Integrated Approaches to Bolster Youth Health Pivotal in Healthcare Foundation of NJ’s $1,723,986 Second Quarter Giving

June 26, 2024

The Healthcare Foundation of NJ (HFNJ) is pleased to announce that it has awarded $1,723,986 to fifteen nonprofit organizations in its second quarterly grant cycle of 2024. Ten of the grants focus primarily on addressing the healthcare and mental health needs of young people, spanning from programs focused on perinatal and infant health to the teenage and early adult years.

Several projects support the abilities of other institutions such as schools and the primary healthcare system to provide critical mental health support for young people integrated into their institutions.

Two of this quarter’s grants―a $153,500 award to Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy and a $150,000 award to the Jewish Educational Center―are in response to a growing level of anxiety, depression and isolation in youth and an unprecedent rise in antisemitism in our community and across the country.  As a result, HFNJ issued a Request for Proposals late last year inviting innovative and collaborative proposals to strengthen behavioral health support for adolescents in the Jewish community of Greater MetroWest, New Jersey. Both projects will help the schools add staff and programming to better address the social-emotional learning and mental health needs of students, faculty, and families. In total, HFNJ has awarded $794,289 over its first two grant cycles of 2024 to seven grantees through this special initiative.

Two other programs supported in the second quarter focus on integrating mental health support for young people within the primary healthcare system. A $95,000 award will allow the YCS Foundation to pilot a new program integrating mental health screenings and consultations to children and families within pediatric practices in high-need, low-resourced communities of color in Essex County. Morristown Medical Center will receive a $116,476 grant to implement a behavioral health collaborative care model in the Family Health Center, a primary care practice of the hospital that provides high-quality care for low-income children

“Breaking down the artificial barriers between mental and physical healthcare is a key to achieving humanistic, whole-person care,” said Michael Schmidt, Executive Director/CEO of the Healthcare Foundation of NJ. “This quarter, we are proud to fund several promising approaches that further the integration of mental healthcare within primary care and educational settings.”

Building up the healthcare workforce―including training young people to become the next generation of healthcare providers―is a theme of several of this quarter’s awards. YouthBuild Newark will receive $155,000 to support a third year of a post-secondary Allied Health track. Focused on “opportunity youth” (young people disconnected from careers and the traditional school pathways) the program aims to provide youth with stackable certifications in promising healthcare fields. Postpartum Support International will receive $152,500 to work with the Mind the Gap Coalition of over 50 health stakeholders in NJ to advance workforce training and education to healthcare providers on perinatal mental health, and provide direct services for moms, caregivers, and families. The Visiting Nurse Association of NJ will receive $124,467 to launch a community doula learning collaborative in Essex County, to increase the number of doulas from minority backgrounds practicing in the region. This project is part of HFNJ’s continued efforts to expand and support workforce development programs in the healthcare sector.

The largest grant of the quarter is a $228,000 award to Jewish Service for the Developmentally Disabled of MetroWest (JSDD) to enhance independence, safety, and accessibility for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities who live in JSDD housing through the use of individualized, adaptive technologies.

The full list of the grants awarded in the first quarter of 2024 is as follows:

Jewish Service for the Developmentally Disabled of MetroWest

JSDD: Life| Home| Tech


YouthBuild Newark

Continued Support for Preparing Opportunity Youth for Postsecondary Success in Allied Health (Year 3)


Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy

Engage Minds, Inspire Hearts, Empower Well-being


Postpartum Support International

Mind the Gap – Advancing Perinatal Mental Health In New Jersey


Center for Family Services

Babies Best Start (Year 2)


Jewish Educational Center

Thrive Together: A Community Based Social Emotional Learning Initiative


Visiting Nurse Association of Central Jersey

Community Doula Learning Collaborative Essex County


Foundation for Morristown Medical Center

Pediatric Collaborative Care Model: Reducing Disparities in Behavioral Healthcare for Low-Income Youth


FpYouthOutCry Foundation

Empowering Newark’s Youth through Healing and the Arts (Year 3)


Community Hope

Assistant Program Coordinator for Hope for Veterans


YCS Foundation

Essex County Mental Health & Primary Care Integration



MEND on the Move (Year 3)


Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation

AileyDance for Active Aging Newark (Year 3)



T1Detect: Screening as Prevention for Type 1 Diabetes Complications in Newark’s BIPOC, Medically Under-resourced Communities


Branchbrook Park Alliance

Discovering Wellness with Branch Brook Park Alliance (Year 3)