SPOTLIGHT: University Hospital Violence Intervention Program
This year HFNJ provided funding in the amount of $83,837 to establish a violence prevention program at University Hospital’s Level 1 Trauma Center. In partnership with the Newark Community Street Team, a public safety initiative of Mayor Baraka and the Prudential Foundation, the hospital will use peer workers to reduce violence, broker conflicts, address trauma, and mentor clients in the high-crime South and West Wards. Patients who have suffered gunshots or other penetrating wounds will be enrolled at the bedside and will be paired with peer workers who have lived experience and are willing to engage survivors in this effort. The initial target population will be young men of color, aged 18-30. Workers will support clients for at least one year. The nurse manager and social worker from the Trauma Center will also participate and support clients accordingly.
SPOTLIGHT: Shani Baraka Women’s Resource Center
The Shani Baraka Women’s Resource Center opened in May, 2017 to provide neighborhood-based social services and resources in Newark’s South Ward for women in crisis. The building houses the Newark Police Department’s Domestic Violence and Special Victims Units in addition to the services of the Center. HFNJ support ($101,000) will enable the Center to establish evening hours and hire an additional counselor, substance abuse specialist, and child care professional to better serve working women. Individual counseling and groups will assist women as they attempt to cope with trauma, substance abuse, grief, and parenting issues, and will foster a sense of wellness and support.
SPOTLIGHT: Clara Maass MC Center of Excellent for Latino Health
Clara Maass MC received funding ($139,820) to strengthen its outreach to the Latino community and ensure that patients receive the highest quality care. HFNJ funding will enable Clara Maass to hire its first dedicated staff person for its new Center of Excellence, who will work in the community to identify patients in need of culturally-sensitive care: primary and specialty care, inpatient and outpatient services, transitions of care, and end of life care. S/he will also provide appropriate trainings for regular hospital staff to ensure that all employees understand ways to better serve the Latino population.
SPOTLIGHT: JESPY House Aging in Place Initiative
Adults with learning and intellectual disabilities are living significantly longer than in previous generations and are more likely to experience poorer health and earlier onset age-related conditions than other adults. To address this problem, HFNJ provided funding to JESPY House ($193,388) to strengthen, expand, and integrate services and supports for the older-adults who live in its residences or utilize its day programs. The program will include staff training; individual and group support counseling; part-time occupational and physical therapists; increased hours for an LPN to conduct assessments/screenings, monitor medical conditions/prescribe treatments, facilitate medical appointments/hospital visits, and deliver health education workshops; and a full time Clinical Director to increase the capacity of the agency’s clinical team.
SPOTLIGHT: Fp Youth Outcry Trauma Recovery Center Pilot
Fp Youth Outcry is a grassroots youth organization located in the Willie Wright Apartments in Newark’s Central Ward. The organization was formed in 2006 to help young people and families heal from violence and victimization. Close to 100% of the children who participate in the agency’s free programs are victims of, or have been exposed to, violent crime. HFNJ funding ($25,000) will establish on-site counseling and trauma recovery services, adding a PT licensed social worker trained in trauma, a grief counselor, and victims’ advocacy services. Funding will also support trauma/strategies training for program facilitators to better equip them to handle anger, conflict, and other emotions triggered during sessions. The goal: to systematically address grief and loss among participating youth and their parents, increase coping and social skills, improve communications, develop healthy family interactions, and achieve a greater sense of healing and support.
SPOTLIGHT: NJ Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics Dental Healthcare Pilot
Focusing on infants and young children 0-7, this pilot will forge a pediatric practice model integrating oral healthcare into a child’s wellness visit starting in infancy. A Dental Health Care Coordinator will support three pediatric practices – all of which participate in NJ Family Care/Medicaid – to implement routine oral health practices including family education, screenings, fluoride varnishing, and linkages to area dentists. Partnering dentists will ensure access to a dental home. The goal: to reduce barriers to oral health screenings/treatment, increase access, and improve oral health through new, consistent embedded practices.
SPOTLIGHT: Integrated Pediatric Primary Care
From its inception, HFNJ has been focused on the healthy development of children, under-standing that children whose physical, emotional, developmental, and dental needs are not addressed and nurtured cannot grow to fulfill their potential. In 2016, after a year or more of research and networking, HFNJ embarked upon a very special initiative to integrate behavioral healthcare and dentistry with traditional pediatric practices. The following initiatives were funded:
Newark Beth Israel MC Foundation ($226,489) to test and refine the first fully integrated pediatric practice in the region at Children’s Hospital of NJ. The hospital will implement a new collaborative care model at its Pediatric Health Center. Funding underwrites the hires of a full-time psychologist, embedding behavioral and developmental testing, intakes, and treatment within the pediatric setting; a full time navigator to contact baseline screenings and intensively coordinate care; and the purchase of technology to enable the tracking and analysis of results.
St. James Health ($200,000) to establish integrated primary, dental, and behavioral care for children and caregivers. The agency will use a care team model, with a primary focus on children, new mothers, and pregnant women with the goal of replacing episodic, crisis care with a medical home and health system that advances healthy development.
