PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
March 5, 2023

Judith M. Persichilli

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

New Jersey Department of Health Recognizes National Public Health Week, April 3-9

TRENTON – The New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) is recognizing National Public Health Week, April 3-9, by highlighting New Jersey's efforts to strengthen public health and build healthier communities. NJDOH also recognizes and honors the contributions of public health officials at every level for their role in delivering essential public health services, preventing and responding to communicable and chronic disease threats, and promoting health equity throughout New Jersey.  

National Public Health Week is organized by the American Public Health Association, with this year’s theme of “Centering and Celebrating Cultures in Health.”

Governor Murphy issued a proclamation declaring April 3-9 as Public Health Week in New Jersey, which noted the week's key priorities of Accessibility, Community, Food and Nutrition, Mental Health, Reproductive and Sexual Health, Rural Health, and Violence Prevention, and stated "across these health priorities, equity in access and in outcomes is paramount to achieving meaningful population health."

“Our local public health partners have been invaluable in all our efforts to support healthy communities across the state, including in the battle against COVID-19,” said Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli.  “Through investments of funds and technical assistance to local and county health departments, we are strengthening our physical and technological infrastructure and the public health workforce in New Jersey.”

In January, NJDOH announced it had been awarded an $80.5 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to be received over the next five years to support public health workforce development and training, building foundational capabilities, and data modernization. The initiatives in the grant will enable NJDOH to continue to grow regionalized support for local health partners in building workforce capacity and infrastructure.

In November, NJDOH also announced $116.5 million in grants to help strengthen public health infrastructure across the state. This funding includes $75 million awarded to the New Jersey Association of City and County Health Officials to administer grants to eligible county, municipal and regional local health departments and $41.5 million in direct support to the state’s 21 county health departments to continue their efforts in building capacity and responding to complex public health emergencies.  

With this and other funding, NJDOH will continue to work to promote health equity throughout the state and combat the spread of infectious diseases, among other key responsibilities.

In November, the Department hosted its first annual New Jersey Rural Health Conference to shed light on the unique healthcare challenges facing rural New Jerseyans and to recognize the innovation, quality of care, and dedication of health professionals and volunteers throughout these communities.

New Jersey’s health improvement plan, Healthy New Jersey 2020, offers local communities an interactive database to monitor public health improvements and track progress on disease prevention. Actions to be taken to achieve the goals of Healthy NJ 2030 are being developed now.

NJDOH continues to work with local health partners to boost immunizations, such as COVID-19 and flu vaccinations.

With the help of our local partners, to date:

  • over 81 percent of New Jersey residents have completed their COVID-19 primacy vaccination series, and work continues to increase booster uptake for the greatest protections against the virus;
  • nearly 15,000 residents received mpox vaccinations; community-based organizations and local health departments were instrumental in education and vaccination efforts.

Over the past year, the state’s local health departments have been integral in supporting community health events, providing immunizations and education materials, and other wellness activities.

Some examples:

  • Clifton Health Department, partnering with the local recreation department, held a Harvest Festival community outreach event in October. The event drew about 400 families, including some of the city’s disproportionally affected populations such as racial and ethnic minorities, non-English speaking residents, essential workers, and individuals with limited or no access to technology, and provided COVID-19 tests and vaccination information.
  • East Windsor Health Department partnered with local nonprofit RISE for the annual Latino Festival in September, which drew about 6,000 attendees. The department provided information on COVID-19 and Lyme Disease, and health care professionals provided health education and provided information to help address vaccine hesitancy within the community.
  • Elizabeth Health Department held an outdoor wellness tour in each of the five wards once a month from April through October 2022, providing health and wellness resources on COVID-19, flu, Hepatitis B, mpox and syphilis. Approximately 2,000 residents attended.
  • Fair Lawn Health Department, in recognizing the many negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including mental health in all age groups, collaborated with the borough’s Stigma Free committee and a local yoga instructor to develop free yoga classes focused on promoting mental and emotional wellness. The program also enabled the health department to promote COVID-19 vaccinations, health fact sheets, and other health education information.
  • Lincoln Park Health Department created individual technology lessons and a monthly paper newsletter to help its 65+ residents overcome technology barriers. The technology appointments allow the seniors to learn cellphone basics, make vaccine appointments at their local pharmacy, and use telehealth. The monthly bulletin health topics such as COVID-19 information and senior resources in and around the community.

For more information, visit www.nphw.org.

Follow the New Jersey Department of Health on Twitter @njdeptofhealth, Facebook /njdeptofhealth, Instagram @njdeptofhealth and LinkedIn /company/njdeptofhealth.

Last Reviewed: 4/5/2023