Central Jersey Family Health Consortium has been awarded a $1.7 million federal grant to help 4,000 low-income pregnant women have healthier babies.
"Congratulations to the Central Jersey Family Health Consortium on receiving the Strong Start grant," said NJ Health Commissioner Mary O'Dowd. "This award will enhance New Jersey's commitment to improving birth outcomes so more children have a healthier start in life. This initiative will be instrumental in helping the Department achieve its pledge to reduce premature births by 8 percent by 2014."
The 'Strong Start' grant will help pregnant women in eight communities: Asbury Park, Long Branch, and Neptune in Monmouth County; Newark in Essex County; New Brunswick and Perth Amboy in Middlesex County; Trenton in Mercer County; and Lakewood in Ocean County.
The communities were selected because of higher than average preterm birth rates and number of low-birth weights. They also have large numbers of minority women who are single mothers; and the women are at high risk for having unhealthy babies.
The Consortium will bring groups of eight to twelve pregnant women together with a healthcare practitioner, either a physician or nurse midwife, to discuss challenges and receive education on changing unhealthy behaviors like avoiding alcohol and tobacco use.
"Central Jersey Family Health Consortium is very excited for the opportunity to bring the Strong Start Initiative to New Jersey," said Robyn D'Oria, Executive Director of the Central Jersey Family Health Consortium. "With this funding we will be able to assist in improving the health and wellness of the woman in our state and ultimately improving the lives of our infants. Our NJ Strong Start Initiative will help us to fulfill our mission and we are happy to be part of this very important program."
For more information on the awards announced today, please go to: innovation.cms.gov/initiatives/Strong-Start/index.html.