NJCRI ($146,293) to add pediatric and prenatal services using its existing Living Well adult model of integrated primary care and behavioral health. Funding supports a clinical care team consisting of a part-time pediatrician experienced in serving HIV+ and high-risk children and families, an OB nurse practitioner, a dentist, and a care manager. Mental health services are provided by existing NJCRI staff.
Rutgers Community Health Center ($189,750) to establish a multidisciplinary, dedicated pediatric primary care team that includes community health workers to support the healthy development of infants and children 0-21 living in public housing in East Newark.
Main Street Counseling ($65,000) to integrate behavioral healthcare into the school-based health center at Newark’s 13th Avenue School in partnership with Jewish Renaissance Medical Center. The agencies will work together to establish bidirectional referrals and a joint system to increase access to primary care. JFMC will establish a behavioral health protocol as part of the primary care visit for younger patients (6-10) and expand the electronic medical record system. All students will have access to Main Street’s consultant psychiatrist.
SPOTLIGHT: Memory Care for Adults with Mild to Moderate Dementia
It became apparent this year that the Jewish community had no programs to offer to older adults suffering mild to moderate dementia. Spurred by numerous requests from the community and the generosity of Jonathan Littman and his family, the JCC of MetroWest NJ came to HFNJ for a matching grant to establish the Littman Memory Center in partnership with Jewish Family service of MetroWest.
HFNJ provided $50,000 to augment a $100,000 donation from the Littmans, enabling the Center to open and provide enrichment and supportive services for participants and their families for at least three years.
SPOTLIGHT: Creating understanding and reducing violence through community dialogue.
Concerned about the prevalence of trauma experienced by those living and working in Newark, and the lack of understanding between police and other first responders and community members, HFNJ this year funded Equal Justice USA ($142,127) to conduct a training program for Newark Police Officers and other first responders to foster better relationships, de-escalate crisis situations, and address their own stress and vicarious trauma.
SPOTLIGHT: Children & Adolescent Mental Health
HFNJ has been aware for many years that more attention needs to be paid to connecting children and families with the mental health services that they need to thrive. Over the years the Foundation has devoted considerable resources to tackling this problem, and has urged other funders to do so as well. In 2015 HFNJ awarded grants totaling more than $560,000 to support six local initiatives:
1. THE NEWARK TRUST FOR EDUCATION FUNDERS’ COLLABORATIVE FOR IMPROVING SCHOOLS – $100,000. HFNJ joined this year with other local foundations concerned about helping children succeed in school by funding supports for their social/emotional development and helping teachers learn to deal with challenging behaviors. A total of 11 Newark schools received funding amounting to >$440,000.
2. YOUTH DEVELOPMENT CLINIC – Pulling Together (Year 2). This grant enables YDC to continue its partnership with Brick Avon and Brick Peschine schools, providing behavioral counseling through one-on-one support, classroom interventions, and teacher consultation. $100,000.
3. FAMILYConnections – Foster Healing (Year 2). With this grant, HFNJ supports trauma-informed care for children in foster care, an overwhelming number of whom are victims of multi-faceted, complex trauma. This can lead to a lifetime of problems as they inappropriately respond to perceived threats as a result of their exposure to chronic, interpersonal stress. In Year 1, FC partnered with the Essex South DCP&P office to treat 30 children, addressing the root causes of their behavioral/emotional challenges and train 89 caseworkers in trauma-informed care. In Year 2, the work will be expanded to the Northeast Newark DCP&P office to help 20-25 staff there better understand the children under their supervision, and will provide counseling to 25 children and their caregivers. $99,349.
4. MAIN STREET COUNSELING – School-Based Counseling Program at Barringer HS (Year 2). Main Street Counseling has been building its school-based work in Newark and seeks to expand and strengthen its work at two co-located Barringer High Schools. This Year 2 grant supports therapeutic interventions to substantially reduce the prevalence of violent behaviors. Individual and group sessions in both English and Spanish are geared toward self-empowerment, anger management, and violent tendencies, and will engage a total of 240 at-risk students. $96,500.
5. JEWISH FAMILY SERVICE OF METROWEST NJ – Mental Health Services for Adolescents.
With the support of HFNJ, JFS MetroWest is partnering with local public and private schools to implement workshops and group counseling sessions that address the needs of typically developing teens, those exposed to trauma, and those with special needs. $94,400.
SPOTLIGHT: Maternal/Child Health
RUTGERS UNIVERSITY FOUNDATION/SCHOOL OF NURSING: Community Health Worker Women & Maternal/Child Health Project – $190,884. Building on the best practices of the community health worker model funded by HFNJ over the past few years, Rutgers faculty leaders Drs. Sickora and Shahidi are developing a health worker specialty in maternal and child health in Newark. The goals of the initiative are to improve poor birth and early childhood outcomes among Newark’s most underserved women and children, and demonstrate that the health worker model is an effective, economical appropriate to improve health-seeking behaviors and lower costs. Specially-trained community health workers will engage women of child-bearing age in (1) preconception planning, (2) early, regular prenatal care, (3) lifestyle education and supports important to healthy births such as smoking cessation, diet changes, stress reduction, and drug/alcohol abstinence, (4) birth planning, and (5) infant and early childhood education/assistance.