The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) has moved forward with plans for the previously announced Maternal and Infant Health Innovation Center in Trenton and is looking for three anchor tenants.
NJEDA issued a Request For Qualifications (RFQ) April 3, seeking a health care services provider, an institution of higher education and a Trenton-based multiservice organization to serve as initial anchor tenants.
These organizations will work collaboratively to provide services to New Jersey expectant and new parents and babies, advance the perinatal workforce and deliver maternal and infant health policy, and research and innovation focused on eliminating racial disparities in maternal and infant health outcomes, NJEDA said in a statement.
The center is central to First Lady Tammy Murphy’s Nurture NJ initiative, launched in January 2019. In January 2021, Murphy unveiled the Nurture NJ Maternal and Infant Health Strategic Plan – which aims to reduce New Jersey’s maternal mortality by 50% over five years and eliminate racial disparities in birth outcomes.
“The Maternal and Infant Health Innovation Center, through cutting-edge research, data analysis and innovation, will truly be a one-of-a-kind hub for developing groundbreaking solutions to our maternal health crisis,” Murphy said in a statement.
In July 2022, New Jersey ranked No. 47 nationwide for maternal health outcomes, according to the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute’s Maternity Action Plan.
“At its core, this center is designed to create innovative models of care and policy that will transform maternal health care locally in Trenton, across our state, and simultaneously serve as a resource for any and all communities across our nation looking to tackle similar disparities,” Murphy added.
NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan said the center will ensure that mothers and newborns receive high-quality care.
“But beyond the health care implications, the Center will spur development, create good-paying jobs, support families, and generate economic activity,” Sullivan added. “Under Gov. Murphy and First Lady Murphy’s leadership, New Jersey has put this cause at the core of its mission of building a more equitable state. When we invest in families, we invest in communities’ long-term growth and prosperity.”
According to NJEDA, Gov. Phil Murphy’s Fiscal Year 2022 and 2023 budgets dedicated nearly $23 million for planning and construction of the center. The authority said a real estate analysis for the center is underway to identify potential locations.
NJEDA is also looking for organizations that may not meet the qualifications for or may not be interested in being a lead tenant, but may be interested in providing direct services or establishing partnerships with the center or its occupants.
Interested parties may apply for only one of the three lead tenant roles.
NJEDA said it anticipates issuing a subsequent Request for Proposals (RFP), which will serve as a procurement for these three lead roles. To apply for the RFP, applicants for the three lead roles must respond to the initial RFQ. The selected organizations will then enter a long-term lease with the NJEDA for space at the center.
Questions about the applications are due by 2 p.m. April 17. Proposals are due by 2 p.m. May 8. More information can be found here in the section labeled “2023-RFQ-169 – Maternal and Infant Health Innovation Center Lead Roles.”