N.J. Pandemic Relief Fund announces statewide health grants

The New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund announced on Monday grants to the state’s four Regional Health Hubs and to Newark-based nonprofits to help New Jersey’s most vulnerable populations.

“Providing health care support for the state’s most vulnerable populations is among the most pressing challenges our state faces during the COVID-19 crisis,” Tammy Murphy, first lady of New Jersey and founder of NJPRF, said. “These communities are vulnerable in various and specific ways. To be most impactful, our response must honor that diversity of need and reflect it.”

The NJPRF, which was launched on March 24 to meet the challenges the state will face in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, also announced additional food security grants from $5,000 to $25,000 to 18 food pantries, adding to the 108 it awarded last week.

A separate grant will give Newark’s health department and Catholic Charities the ability to establish telemedicine units in two new temporary homeless shelters in the city.

“Recognizing that the vast majority of COVID-19 patients are not hospitalized, our intent with these grants is to enable organizations to provide essential health services in ways that slow the spread of the disease through their communities,” NJPRF CEO Josh Weinreich said.

The four hubs — Camden Coalition, Trenton Health Team, Greater Newark Healthcare Coalition, and the Health Coalition of Passaic County — were established by the state legislature in January to coordinate community health services in their region. Each grant will support projects tailored to testing, health care and stopping the spread.

Here’s a breakdown:

  • Camden Coalition: will provide support for the Camden testing site; leverage its Health Information Exchange platform to track results and patients; and provide telemedicine support to homeless shelters;
  • Health Coalition of Passaic County: will support the establishment of walk-up testing sites; support telemedicine for uninsured community members; and provide quarantine space for those at Straight and Narrow and Eva’s Village;
  • Greater Newark Healthcare Coalition: will help pregnant women in Newark by creating “Mom Kits” with blood pressure cuffs and thermometers; and create a virtual platform to provide postpartum and lactation support for new moms.
  • The Trenton Health Team: will support the Mercer County Testing site; and provide technical support to organizations rolling out telehealth programs in conjunction with the Henry J. Austin Health Center.

“We are extremely grateful for the thousands of donors, great and small, whose generosity has made these first health care grants possible,” NJPRF CEO Josh Weinreich said. “We recognize the clinical needs of the state, for PPE and ventilators, for example, are pressing and essential. But in many cases these resources are simply not available at any price.”

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