In a 2013 Community Health Needs Assessment compiled by Jersey City Medical Center, in conjunction with the City of Jersey City and various community partners, residents participating in focus groups cited lack of educational opportunities and public safety as their biggest concerns. Improved education, especially with regard to how to access and manage one’s health, was described as the most important step to correcting health disparities.
Increasing the participation of minority and low-income residents in health careers is an important step toward reducing health disparities in medically underserved areas such as Jersey City. Minority patients that visit health professionals of the same race often report feeling more satisfied with care. Further, minority health professionals appear more likely to practice in primary care and inner city settings than their peers. With Jersey City currently ranking near the bottom in the state of New Jersey when it comes to the number of primary care and mental health care providers available to residents, recruitment of minority and low-income residents into college access programs, and health career professional degree programs, is an important step toward reducing health disparities for all residents.
High profile violent crime and gang activity are consistently cited by residents, business owners, and government officials as deterring community building, physical activity, economic vitality, and confidence in city and county government. There is evidence that community policing not only increases resident’s satisfaction with police and feelings of safety, but may encourage new businesses to open and invest in distressed neighborhoods, thereby creating new job opportunities and increased economic activity.
With the U.S. fostering an increasingly an information-based economy, providing information to residents on the quality of their physical environment and where crimes are committed can help them make informed decisions on where to live, work, start new businesses, play, and raise children.
OVERALL GOAL: S.A.F.E. – Security, Access, Fellowship & Education – Expand overall safety through expanded access to education and programs to address health disparities.
Action Steps & Success Indicators by 2019
Action Step 1
NJCU will work together with HCCC to implement and expand college access programs to help underrepresented students prepare academically for higher education and complete the college entry process.
The number of Jersey City residents enrolled in college access programs such as TRIO, GEAR UP, and the Opportunity Scholarship Program will increase by 10% over 2015 baseline numbers
Action Step 2
NJCU will expand enrollment in health career programs such as Nursing and Health Sciences, and increase internship opportunities to better prepare students for the demands of the modern health care workforce.
NJCU will start a Master of Science in Nursing degree program; increase enrollment in its Nursing and Health Sciences programs by 10% over 2015 baseline numbers.
Action Step 3
Jersey City will become the most pedestrian and bike-friendly major city in New Jersey.
Jersey City will launch a Pedestrian Enhancement Plan Study and expand bike lanes and bike sharing to create a safer, healthier environment for pedestrians and bicyclists.
Action Step 4
All Jersey City residents will have access to data on crime, pollution, environmental hazards, toxic sites, air and water quality, bike and pedestrian master plans through the PHJC website.
The Partnership for a Healthier JC website will feature an interactive map that shows residents the locations of crimes committed, environmental hazards, bike lanes, air and water quality.