We believe in the power of collaboration and the pursuit of equity to transform public health. As New Jersey’s first public health institute—and the first in the nation to have health equity as a founding priority— we’re here to make a difference.

What Is a Public Health Institute?

A public health institute, or PHI, is a unique type of nonprofit that works hand-in-hand with governmental public health agencies and other organizations. Together, we complement health improvement efforts, increase multi sector collaboration, and leverage new resources to advance population health and wellbeing.

Hear from Acenda Chief Operating Officer Melissa Fox and Chief Business and Government Relations Officer Jim Curtin as they explain the unique role of the Center for Health Equity & Wellbeing in supporting the health and wellness of our community members.

Why New Jersey Needs a PHI

New Jersey’s public health infrastructure and system have been strained for several decades due to lack of funding, insufficient coordination across health and related sectors, and the impact of social and economic determinants of health on New Jersey’s residents. In fact, New Jersey ranks 31st in the nation in state funding for public health. We believe it’s time for a change.

We envision a New Jersey where everyone and their communities have a fair and just opportunity to experience health and quality of life to their full potential. And to achieve this vision, it takes more than the actions of individuals alone. It requires a collective effort, spearheaded by a dedicated public health institute.

Our Mission & Approach

Our mission is 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.

Key Roles

As New Jersey’s first public health institute, we have a unique role to play. Explore our four key responsibilities:

We collaborate to eliminate health inequity by fostering authentic relationships and supporting capacity building, all within a social justice framework.

We function as an assertive, responsive, and nimble fiscal and administrative entity, supporting public health initiatives and promoting health equity.

We serve as a community-driven, trusted, and independent convener, bringing together diverse stakeholders to drive change.

We support and utilize an accessible, easy-to-use modern data infrastructure, ensuring our actions are informed by the best available evidence.