Thomas Edison State University (TESU)

NJ Universities’ Partnership to Advance Maternal and Infant Health

Rutgers University, Thomas Edison State University (TESU), Mercer County Community College, Stockton University, and The College of New Jersey are partnering in the establishment of the Maternal and Infant Health Innovation Center in Trenton. This initiative, spearheaded by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) with a $75 million investment, aims to enhance access to vital healthcare and social services for expectant mothers and infants during the critical first year of life.

Aligned with First Lady Tammy Murphy’s Nurture NJ strategic plan, the Center will address pervasive racial disparities in maternal health outcomes, a challenge underscored by statistics showing Black women in New Jersey experience a 3.5 times higher rate of infant death compared to white women according to 2017 data from the New Jersey State Health Assessment Data (NJSHAD), and Hispanic women in New Jersey experience twice the rate of infant mortality compared to white women (NJSHAD 2016-2018, three-year rates).

TESU President Merodie A. Hancock, Ph.D., stated, “At Thomas Edison State University, we recognize the importance of collaborative efforts in driving impactful change. This partnership exemplifies our commitment to advancing equitable healthcare solutions for all communities and demonstrates the power of combining resources and skills to reach our goals.”

The consortium of schools will work individually and collectively to eliminate racial inequities in maternal and infant health outcomes that will benefit the city of Trenton, the state and the nation by:

  1. Expanding and diversifying the perinatal health workforce,
  2. Creating an interprofessional, world class perinatal health equity research center, and
  3. Offering innovative and culturally responsive ongoing professional development for the existing and growing interprofessional perinatal workforce.

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