New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute Receives $550,000 from United Health Foundation to Support "Healthy Communities Create Healthy Citizens" Project

May 20, 2016
  • Project supports five community organizations and their affiliates' efforts to enhance essential community health services

New Jersey Healthcare Quality Institute (NJHCQI) was awarded a $550,000 partnership grant from United Health Foundation to support its "Healthy Communities Create Healthy Citizens" project.

The project is a public-private partnership among local health care and community leaders who are working to improve people's health and quality of life in Trenton, Jersey City and Cumberland County, N.J.  The United Health Foundation grant will help raise awareness for five organizations and their affiliates participating in the project. NJHCQI project partners in Jersey City are the Jersey City Department of Health and the Jersey City Medical Center. In Cumberland County, NJHCQI partners with the Cumberland County Health Department and Inspira Health Network. The Trenton Health Team is NJHCQI's project partner in Trenton.

United Health Foundation's support will enable NJHCQI to help local organizations expand innovative healthy-lifestyle and health-literacy programs. In Cumberland County, the grant will support a "healthy corner-store" initiative, through which local store-owners will be incented to sell fresh produce and display healthier foods at the front of the store. In Trenton, the grant will support a number of health topic seminars at local food pantries and churches, where residents can "shop" at the food pantry, eat a healthy free lunch, learn about diabetes prevention and chronic disease self-management, participate in fitness-related giveaways and receive helpful reading materials. Residents in all three areas will have access to an online search engine that connects them to health resources and social services in their town.

"With United Health Foundation's generous support and partnership, we are able to expand our work with the mayors and community leaders in Trenton, Jersey City and Cumberland County to make a powerful difference in our neighbors' lives," said Linda Schwimmer, president and CEO of NJHCQI. "This initiative addresses some of the biggest barriers to health care our neighbors face by improving access to healthy foods, creating safe spaces to relax and exercise, and supporting other essential community services."

Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, one of the organizations supported by the Trenton Health Team, offers free healthy lunches on Fridays, sponsors a food pantry every other Saturday, hosts a monthly farmer's market during the summer and serves as an emergency shelter. 

Trenton Mayor Eric Jackson and Bishop William Stokes of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral joined United Health Foundation in announcing the partnership grant to NJHCQI during a tour of the cathedral grounds.

"This partnership with United Health Foundation and NJHCQI will help community leaders and dedicated health providers in Trenton offer residents even more services and safe spaces where people in need can go to feed their bodies and souls," said Jackson. 

"United Health Foundation is grateful for the opportunity to help NJHCQI expand its services and ensure that people in need have access to vital health and well-being services that help build healthy communities," said Paul Marden, CEO, UnitedHealthcare of New Jersey.

"The 'Healthy Communities Create Healthy Citizens' project will create a community that fosters healthy behaviors, supports health education and helps people get the appropriate medical care at the right time," said Senator Shirley Turner (D-Legislative District 15). "I commend the United Health Foundation and the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute for their work and investment in this project."

About New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute

The New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute is the only independent, nonpartisan, multi-stakeholder advocate for health care quality in New Jersey. The Quality Institute's mission is to undertake projects and promote system changes that ensure that quality, safety, accountability and cost-containment are closely linked to the delivery of health care services in New Jersey. The Quality Institute partnered with the NJ League of Municipalities to create the Mayors Wellness Campaign, a program that empowers mayors across NJ with tools, strategies, and support to champion health and wellness in their communities.

About United Health Foundation

Through collaboration with community partners, grants and outreach efforts, United Health Foundation works to improve our health system, build a diverse and dynamic health workforce and enhance the well-being of local communities. United Health Foundation was established by UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) in 1999 as a not-for-profit, private foundation dedicated to improving health and health care. To date, United Health Foundation has committed more than $285 million to programs and communities around the world. We invite you to learn more at or follow @UHGGives on Twitter or