May, 10, 2021

Promising Practices To Reduce Maternal Mortality In New Jersey

The National Governors Association released a case study highlighting Nurture NJ, an initiative of First Lady Tammy Murphy to address significant disparities and curb the rate of preventable maternal deaths in the state. Nurture NJ is an umbrella that breaks down silos between stakeholders, bringing them together to tackle issues related to maternal and child health (MCH). Seated in the First Lady’s office, the program facilitates collaborative partnerships with the Governor’s office, 18 state agencies and national MCH organizations. The initiative has also partnered with state legislative caucuses to brief legislators on issues affecting the MCH population. Direct funding is earmarked for the Nurture NJ campaign, including much of their community outreach work; however, the initiative also works with partners to obtain support for various programs under the larger umbrella. For example, state budget dollars in 2020 were allocated to increase Medicaid reimbursement for midwifes and fund implicit bias training at labor and delivery hospitals, as well as Federally Qualified Health Centers, as a part of advancing Nurture NJ’s mission. Overall, the initiative has assisted in procuring around $19 million for various MCH-related programs in the state thus far.