Southern New Jersey Perinatal Cooperative Awarded Salem Smart Start Grant

The Salem Health and Wellness Foundation has awarded Southern New Jersey Perinatal Cooperative a $25,000 planning grant as part of its Salem Smart Start for Parents and Children initiative, with a possibility of a much larger implementation grant within six months. The goal of the initiative is to improve the health, safety and well-being outcomes for young parents and their children through an improved and reconfigured use of existing and new resources.

Salem County has had among the lowest health and wellbeing outcomes for children and families in New Jersey. Recent Kids Count data highlights the persistence of problems for young parents and their children. These circumstances are not the result of poor effort. There are several public and non-profit organizations who continue to bring a high level of commitment, passion, and competence to bear these challenges every day in Salem County. Still, the outcomes remain unfavorable.

“The Cooperative is both heartened and grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with the Salem Health & Wellness Foundation, county stakeholders, young parents and their children across Salem County on this critical initiative,” said Helen Hannigan, President & CEO of the Southern New Jersey Perinatal Cooperative. “So that we can identify and implement successful, sustainable solutions, young parents must be involved in every facet of any process that affects the health outcomes of their children. We want parents to be equipped with knowledge, resources and services to build a healthy future for their families,” added Hannigan.

Through this initiative, Southern New Jersey Perinatal Cooperative will create a process in which community members, stakeholders, community-based organizations, etc. can come together to ensure all parents and young children have access to necessary resources to excel. Currently, the Cooperative provides services across Southern New Jersey including early intervention, early childhood home visiting, substance abuse case management, tobacco cessation, and more. In Salem County, the Cooperative coordinates the Salem/Cumberland Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition and is a leader in Live Healthy Salem County. Additionally, the Foundation has created an Advisory Board to support the efforts of the initiative.

“Our partnership with Southern New Jersey Perinatal Cooperative is an exciting milestone for the Salem Health and Wellness Foundation as we continue to support resources for parents and young children in Salem County. This funding will ensure that this important population has the resources needed to not only survive but thrive.” – Paul DiLorenzo, Executive Director.

Please contact Emily Hernandez, Grants Manager, Salem Health and Wellness Foundation, 856- 299-4460 for additional information.

About the Salem Health and Wellness Foundation

The Salem Health and Wellness Foundation is a 20-year-old philanthropic organization based in Salem County, New Jersey that has distributed over $58 million in grants to agencies and organizations in Salem County, to serve the people of Salem County.

Mission:  The Salem Health and Wellness Foundation’s mission is to invest in sustainable initiatives that improve the overall health and wellness of Salem County residents by providing grants and other support to organizations addressing those needs.

Vision: The Salem Health and Wellness Foundation will be the recognized leader in empowering organizations that service the health and wellness needs of Salem County residents. In partnership with those organizations, we will improve health equity and well-being outcomes of the community through the Foundation’s grants and organizational development opportunities.

About Southern New Jersey Perinatal Cooperative

The Southern New Jersey Perinatal Cooperative is a private, nonprofit 501(c)(3) coalition of healthcare professionals and consumers licensed by the New Jersey Department of Health as the maternal and child health consortium serving the seven counties of South Jersey. Founded in 1982, the Cooperative strives to maximize resources, address gaps in care and identify emerging regional needs.

The Cooperative is the state-licensed maternal and child health consortium which coordinates and supports maternal-fetal and newborn care throughout the seven-county region of Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem counties.

Through the collaborative efforts of hospitals, public health agencies, universities, healthcare professionals and consumers, the Cooperative’s activities that are directed toward improving the health of pregnant and birthing individuals, infants and families and decreasing perinatal mortality and morbidity include:​

  • Assisting providers in the development of quality regional clinical programs that ensure access to the appropriate level of care and the cost-effective utilization of resources.​
  • Developing and disseminating educational programs integrating current theory and practice.
  • Collecting and interpreting data concerning critical health and social factors that drive maternal-fetal and neonatal morbidity and mortality as a basis for identifying the need for clinical or educational program development.
  • Supporting the communities of South Jersey through evidence-informed programs designed to prevent and reduce the harm of clinical and social factors that negatively impact health and wellbeing.

These activities of the Cooperative are focused on prevention of pre-term births and maternal-fetal and neonatal mortality, woven into the fabric of a safety net to support the families and communities of South Jersey.