The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services is receiving money from the federal government to increase its work force and improve tracking of public health programs.
New Jersey will receive $950,791 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, partly funded by the Affordable Care Act. According to Health and Human Services, the money will go toward programs in the state supported by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
More than $40 million in grants were handed out Wednesday across the country as part of the second year of the CDC’s five-year program, the National Public Health Improvement Initiative. HHS reports more than 100 people were hired as a result of the program, and more are expected to get jobs with the newest round of funding.
According to a release announcing the grant, the funds are intended to improve tracking of program performance, identifying and spreading best practices, building a network of so-called “performance improving managers,” and increasing coordination of local and state public health systems.
“As part of the grant, we will work with our county and local health departments to increase disease surveillance and reporting systems and improve health outcomes in the three leading causes of preventable death — tobacco, improper diet and physical inactivity,” said Health and Senior Services spokeswoman Donna Leusner, in an e-mail. “We will also create a statewide system to support local health departments in evaluating their programs to determine if they are improving health outcomes, (and) assess and close gaps in health care access, especially for indigent and at-risk populations.”
“Investing in preventive services, system improvements and comprehensive interventions is essential to reducing the burden of health care costs in the future,” Thomas Frieden, CDC director, said in the announcement.
Calls to the Department of Health and Senior Services were not immediately returned.