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News Release

   PO 360
   Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

   For Release:
  July 23, 2002


Clifton R. Lacy, M.D.

For Further Information Contact:
Laura Otterbourg or Marilyn Riley

Department Awards $693,460
in Minority Community Health Grants

TRENTON -The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services has awarded $693,460 in grant funding to seven community-based minority health organizations to help improve the health of the state's racial and ethnic minority populations, Commissioner Clifton R. Lacy, M.D. announced today.

Six agencies were each awarded $100,000 in community mobilization grants, and one received $93,460. The agencies will use the funding to improve health in the areas of diabetes, heart disease and stroke - areas in which minority populations suffer higher incidence of disease or death.

"We must work to eliminate disparities in health and health care that exist in our state. Our goal is to increase all New Jerseyans' access to high-quality health care, and to help all populations achieve and maintain good health," Commissioner Lacy said.

"Governor James E. McGreevey is committed to this effort and has continued the same level of funding in the State's fiscal year 2003 budget for this grant program," he added.

Grant recipients must conduct intensive outreach programs educating the community on healthy behaviors to prevent chronic health problems. The organizations will also help people identify health problems that may need treatment or better manage health conditions they currently have. Those who need health care will be referred to a health center, hospital or health department.

  • Operation Healthy Heart - Concerned Pastors Economic Development Corporation, Inc. (CPEDC), Trenton. The project, aimed at African-Americans, will raise awareness of heart disease and stroke, risk factors, and risk reduction measures among the 2,000 members of the 35 CPEDC churches as well as other Trenton residents. A series of health education seminars will be conducted. Those at high risk will be identified and taught the warning signs of heart disease/stroke. Blood pressure screenings and individualized risk-reduction counseling will also be provided.
  • Speaking from the Heart - HEUREKA Center for Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Willingboro. The organization will conduct group education sessions for 1,200 people a year at churches, clubs, health facilities, and other gatherings in Burlington County. HUEREKA also will provide screening and more in-depth education for 400 African-Americans, and make necessary follow-up referrals. This will include information on exercise, nutrition and other steps for reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke. Provider conferences will also be held to encourage health care providers and community leaders to reach out to the public regularly with heart healthy information.
  • A Strategy to Control Diabetes Among Latinos -- FOCUS Hispanic Center for Community Development Inc., Newark. FOCUS will provide Diabetes Awareness Education Programs to 1,250 Latinos in the North Ward of Newark through lectures, interactive workshops, and other activities. Participants will receive vouchers for free screenings to distribute to other Latinos who are at risk for diabetes. Those diagnosed with diabetes during the screening will join a six-week intensive education workshop that will include culturally appropriate diets, exercise programs, and the use of blood sugar monitors. Participants without primary care providers will be referred for medical care and on-going services.
  • East Orange Diabetes Project - St. Matthew Neighborhood Improvement Development Association, Inc. The association will link about 300 Essex County residents, mainly those living in Orange and East Orange, with a comprehensive diabetes screening program. The program will also educate 2,000 African-Americans about diabetes, as well as educate area health care providers about the cultural issues involved in patient care. The goal is to improve access to health care services, educate the community about healthy lifestyle habits -- especially diet and exercise - and to improve communication between health providers and their patients.
  • Latino Awareness for Diabetes Intervention Network, Outreach and Screenings - PROCEED Inc., Elizabeth. The project will conduct diabetes screening and education services to Latino and other minority residents of Elizabeth. One thousand minority residents will be screened. Those with undiagnosed diabetes and hypoglycemia will be referred for treatment and services. Finally, PROCEED will increase community awareness on how to prevent and control diabetes.
  • Project Linking Community Organizations for Development -- Philippine American Friendship Committee Inc, Jersey City. Working through Asian-Pacific Islander organizations, churches, and other groups, PAFCOM will offer blood pressure, cholesterol and weight screenings as well as stress level assessments to about 2,700 people. Health care professionals will develop an individualized prevention or education plan as needed. A series of health education sessions - including such activities as danceathons -- will increase knowledge of the risk factors associated with heart disease and hypertension. In addition, six training sessions will be conducted on cultural competency for peer educators.
  • Salud Ahora! (Health Now!) - Spanish American Social and Cultural Association, Inc. and Southern Organization United for Regional Collaborative Empowerment, Willingboro. Salud Ahora! will provide diabetes education services to about 2,500 Latino residents of Vineland and Bridgeton through community meetings, churches, workshops, and trainings. This will include screening, testing and preventive educational workshops. Diabetes education outreach will target 2,500 Latinos, and 800 people will be screened for diabetes, including diagnostic eye exams. In addition, diabetes education will be provided to 200 children in grades 6 - 12, and two diabetes community presentations will be conducted each month.

These are the first grants to be awarded since legislation was signed last year expanding the duties of the Office of Minority and Multicultural Health, allowing it to make grants to community organizations and renaming it to include multicultural health. The grants are effective immediately and run through June 30, 2003. Grants may be renewed for up to three years.

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Department of Health and Senior Services
P. O. Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

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