VNA of Central Jersey receives grant from Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey for $25k
Visiting Nurse Association of Central Jersey (VNACJ) Children and Family Health Institute (CFHI) receives grant from Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey for $25k to fund the School-based Nurse Practitioner Program
MIDDLETOWN, New Jersey – March 17, 2023 – Most parents have experienced the following situation…. the school nurse calls to say your child is not feeling well. You have to leave work or stop whatever you are doing to pick up your child and try to get an appointment. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a nurse practitioner in the school who could examine your child, prescribe and even administer medications, and get them back to class sooner? Thanks to philanthropic support, such services are a reality in some New Jersey schools through the Visiting Nurse Association of Central Jersey’s School-based Nurse Practitioner program.
Visiting Nurse Association of Central Jersey (VNACJ) Children and Family Health Institute (CFHI) received a $25,000 grant from Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, through its philanthropic arm, The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey. The grant will fund the VNACJ School-based Nurse Practitioner Program(SBNP),in which Nurse Practitioners (NPs) work in collaboration with school nurses to provide enhanced health services to students and families.
“We are very grateful for the continued community support from Horizon. This grant award will enable the VNACJ Children and Family Health Institute’s School-Based Nurse Practitioner program to provide the link between health and education in the schools where children spend much of their day,” said Colleen Nelson, MSN, Vice President of the Children and Family Health Institute, an arm of VNACJ that is completely funded by grants and philanthropic support. “The schools are in areas of Monmouth and Ocean County where families impacted by economic and racial inequality face barriers to health care and wellness resources that can impact health outcomes for themselves and their children. VNA NPs provide health care services in 20 schools in 7 school districts including Asbury Park, Freehold, Keansburg, Keyport, Red Bank and Eatontown in Monmouth County and Toms River in Ocean County.”
Marion Norman, APN, FNP, is one of the program’s School Based Programs Nurse Practitioner. She noted, “I have worked in the VNACJ School Based Nurse Practitioner Program for a long time and have loved it. The program began in Keansburg, NJ in the late 1990s with the goal of providing episodic and urgent primary care for children right in their school health offices during school hours. I have loved its immediacy, its equity and its vision that families need support to take advantage of the education offered to their children. I have come to realize that any days or hours of school missed is an important health indicator for each child.
The program’s goals have continued and expanded to other school districts in Monmouth and Ocean County. One surprising finding for me has been how important the School Nurse is to good community health. Asthma management, school avoidance, advocating for access to primary care and insurance coverage for all children are key focuses for the program while making sure day-to-day symptoms and illnesses are managed. The team of a School Nurse and a Nurse Practitioner is a powerful duo that improves the health of the whole school community.”
About The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey
Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey’s philanthropic arm, The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, is focused on making New Jersey healthier by supporting non-profit organizations that expand access to health care, remove barriers to good health and increase opportunities for everyone to achieve their best health, no matter who they are or where they live. Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey and The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more information, please visit HZNFoundation.org.
About the Visiting Nurse Association of Central Jersey Children and Family Health Institute
Visiting Nurse Association of Central Jersey Inc. (VNACJ) is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to helping individuals and families achieve their best level of well-being by delivering vital community services to those in need. The organization’s vision is to lead the transformation of the health of the community to achieve the highest level of quality, access, value and overall wellness. Since its inception in 1912, the agency’s philosophy has been that health care services should be available and accessible to all, regardless of their circumstances. As a safety-net provider, VNACJ has been on the frontlines of community health providing community-based programs and services for children and adults of all ages. In 2012, VNACJ launched the Children and Family Health Institute (CFHI), now headquartered in the Freehold
Medical Arts Building at 597 Park Avenue in Freehold Borough, to improve access to community-based care for at-risk children and their families, offering a “no wrong front door” approach. Through more than 20 grant- and philanthropically-funded programs, and strategic affiliations with four VNACJ Community Health Centers, a staff of over 300 work to provide a foundation to support healthy and functional families that can advocate for their own health care needs and for resources needed to improve the health and wellbeing of their communities. For more information, please visit www.vnacj.org.
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