PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
February 17, 2017

Cathleen D. Bennett

For Further Information Contact:
Office of Communications
(609) 984-7160

NJ Department of Health Seeks 2017 Population Health Heroes

The New Jersey Department of Health is seeking applications for its first Population Health Heroes Awards to recognize the state's innovative leaders who are making system, policy and environmental changes that improve health.

“Across the state, there is incredible work being done to keep the well healthy, support those at risk for health problems and prevent those with chronic conditions from getting sicker,” Health Commissioner Cathleen Bennett said. “The goal of these awards is to discover and showcase the work of an individual, group, business, municipality, county, faith-based or other community organization that has successfully implemented a program or intervention that has made a measurable difference in health outcomes for our residents.”

Awards will be given in six categories: Individual/Clinician; Municipal/County Organization/Coalition; Health Care Provider Institution; Community/Faith-Based Organization; Private Sector Institution/Organization; and Multi-Stakeholder Collaboration.

The application and criteria for the New Jersey Department of Health 2017 Population Health Hero Award was modeled after the 2017 Hearst Health Prize. We thank the College of Population Health at Thomas Jefferson University and Hearst Health for allowing the New Jersey Department of Health to adapt its work as a guiding template.

Applications are due March 22, 2017 and are available here. Winners will be announced at the 2017 Population Health Summit in June. The Department’s Office of Population Health, created in 2015, is sponsoring the awards program.  

Population health initiatives focus on improving health outcomes through coordination among traditional and non-traditional partners. Efforts can target specific populations such as employees in a business, patients served by a health care provider, residents of a community or people with specific diseases like diabetes or obesity within a community or faith-based group.

Examples may include:

  • Collaborations among diverse groups that improve access to healthy food or physical activity such as farmers’ markets, community gardens, Breakfast After the Bell, Complete Streets, Safe Routes to Schoolsor restoration of parks or other recreational spaces through the Green Acres program
  • Implementation of a community-based educational program that simplifies managing through a chronic condition
  • A school district that partners with a community-based organization or a local transportation authority to improve accessible walking paths for students 
  • Improvements in follow-up care or access to healthy food/physical activity facilitated by technology, practice, or a system such as telehealth, mobile vans or workplace wellness efforts among employers
  • Collaborations that promote inclusion and maintenance of vulnerable residents in their communities  

Judges will consider the following criteria when evaluating submissions:

  • Measurable population health impact or outcome
  • Efforts uniting government and community level constituents
  • Demonstrated innovative health education/promotion practices at the community, municipal, county or state level
  • Use of evidence-based interventions or innovations that improve population health
  • Approaches that address diverse cultural health beliefs and practices, health literacy and other communication needs of vulnerable populations
  • Changes in organizational culture, policies and procedures that enhance or expand access to services

Submissions that are not focused primarily on a New Jersey–based population will not be considered. Only programs which are active or completed within the past year will be considered. 

Click here for more information. 

Follow the New Jersey Department of Health on Twitter at twitter.com/NJDeptofHealth and on Facebook at facebook.com/NJDeptofHealth.

Last Reviewed: 2/17/2017