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First Lady Tammy Murphy highlights significant investments in maternal, infant health initiatives

NEW JERSEY – First Lady Tammy Murphy Thursday hosted a roundtable discussion to highlight the investments made inmaternal and infant health initiatives in the Fiscal Year 2023 (FY2023) budget.

The First Lady’s initiative, Nurture NJ, aims to reduce New Jersey’s maternal mortality by fifty percent over five years and eliminate racial disparities in birth outcomes. Since its inception in 2019, Nurture NJ has made significant strides in addressing maternal and infant health care in the state of New Jersey. The FY2023 budget includes over $58 million to support Nurture NJ programs and policies.

“These necessary investments will continue to address and combat the shocking numbers our state holds in maternal and infant mortality rates and racial disparities in health care,” said Governor Murphy. “The health of our mothers and babies is of the utmost importance to each of the First Lady and me, as well as this Administration as a whole. Strengthening our maternal and infant health care systems will help us continue to build a stronger, fairer, and more equitable New Jersey for all families who call our great state their home.”

“I am so grateful for the funding allocated to Nurture NJ  in this year’s budget, which will allow us to continue our work transforming our state into the safest and most equitable in the nation to deliver and raise a baby,” said First Lady Tammy Murphy. “Given New Jersey has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the nation exacerbated by unacceptable racial disparities for our mothers and our babies, we feel it is our moral imperative to continue this fight. I am thrilled to see Nurture NJ build upon the significant progress we have already made, better support mothers and babies during one of the most vulnerable times of their lives, and, through innovative policymaking, become the national gold standard for maternal and infant health.”

In January of 2021, the First Lady unveiled the Nurture NJ Maternal and Infant Health Strategic Plan, with the goal of reducing New Jersey’s maternal mortality by 50 percent over five years and eliminating racial disparities in birth outcomes.

Since its inception, Nurture NJ has seen 43 pieces of maternal and infant health legislation signed by Governor Murphy, developed and implemented groundbreaking programs and policies, hosted annual Black Maternal and Infant Health Leadership Summits, and more – positioning New Jersey as a leader in fighting the maternal and infant health crisis.

The significant investments in the FY2023 budget will go towards several of the initiative’s focus areas. Those investments include:

  • $20 million to support the development of our Maternal and Infant Health Innovation Center
  • Over $17 million to continue developing the universal newborn home visitation program
  • $15 million to raise Medicaid rates for maternity care providers
  • $1 million to provide facilities grants to increase opportunities for midwifery education and training
  • Over $2 million to increase case management capacity in our Connecting NJ hubs
  • $2 million for a Nurture NJ public awareness campaign
  • $600,000 to create a database of maternal feedback on quality of care
  • $500,000 to expand the reach of the Colette Lamothe-Galette Community Health Worker Institute
  • $100,000 to develop a stillbirth prevention public health campaign

“Across New Jersey’s health system there is a shared commitment to reducing maternal mortality, morbidity and disparities,” said Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli. “Improving maternal and child outcomes will result in healthier families, and a stronger and healthier New Jersey.”

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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