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PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
November 02, 2006

Fred M. Jacobs, M.D., J.D.

For Further Information Contact:
Marilyn Riley
(609) 984-7160

New Jersey Awarded Federal Grant to Help Seniors Maintain their Health


          TRENTON – Health and Senior Services Commissioner Fred M. Jacobs, M.D., J.D., today announced that New Jersey has received a federal grant to expand programs aimed at helping seniors maintain their health and stay independent in the community.

The grant will fund demonstration projects in five counties.  A model chronic disease self-management program will be offered in Atlantic, Cape May and Warren Counties.  A model depression prevention program, called Healthy IDEAS, will be offered in Essex and Union Counties.

New Jersey will use the federal Administration on Aging grant, for up to $900,000 over three years, to implement low-cost, community-based disease and disability prevention programs that have proven effective for older adults.         

          “Older adults who are active and lead healthy lives improve their quality of life and eliminate or delay their need for long-term care services,” said Dr. Jacobs.  “This grant will encourage seniors to take steps to ensure their continued good health.”

          The programs will be delivered through local partnerships among Area Agencies on Aging, local health departments and community service providers.  Certified master trainers and trained class leaders will conduct the actual education sessions.  Services will be targeted to underserved populations, including African-Americans, Latinos, frail individuals and persons with access barriers.

          DHSS is working with the Department of Human Services to make the chronic disease self-management program available to people receiving services through the Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services (Medicaid) and the Division of Disability Services.

Programs are expected to be offered in senior centers, community centers, church halls and other public access locations beginning in the fall of 2007.

The new federal grant builds upon the Department of Health and Senior Services’ current wellness initiative for older adults – the HealthEASE health promotion program created through a 2002 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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