NEW JERSE – The New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) has awarded over $1 million in federal funds to support the prevention and spread of communicable diseases through surveillance, education, treatment, prevention and infection control.
NJDOH received $1,014,576 under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Nursing Home and Long Care Facility Infrastructure and Strike Team Project.
NJDOH awarded grants to the following four recipients:
- New Jersey Hospital Association: $374,940
- Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences – Rutgers Project ECHO: $229,814
- Health Care Association of New Jersey : $209,822
- New Jersey Association of City and County Health Officials: $200,000
This funding for infection prevention and control was part of a competitive process, and grantees are specifically focused on training frontline healthcare personnel in skilled nursing facilities and other long-term care settings throughout New Jersey. Each grant recipient is tasked with offering a targeted focus on their organization’s area of expertise to build infection prevention capacity throughout New Jersey.
“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.”
Training topics are based on practices that prevent the spread of infectious disease, including hand hygiene, use of personal protective equipment, preventing wound infections, environmental cleaning, and more; as well as advanced training topics such as the use of enhanced barrier precautions, multi-drug resistant organisms, Candida auris, and sepsis. Training modalities include live online, asynchronous, in-person trainings, hybrid, and train the trainer formats.
These grants represent part of NJDOH’s ongoing efforts to enhance infection prevention and control within long-term care settings. The Department’s new Office of Long Term Care Resiliency has been valuable connection between the department and long-term care facilities.
The office has made over 3,000 one-on-one phone calls to facilities, including regarding booster uptake and distribution of testing supplies, and has also hosted multiple training webinars. In addition, 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.
Other key steps that the Murphy Administration has taken since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic include signing a package of bills in 2020 to implement minimum wages for long-term care staff, create direct care ratio requirements, and centralize long-term care communications to better prepare the State to respond to infectious disease outbreaks in these facilities.