Community partnerships are central to the structure of THT and essential to how we do our work. Through our innovative structure, in which competitors have learned the benefit of collaboration, we link public and private healthcare providers in an ongoing effort to improve the health of our community. Building on this core collaboration of Trenton’s two hospitals, its only Federally Qualified Health Center, and the City Department of Health, we have reached beyond the healthcare system to engage with behavioral, social service, educational, and faith-based organizations to build knowledge and opportunities for all in our geography to lead healthier, more productive lives. Working within a range of community partnerships, we serve as convener, catalyst, and collaborator to improve both the system of healthcare services and outcomes for those who are served.
Beginning with the unified Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA), conducted in collaboration with St. Francis Medical Center, THT recognized the importance of working across sectors and of hearing directly from our residents regarding their healthcare experiences and related concerns. Partnerships were forged that continue to provide important insights for our work and focus us where the need is greatest.
An important finding in the CHNA was the fact that adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are an underlying issue for many in the Trenton community. Addressing this is vital for all frontline staff – in educational, social service, healthcare and faith-based settings. A two-year grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, called “Foundations for a Trauma-informed Culture of Health,” is helping us to increase awareness and build capacity for addressing this issue in a range of settings. Learn more.
Ongoing efforts with the faith community include our Faith in Prevention program, funded through the NJ Department of Health. In year one of the program, we worked with 10 faith-based organizations to implement the evidence-based Faithful Families Eating Smart Moving More curriculum, providing information about healthy eating and active living through a six-week program that includes cooking demonstrations and physical activity in each session. Lay leaders from each faith partner are trained to co-teach and carry forward the instruction beyond the initial round of classes. In year two of the grant our goal is to engage 20 faith-based organizations in the program.
Through a project we call “Inroads for Health: Taking it to the Streets,” funded through Janssen Pharmaceuticals, we have joined forces with the City Department of Health to put the City’s mobile health van on the road, bringing basic health screenings and assessments out into the community. This includes participation every Monday in the Greenwood Ave. Farmers Market, which was launched by the Trenton YMCA and Trenton Healthy Food Network with support from the City of Trenton, NJ Department of Health, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
A three-year grant from the NJ Office of Minority and Multicultural Health is allowing us to implement the Stanford University model Chronic Disease Self-Management Program and Diabetes Self-Management Program at various locations within the Trenton community. Partner sites for this program so far include Kingsbury Towers, Trenton Area Soup Kitchen, and the Rescue Mission of Trenton.