Selection of Grants

Selection of Grants Funded in 2019

SPOTLIGHT:  Children/Adolescent Mental Health

From our earliest days, HFNJ has been a firm believer that a person cannot be healthy if they are not healthy in both body and mind, and that helping children overcome mental health challenges is key to their healthy development and ability to be the best they can be.  In 2019, HFNJ continued its tradition of funding programs that address the mental health of children, adolescents, and young adults with the following grants:

            Main Street Counseling ($210,000) and Youth Development Clinic ($109,959) to expand their work with students in Newark and provide support to teachers and families in dealing with mental health challenges; and to the Gottesman RTW Academy ($128,729) for similar work at this Randolph Jewish day school.

            Children’s Specialized Hospital ($90,246) to train and increase capacity of staff to identify and support Newark children with Autism Spectrum Disorder who are experiencing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES), and their families.

            NJ Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) ($110,000) to partner with the Mental Health Assn of Morris & Essex to embed trained social workers into the Art Center’s “Maker”-based youth arts training and residency programs, in which students’ own experiences and perspectives drive the making of art and, at the same time, give rise to powerful emotions that arts staff are unequipped to handle without expert professional partners.

            Fp Youth Outcry ($147,755) to expand its work empowering teens to overcome barriers to successful futures by confronting and sharing their emotional challenges and developing strategies for moving forward.

SPOTLIGHT:  Saint Barnabas Medical Center Foundation

A $1,000,000 grant from HFNJ will support the significant expansion of the Medical Center’s Emergency Department and transform the provision of emergency care.  The newly renovated space will have improved triage facilities, an expanded observation unit, and an expanded fast-track unit near the entrance.  HFNJ funding supports the expansion of the observation unit from nine to 22 beds and needed mobile medical equipment.

SPOTLIGHT:  NJ Citizen Action Education Fund

Support of $150,000 from HFNJ will enable the NJ Citizen Action Education Fund to continue its outreach, education, and enrollment efforts to connect people to ACA marketplace insurance or expanded Medicaid.  In addition, the agency will devote considerable effort this year to preparing the public for the changeover to a NJ state insurance exchange in the fall of 2020.


SPOTLIGHT:  Center for Popular Democracy/Make the Road NJ

HFNJ made a commitment to connect immigrant communities to needed healthcare with this grant of $61,100 to the Center for Popular Democracy as fiscal agent for Make the Road NJ.  Funding will support the launch of Know Your Health Rights,” which will provide comprehensive workshops and individual outreach/counseling to address fears and educate Newark immigrants about their right to healthcare and strategies to deal with the impending changes in the Public Charge Rule.  Funding will also enable a media campaign to reach hard-to-contact individuals.

Selection of Grants Funded in 2018

SPOTLIGHT: Trinitas New Point Campus Renovation Challenge Grant

HFNJ has awarded a $1 million challenge grant to renovate Trinitas’ New Point Campus, which provides both inpatient and outpatient care to people of all ages with serious mental illness and those with co-occurring mental illness and developmental disabilities.  HFNJ will match, dollar for dollar, all new contributions to this project up to a total of $1 million.  For more information, contact Nadine Brechner, VP of Development,

SPOTLIGHT:  Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy Health Center

It was clear that the nurses’ office at the Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy was insufficient to meet the needs of the school’s growing student body, providing inadequate waiting room space, too few treatment bays/cots, no bathroom, little storage for meds and other equipment, and no privacy for private conversations with students or their families.

To remedy that situation, HFNJ provided a grant in the amount of $140,000 to greatly increase the size and functionality of the space.  Pictured here are HFNJ staff and trustees, along with Kushner staff and trustees, officially cutting the ribbon on the school’s new Health Center.

SPOTLIGHT:  Newark Beth Israel Medical Center Maternity Renovation Project

This year HFNJ committed funding in the amount of $1,157,453 to refurbish the Beth’s A7 maternity unit and establish 20 private suites where women and their newborns can receive the highest level of care.  It is envisioned that the renovation will encourage women who receive prenatal care at the Beth (and others) to choose it for delivery, taking advantage of private rooms where they, their infants, and their spouses/partners can be together.  This continuity of care, private bathrooms that minimize the possibility of infection, and a program to increase breastfeeding, should positive impact birth outcomes in greater Newark. 

SPOTLIGHT:  Community Foundation of NJ in Partnership with the Fair Food Network

HFNJ is proud to support a pilot of the Fair Food Network’s (FFN) Double Up healthy food incentive program in our region.  With Wakefern Food Corporation, a grant of $100,000 from HFNJ, and support from others, FFN will implement a technologically advanced Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP – formerly known as food stamps) in four area ShopRite grocery stores and participate in a groundbreaking online incentive ordering and delivery system.  The goal is to pilot methods to increase the purchase and consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables by providing incentives at point of purchase.  Recipients of food assistance in Newark and East Orange will be able to swipe their Electronic Benefit Transfer cards at two local ShopRite stores and receive a coupon when purchasing fresh fruit and vegetables to be used for a future purchase of additional fresh fruits and vegetables, up to $10 per purchase.

SPOTLIGHT:  JESPY HOUSE Residence for Aging in Place

Last year, HFNJ provided funding to JESPY House to launch its Aging in Place Initiative.  This pilot program was based on the happy reality that people with developmental disabilities are living longer than ever before, and JESPY staff needed additional training to best meet their needs.  This year, JESPY is planning to open the first area residence for older adults with disabilities in a house donated by local philanthropists.  HFNJ has awarded a grant in the amount of $212,500 to equip the Michael Och House with an elevator and continue to develop the agency’s expertise and hire additional staff with skills necessary to meet clients’ changing clinical, behavioral, and physical needs.

SPOTLIGHT:  Caldwell University Graduate Art Therapy Internship Expansion

In 2017, HFNJ provided funding to Caldwell University to construct a new home for its expanding dual degree Masters program in art and counseling.  The new space is creating a unique identity for the Art Therapy specialization program and its students. As a result of the enhanced learning environment and faculty engagement, the university has seen a significant increase in applications for this needed specialty.  Also last year, the Clinical Coordinator negotiated contracts with four local agencies to begin site programs:  Montclair Child Development in Orange, Youth Consultation Services in Orange, Daughters of Israel in West Orange, and Lester Senior Housing in Whippany.  She recruited four credentialed art therapist supervisors to function as Supervisory Fellows and worked with each agency to identify an on-site supervisor for day-to-day work with the intern.  In 2018, HFNJ funding in the amount of $42,460 will continue to support the engagement of qualified supervisors for the internship program.  We are convinced that various populations with mental health challenges can be better served clinically through art therapy approaches than with traditional talk therapy alone.  As the number of certified art therapists increases, the availability of supervisors at the agencies served should increase, obviating the need for outside Supervisory Fellows.

Selection of Grants Funded in 2017

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.