to keep us moving forward with any assistance or programs we may need.”

“We are thankful to Governor Murphy and the NJ DOH for $3.1 million very needed grant dollars to assist in the development of our long-term health infrastructure,” said Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise.

 “As New Jersey’s most diverse county, equity and inclusion remain a major focus for healthcare development planners here, and we appreciate that this funding reflects that concern.

As we all learned in 2020, planning is key to effective public health response."