During these unprecedented times, The Nicholson Foundation is working to support grantees in their ongoing work, especially as the needs of vulnerable populations are changing and increasing in tandem. We would like to highlight and applaud the work of our grantees to make additional adjustments to their services and provisions during COVID-19 with great success. A few examples include:
Connecting state experts with healthcare providers for up-to-date information and best practices – Project ECHO: Managed by the Rutgers Center for State Health Policy in New Jersey, Project ECHO is a national model that uses case-based learning in different topical areas to foster mentoring partnerships between specialists and primary care providers to enhance screening and quality of care for patients. On April 1, Rutgers Project ECHO hosted the first COVID-19 information session featuring experts from the New Jersey Department of Health and the New Jersey Department of Law & Public Safety, Division of Consumer Affairs. The full COVID-19 series is being developed in real time based on rapidly changing needs. The series features experts covering developments on the virus, intervention, and regulatory changes in New Jersey’s healthcare landscape.
Informing and advocating to preserve the state’s child care ecosystem amid closures – Advocates for Children of New Jersey: In response to closings and emergency designations in the child care community during COVID-19, ACNJ, an early childhood education and advocacy organization, is providing essential resources and information to parents, early care and education centers, and policymakers. In March, they released a child care statement on COVID-19 with recommendations for how New Jersey can protect the infrastructure of the state’s child care ecosystem. They are also continuing to provide support for the completion of the 2020 Census, shifting to online and digital promotion and coverage.
Shifting to online services in place of in-home visitations – Community Doulas of South Jersey, Trenton Community Doula Program, and Sister to Sister Community Doulas of Essex County: To respond to the CDC’s recommendations surrounding COVID-19, all three of our doula grantees serving Trenton, Camden, Atlantic City, and Newark have adapted their home visiting services and are providing the same supports virtually. Women have continued to engage with doulas and are receiving prenatal, labor, and postpartum services through video conference and telephone calls. In addition, Commissioner Judith Persichilli at the New Jersey Department of Health issued an order permitting one support person to accompany pregnant women during labor and delivery, and doulas may serve in this capacity.