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Grant From N.J. Department Of Health Enables Trenton Health Team To Engage Faith-Based Organizations In Improving Health

(TRENTON, NJ) – A grant of $300,000 from the N.J. Department of Health has been awarded to the Trenton Health Team to implement a program called “Faith in Prevention.” In a city where 39 percent of the residents are deemed obese and 16 percent suffer from diabetes, the focus will be on getting and staying healthy by creating a partnership between the city’s healthcare collaborative and the faith community.

“Through this program, we will be encouraging community residents to take ownership of their health and well-being,” said Dr. Ruth Perry, THT executive director. Dr. Perry has provided leadership in the development of a comprehensive community health needs assessment for the city of Trenton, in which faith-based organizations played a key role.

“Faith-based organizations already take care of the sick,” said Gregory Williams, director of community engagement. His responsibilities include implementation of THT’s Community Health Improvement Plan, which was developed last year as a blueprint for achieving THT’s goal of making Trenton the healthiest city in the state. “Faith-based organizations, many of which consider the body the temple of the soul, have a tradition of healing. As we implement our CHIP, the faith community will be serving a vital role.”

The Faith in Prevention grant from the N.J. Department of Health will fund the “Faithful Families Eating Smart and Moving More” curriculum, designed to promote healthy eating and physical activity. This project will also address CHIP priorities, especially health literacy, obesity and healthy lifestyles, and chronic disease.

Easing the transition from hospital to home will be another area of focus, with faith-based groups working closely with patients being discharged from area hospitals. By helping patients return home, making sure they eat well, take their medicines and follow their clinician’s orders, the church and CDC leaders will help patients recover and at the same time reduce hospital readmissions, reducing overall costs to the healthcare system.

Williams said THT will select 10 faith-based organizations to implement the education and prevention program funded by the state. Groups chosen for the program will start with a self-assessment to determine the needs and interests of their congregation and community. Grant funds will also underwrite programs encouraging people to eat healthy foods and increase physical activity.

In implementing the grants, Dr. Perry said THT will work with its vibrant Community Advisory Board, composed of nearly 50 Trenton area organizations that share the common goal of improving Trenton residents’ health.

“These faith-based programs will help us expand on our community connections, building awareness and participation in nutrition and active lifestyle programs that will be delivered through the infrastructure of a trusted and readily available resource: the community’s churches and faith-based organizations,” she said. “Through this grant we will also work with faith-based partners to support a smooth transition for community members who have been hospitalized, helping to ensure that follow-up resources are available to reduce avoidable readmissions wherever possible.”


Media queries, please contact:
For N.J. Department of Health – Press Office at 609-984-7160
Becky Taylor at 609-240-6886 or

About the Trenton Health Team
Trenton Health Team (THT) is an alliance of the city’s major providers of healthcare services including Capital Health, St. Francis Medical Center, Henry J. Austin Health Center and the city’s Health Department. In collaboration with residents and the city’s active social services network, THT is developing an integrated healthcare delivery system to transform the city’s fragmented primary care system and restore health to the city. THT aims to make Trenton the healthiest city in the state. The THT receives generous support from The Nicholson Foundation, corporate partners and other foundations. For more information, visit