EDA approves MOU to purchase land in Trenton for Maternal and Infant Health Innovation Center

As part of its continuing efforts to advance maternal and infant health equity in the state, the New Jersey  Economic Development Authority recently approved a Memorandum of Understanding enabling the purchase of land in downtown Trenton as the future home of the Maternal and Infant Health and Innovation Center.

As part of first lady Tammy Murphy’s Nurture NJ initiative to reduce health care inequality among mothers and infants of color, the day-to-day operations of the center will be overseen by the Maternal and Infant Health Innovation Authority.

Murphy commended the efforts of enabling her vision of further advancing maternal health care.

“From its conception, this center has been imagined as a fully three-dimensional approach to addressing our incredibly complex maternal and infant health crisis, and I am truly heartened to see this vision becoming reality,” she said. “The Maternal and Infant Health and Innovation Center will provide critical maternal health services to the mothers of the Trenton community, serve as a hub for research and innovation, and create career pathways and training opportunities for Trenton students.

“Further, building this center at the Battle Monument Site, which is an easily accessible location for our community partners, reaffirms our commitment to centering the residents of Trenton first and foremost. This is an exciting next step in the development of the center, and I look forward to continuing our work together with our partners as we bring high-quality services to Trenton.”

The MOU was completed through the Trenton Board of Education and the New Jersey Schools Development Authority and allows the EDA to purchase land next to the historic Battle Monument Site, located at the southwest corner of Pennington Avenue and Warren Street in Trenton. which is currently owned by the Trenton Board of Education.

The site was chosen for its easy accessibility for community residents, safety and close proximity to community resources such as Henry J. Austin Health Center and Greater Mount Zion AME Church.

In a move to further address maternal health, the EDA board approved Capital Health, Rutgers University and Trenton Health Team last month to serve as the center’s anchor tenants, where they will work collaboratively to provide services to address issues related to maternal and infant health in Trenton and across New Jersey.

Moreover, the EDA will work in collaboration with the BOE, Rutgers and the lead institution of higher education within the center to establish career pathways and training opportunities for public school students in Trenton. Rutgers will provide a variety of services, including accredited degree programs, certification programs, nondegree programs, on-the-job training opportunities, student support services and maternal and infant health research.

EDA CEO Tim Sullivan shared excitement for the corresponding moves

“Maternal and infant health equity is at the forefront of Gov. (Phil) and first lady Murphy’s priorities, and the city of Trenton has been actively engaged in establishing the Maternal and Infant Health and Innovation Center from its inception,” he said. “Today has been a major step forward, and our engagement with the Trenton BOE and Rutgers University to establish education and training opportunities will help prepare students for highly skilled, good-paying jobs at the center.

“The MIHIC will help uplift the Trenton community by expanding access to quality health care services and generating ancillary economic activity.”