At the Center for Health Equity & Wellbeing, we believe in the power of collaboration and the importance of addressing health disparities to build a healthier, more equitable New Jersey.

As the first-ever public health institute in the state of New Jersey — and the first in the country with health equity as a founding priority — we are committed to promoting health, wellbeing, and quality of life for all.

Our Story

New Jersey has long struggled with underfunded public health systems, and racial and ethnic health inequities in our state further underscored an urgent need for change.

So the Nicholson Foundation, in collaboration with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the New Jersey Department of Health, ignited the planning process for a public health institute (PHI) that would help reimagine the public health infrastructure in our state.

After a competitive proposal process, Acenda Integrated Health was awarded a two-year, $1 million grant from the RWJF to serve as the administrative, operational, and strategic home for the development of New Jersey’s first PHI. Acenda’s role is pivotal to our growth and development, providing the necessary support for us to achieve our mission and fulfill our purpose.

Funders & Partners

We’re proud to be working closely with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the National Network of Public Health Institutes, and others to identify the priorities and structure of our work as an institute.

Our Values & Guiding Principles

The Center for Health Equity & Wellbeing is on a mission to actively promote collaborative and community-driven partnerships to effect policies and practices that improve health, strengthen public health infrastructure, leverage resources to foster collective impact and social justice, and systemically advance equity and quality of life for all.

Our PHI will be guided by the following values:

  • We believe that public health is what we do as a society to ensure the conditions in which everyone can be healthy.
  • We believe that the public health system plays an essential role in advancing individual, community, and population health.
  • We prioritize eliminating disparities and support communities to be engaged, empowered advocates and leaders in advancing equity and quality of life.
  • We are independent, transparent, innovative, sustainable, collaborative, supportive, embrace equity, and provide leadership.
  • Our work is accountable, data-driven, guided by engaged communities, serves those most in need, follows and creates best practices, and addresses social and structural determinants of health.
  • Our staff is nonpartisan, inclusive, diverse, committed, and trustworthy. We will continue to learn, evolve, and develop collaborative relationships to advance equity and quality of life.

We can make New Jersey the healthiest, most equitable state in the nation. But it will take all of us—health care professionals, government officials, business and nonprofit leaders, and everyday people—working together. Learn how you can get involved and support our work.