Mayor Steven Fulop and the Partnership for a Healthier Jersey City, an office within the Jersey City Department of Health & Human Services, announced on Wednesday the complete list of 2019 Culture of Health Mini-Grantees. The grant recipients are part of the largest ever group of awardees, with a total grant funding of nearly $100,000.
The 2019 Culture of Health Mini-Grants are the final major expenditure of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Culture of Health grant that was awarded to the City of Jersey City in 2014. According to the mayor’s office, since then, the city has been awarded a total $200,000 through this program.
The goal of the grant is to enable community-based service organizations to better connect with one another and combine resources to best serve their communities. It also requires the Department of Health & Human Services to assemble a team of core partners to help implement the grant, which has incorporated the Jersey City Medical Center, Jersey City Housing Authority, Jersey City Parks Coalition and New Jersey City University as allies in creating a culture of health.
The initial RWJF Culture of Health grant was leveraged by the Department of Health & Human Services to qualify for multiple additional grants, and allowed the Department to award $125,000 in mini-grants to 54 community organizations over four years, transforming the Department’s role into that of Chief Public Health Strategist for the City of Jersey City.
Recognizing that grassroots organizations are best suited to identify and address the systemic barriers to health, the Partnership for a Healthier JC has worked to empower community groups through technical support, trainings, and small grant awards.
A recent report in NJBIZ noted that wide disparities in health access exist many of New Jersey’s cities, including Jersey City. The distribution of the 2019 mini-grant dollars will be dedicated to areas of Jersey City that are most in need of improved health outcomes. The Department of Health & Human Services itself has been physically located in Ward F since 2014.
The 2019 mini-grants are being awarded to 43 different community groups, with an additional $5,000 in funding coming from Wellcare Health Plans to fund child and maternal health-focued mini grants.
This team was able to leverage additional grant support over the last four years, up to and including funds for the mini-grants through additional support from Wellcare, Firemen Foundation, and RWJF’s National Culture of Health work.