Community-Academic Partnership Awards

Bergen’s Promise and Jewish Family Service of Atlantic and Cape May Counties were recently selected as recipients of this year’s IFH Community-Academic Partnership Award. Each organization was awarded $10,000 for projects focused on health equity. Congratulations to both organizations!

Bergen’s Promise plans to create a culturally competent group therapy intervention for families of Latinx teens with eating disorders. “This award will facilitate the collaboration of highly qualified researchers/clinicians from Rutgers, Bergen’s Promise, and a community-based organization to address a resource gap in northern New Jersey,” says Kathy Werheim, Community Resources Director at Bergen’s Promise.

“This project will address a growing community need for tailored care for Latinx teens with eating disorders by creating and piloting a culturally competent group therapy intervention with a sample of families of Latinx teens with eating disorders that are enrolled in Bergen’s Promise,” Werheim continues.

The second award recipient, Jewish Family Service of Atlantic and Cape May Counties, plans to create a person-centered care model to improve health outcomes for individuals with serious mental illness who reside in Atlantic City.  “Through the generous support of IFH Builds, JFS will offer multilevel services driven by a Participatory Research Study and members of a healthcare coalition. Rutgers Camden School of Nursing faculty together with local medical and mental health providers; social service agencies; and mental health consumers, will inform on system and individual level barriers to preventive healthcare,” says Caelin McCallum, Director of Healthy Community Initiatives at Jewish Family Service of Atlantic & Cape May Counties

“Individuals with serious mental illness (SMI) are at increased risk for premature death associated with comorbid conditions: cancer, heart disease, stroke, pulmonary disease, and diabetes. This population experiences the largest health disparities in the United States; greater than gender, racial or socioeconomic differences. The Person Center Care Model is designed to create greater access to care, increase preventative healthcare screenings and improve health outcomes, McCallum continues.

Throughout 35 years at Rutgers, IFH has been devoted to breaking down academic silos to make a direct impact in practice and policy. One essential component of this work is building partnerships with community groups to help translate research to New Jersey populations. The Community-Academic Partnership Award strives to strengthen these partnerships to study pressing health concerns, build community-research infrastructure and/or implement translation of research in their communities served.