Atlantic Health System's Healthy Communities initiative is designed to improve the health and well-being of our communities by preventing disease, educating the population and changing living conditions for the better. This program also helps eliminate health disparities or inequalities – unjust health differences linked to social, economic or environmental disadvantages that adversely affect groups of people.
Our approach to promoting health equity involves two key strategies. First, we partner with local organizations to provide preventative health services to individuals and families in vulnerable communities. This may include screenings, health awareness programs and nutrition education – all of which are tailored to the culturally-specific health issues affecting the population.
Second, because the places where people live are a greater predictor of their health than individual factors, we invest in initiatives that drive environmental change. This is accomplished through grants, research and place-based interventions. Using data, we target our initiatives to the specific areas most affected by health inequalities.
The NJ Healthy Communities Network is a partnership between the State Department of Health, NJ Partnership for Healthy Kids, the Partners for Health Foundation and the New Jersey YMCA State Alliance. We work with this organization to provide grants to neighborhood-based groups, so they can offer more opportunities for people to eat healthier and be more active.