Who We Serve
We serve residents of the six zip codes of Trenton, NJ, with a particular emphasis on the vulnerable and underserved. We work to increase access to quality healthcare for all as we strive to build health literacy, including knowledge about prevention and opportunities for healthy lifestyle choices. Through hands-on interventions, coupled with improved policy and infrastructure, our goal is to improve outcomes for the community as a whole.
The City of Trenton is a significant urban center within the region and our nation. As the capital of New Jersey and the seat for Mercer County, Trenton is a governmental hub, with an important position along the Northeast transportation corridor. Its historic importance is recognized through designation as a “Turning Point” in the American Revolutionary War – a moniker that is reflected in the name of local businesses and organizations. While Trenton has faced enormous challenges in recent years, through major industrial losses, dysfunction within the City government, and the effects of the Great Recession, a new mayor has brought renewed accountability, energy, and confidence; with it the city is poised for another turnaround (see MidJersey Business article).
Trenton has a population of 84,034 with 52% of residents African-American and 34% Hispanic. Its vibrant history and regional assets notwithstanding, Trenton struggles with economic, environmental, social and behavioral challenges. Over 26% of the community lives in poverty, and the average household income is $36,662 (in contrast to New Jersey’s poverty rate of 11% and average household income of $71,629). Our Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) completed in 2013 confirmed and quantified a number of critical issues, including behavioral health, safety and crime, and chronic disease, especially cancer, diabetes, and hypertension/cardiovascular disease. Health literacy and transportation challenges were identified as significant barriers to care, and are contributing factors to the high rates of obesity, diabetes, and other chronic diseases. Findings from the CHNA indicate that, within the six zip codes of Trenton, 31% of residents have hypertension, 16% diabetes, and 39% are obese.
Despite many challenges, collaborative efforts have been under way for more than a decade, addressing critical issues of health, educational and economic opportunity, and the environment. These efforts recognize that health must be defined broadly, that equal opportunity for health is essential, and that progress can only be sustained through systems changes and policy-oriented long-term solutions.
As Mayor Eric Jackson said in his State of the City Address for 2015,
“We are a city that has survived the ebbs and flows of our nation’s economy. We are a city whose face reflects a brilliant mosaic of ethnicities and cultures. We are a city with an emerging community of artists and other creative people who see the possibilities for building their ideas in a small metropolitan hub known for its color and character. We are a city where people in great need are deeply cared for—services that we do exceptionally well and should continue offering because helping one another is at the heart of the Trenton experience.”