The federal government has awarded a $4.9 million Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant to the New Jersey Department of Health, U.S. Sens. Bob Menendez and Cory Booker, both Democrats, announced Wednesday.
New Jersey health officials said the grant money is earmarked for asthma prevention and control; black infant mortality prevention; immunizations and vaccinations; diabetes prevention and control; heart disease and stroke prevention and control; community health; sexual assault and date rape prevention and control; and the screening of sexual transmitted diseases, the Wednesday announcement said.
The grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
“This funding will further the Department of Health’s efforts to improve the health of residents across the state,” said Nashon Hornsby, the health department’s assistant commissioner, in a statement.
Hornsby, along with New Jersey Health Commissioner Shereef Elnahal, said the state’s black infant mortality rate “ranks among the worst in the nation.”
“The fact that communities of color suffer poorer health outcomes on everything from chronic conditions to maternal and child health should be deeply troubling to us all,” Booker said in a prepared statement. “In a nation as rich as ours, there is no reason for these inequities to exist. This federal investment will help address these health disparities by bringing critical health resources into some of New Jersey’s most vulnerable communities.”