The Murphy Administration announced funding Jan. 4 for reproductive health care providers to support facility and security upgrades.
The more than $15 million comes via two programs.
The first, a partnership between the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) and the New Jersey Health Care Facilities Financing Authority (HCFFA), offers zero-percent interest, forgivable loans to family planning providers making facility upgrades to accommodate more patients.
In the initial round of that program, more than $6 million was approved for 15 applicants. A second round remains open until 4 p.m. on Jan. 6.
There is just under $4 million available in that pool of funding, with a maximum award of $750,000.
Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said this program is an important step to helping ensure access to these services throughout the state.
“These loans will support the improvement of facilities with equipment upgrades, increased staffing, and expanded IT services to enhance reproductive health care,” said Persichilli.
“These facilities provide much needed services and have already reported a substantial increase in demand over the last six months,” said New Jersey Health Care Facilities Financing Authority Executive Director Mark Hopkins.
That program runs through June 30, 2023.
Additionally, the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness (NJOHSP) opened the application period for the new $5 million Reproductive Health Security Grant Program, which will award up to $100,000 to eligible, licensed facilities that can demonstrate a high security risk.
The program is primarily geared toward facilities that may be targeted by violence, property damage, vandalism, harassment and more.
Funding for the initiative, modeled after the state’s existing nonprofit security grant program, can be used for: hiring security personnel; purchase and installation of target-hardening equipment; security and emergency preparedness training; emergency planning activities; and procurement of cybersecurity assets.
Applications are being accepted through Feb. 28.
“This grant program will help to safeguard patients and their medical providers. Our Grants Management Bureau will assess threats, vulnerabilities and consequences to determine which providers demonstrate the greatest and lowest risk for an attack,” said NJOHSP Director Laurie Doran.
In a press release, the governor’s office notes that these programs build on several recent efforts to expand and protect reproductive health care in the Garden State in the wake of the Supreme Court overturning of Roe v. Wade.
“We must and will continue to take a comprehensive approach to making reproductive health care safe and accessible to all who need it in our state,” said Gov. Phil Murphy in a statement. “This is a matter of defending a fundamental right that remains under attack throughout our country. New Jersey will continue to serve as a safe haven for both providers and patients as we take additional steps to ensure protected, equitable access to this critical care.”l