NJDOH Receives Over $1M Federal Funds For Infectious Disease Prevention

By: Savannah Scarborough, Follow South Jersey Intern

SOUTH JERSEY – The New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) recently announced further support towards the goal to prevent the spread of infectious diseases through surveillance, education, treatment, prevention, and infection control in New Jersey with over $1 million in federal funds. 

NJDOH received $1,014,574 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Nursing Home and Care Facility Infrastructure and Strike Team Project. These grants focus on training frontline healthcare personnel in skilled nursing facilities and other long-term care settings throughout New Jersey. The recipients of this grant money are tasked with offering a targeted focus on their organization’s area of expertise to build infection prevention capacity throughout New Jersey, 

The grants, awarded to New Jersey Hospital Association ($374,940), Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences – Rutgers Project ECHO ($229,814), Health Care Association of New Jersey ($209,822), and New Jersey Association of City and Country Health Officials ($200,000), represent NJDOH’s ongoing efforts to enhance infection prevention and control long-term care services. The NJDOH’s Office of Long-Term Care Resiliency is a valuable connection between the department and these long-term care facilities. 

The Office of Long-Term Care Resiliency has made over 3,000 one-on-one phone calls to facilities, including regarding booster updates and distribution of testing supplies, and has hosted multiple training webinars. Furthermore, the Department continues to engage with long-term care facilities through the infection Control Assessment and Response team, which provides expert infection control assessments to facilities that may be experiencing infection control challenges, 

The training topics tasked to the recipients of grants are based on practices that prevent the spread of infectious diseases, including hand hygiene, use of personal protective equipment, preventing wound infections, and environmental cleaning. Lastly, it will include advanced training topics such as enhanced barrier precautions and multidrug-resistant organisms. The training can be found on different platforms, including live online, asynchronously, in-person, hybrid, and train-the-trainer formats. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted gaps in infection prevention and control in healthcare settings both in New Jersey and around the nation,” said Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli. “Infection prevention and control is a critical part of safe healthcare delivery in all healthcare settings, which is why we will continue our work and funding initiatives like this one to enhance knowledge and understanding of applicable best practices in these settings.” 

The Murphy Administration has taken numerous measures since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic to prepare the State for something like the pandemic with infectious disease outbreaks in these facilities once again. The Administration signed a package of bills in 2020 to implement minimum wages for long-term care staff, created direct care ratio requirements, and centralized long-term care communications. 

With the new grant and the other implementations from the Murphy Administration, it is the State’s goal to support the prevention and spread of infectious diseases to residents throughout New Jersey. To learn more about the Murphy Administrations package of bills signed in 2020, click here.

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