While visiting the Irish Centre for Maternal and Child Health Research at University College Cork during the state’s economic mission to Ireland, officials of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the research institute, the governor’s office announced April 26.
First Lady Tammy Murphy joined NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan and other members of the Garden State delegation for the trip to INFANT at UCC as part of her Nurture NJ initiative, the maternal and infant health awareness campaign that launched in 2019 to improve access to care for expectant Garden State mothers and babies.
“The INFANT Centre is tackling maternal and infant health issues in a creative and innovative way,” Murphy said in a statement. “Their model is something we can learn from as we develop the Maternal and Infant Health Innovation Center in Trenton, and we hope INFANT can benefit from our experience as well.
“Our research center will continue the work of Nurture NJ and put New Jersey on the cutting edge of maternal health, helping us to not only solve our maternal health crisis in the Garden State, but making us a national leader in the field,” she continued. “Together, we are committed to improving outcomes for our mothers and babies in both New Jersey and Ireland. We are thrilled to establish a lasting and fruitful relationship with INFANT, and look forward to sharing best practices and supporting each other’s work.”
According to the governor’s office, the visit also provides an assist as the state works to launch the Maternal and Infant Health Innovation Center in Trenton, a key recommendation from Nurture NJ’s Strategic Plan. The NJEDA announced entering into an MOU with the John S. Watson Institute of Urban Policy and Research at Kean University in March to engage the community in the development of that project, which aims to improve health outcomes and serve as a central hub for New Jersey stakeholders who have their sights set on improving maternal health outcomes through the equitable delivery of services.
“Under Gov. [Phil] Murphy and First Lady Murphy’s leadership, New Jersey is making ground-breaking investments in research, innovation, and community revitalization practices that will help eliminate the staggering racial disparities currently present in maternal and infant health outcomes,” Sullivan said. “By learning from, and collaborating with, leading organizations like INFANT, New Jersey will be better equipped to address these disparities while making informed decisions about the development of New Jersey’s own Maternal and Infant Health Innovation Center.”
The INFANT agreement follows a number of announcements from the Ireland trip made this week, which include a $126 million investment from rest stop operator Applegreen and accords with New Jersey City University and New Brunswick Development Corp. (DEVCO).