Building a Culture of Health: A Policy Roadmap to Help All New Jerseyans Live Their Healthiest Lives

Margaret Koller, Jolene Chou, Maureen Michael, Amy Dunford, Jennifer Farnham, Giridhar Mallya, Kerry Anne McGeary, Teri Larson

Publication Date: 04/01/2019

New Jersey has a lot to be proud of when it comes to health, including comparatively low rates of smoking, teen births, infant deaths, and premature deaths, and high rates of preschool enrollment and high school graduation. But there are also wide, persistent—and in some cases, growing—disparities across the state, even in the healthiest counties. These gaps particularly affect people who are poor and people of color, who are disproportionately impacted by discriminatory policies and practices that, over generations, have created barriers to good health. But just as policy actions can create unfair barriers, they also can be used to dismantle them.

Creating health equity through public policies is the focus of this new report, which recommends a comprehensive series of actions that will help to close health gaps, broaden opportunity, and ensure that everyone in New Jersey—no matter who they are, where they live, or how much money they make—can live the healthiest life possible.