NJ’s Health Department Awards Grants

The New Jersey Department of Health (DOH) awarded $612,000 in grants to community-based agencies to enable patients to better manage chronic conditions. DOH awarded $415,000 to the Trenton Health Team (THT) to use health IT to help find better ways to use the Clinical Decision Support (CDS) system to care for patients faced with diabetes and hypertension.

The CDS system improves decision-making in patient care especially with patients that are coping with chronic illnesses by providing alerts, treatment plans, and standardized lists of orders for a specific diagnosis and actions. Right now THT is focusing on diabetes and hypertension to help patients achieve control but in the future, DOH will use the CDS system to include other diseases.

DOH is also providing $100,000 to the Center for Human Services, a non-profit community organization in Bridgeton N.J. and $97,000 to Zufall Health Center, a Federal Qualified Health Center based in Dover to serve as Diabetes Resources Coordination Centers. These centers will promote diabetes self-management education as well as connect individuals at risk for type 2 diabetes with lifestyle change programs.

In addition, New Jersey’s Health Commissioner Mary E. O’Dowd announced that an additional $2.5 million in grant funds has been awarded to advance research, treatment, and to try to prevent autism.

One grant award for $400,000 went to Rutgers University’s Robert Wood Johnson Medical School to study autism-linked stress at the cellular level and to do the initial testing for therapeutic strategies.

A second award for $400,000 was made to the Rutgers to study human stem cells from individuals with autism to determine metabolic abnormalities that may contribute to autism but have the potential to be reversed through the use of pharmaceuticals. A third award also made to Rutgers for $398,908 will work on developing an instrument to detect micro-movements present in social behaviors with the potential to diagnose autism earlier.

An award for $397,547 went to Saint Peter’s University Hospital to analyze early EEG features to predict the risk of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and related disorders in premature and low birth weight infants. Another award for $125,899 was made to William Paterson University to examine children with ASD using video.

One important way that the DOH connects parents to services is through New Jersey’s electronic Autism Registry. The Registry refers families to the appropriate diagnostic, treatment, and support services in their communities. The Registry requires that medical professionals register the children they are diagnosing with autism. Today, 12,400 children are registered.

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