Home Visits Address Health & Housing
With growing momentum to combat maternal and infant health disparities in New Jersey, Trenton Health Team (THT) recognized a tremendous opportunity to fold crucial healthy homes interventions into clinical care and social services for pregnant people, infants and families.
A state legislative proposal would require offering all parents who give birth at a New Jersey hospital an in-home nurse visit after discharge. A key benefit of such visits is the chance for a nurse, community health worker, doula or other professional to enter homes and offer support to address safety or environmental concerns.
Trenton Health Team is already working with community partners to offer free, in-home nurse visits to families of newborns regardless of income, insurance or social and economic status. The Family Connects pilot program, the first of its kind in New Jersey, will be offered to Mercer County families who deliver a baby at Capital Health Hospital in Hopewell — an estimated 2,000 families per year.
New Jersey ranks among the worst states regarding maternal and infant health. In Mercer County, the infant mortality rate is 7.0 infant deaths per 1,000 live births–exceeding both the state rate of 4.1 and the 5.9 national rate, according to THT’s 2019 Community Health Needs and Assets report.
With data showing Trenton having one of the highest proportions of housing built before 1960 in the nation, we need to include lead hazard assessments in all of our collective work around maternal health, infant health and birth equity.
Trenton Health Team is working with Family Connects to add a question to the standard comprehensive assessment specifically addressing the age of the resident’s home and whether lead-based paint hazards are known. We are also exploring opportunities to work with families to ensure their water does not have unsafe levels of lead.
Family Connects builds on THT’s ongoing efforts to improve maternal and child health outcomes, including convening a group of area stakeholders to address challenges and opportunities in a coordinated, comprehensive manner. Connect with our project director to gain ideas for your community, or to partner with the Trenton community in this work.