Case Studies

Newark Community Health Improvement Plan

Newark Department of Child and Family Well-Being
Newark NJ

The Problem
In 2003, The Newark (N.J.) Department of Child and Family Well-Being initiated the development and implementation of a Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP). Completed in 2007, plan included 55 partners representing 35 organizations ranging from health systems to businesses, community-based organizations, faith-based organizations and civic and grass roots facets of the community.

The Solution
Data from the CHIP indicated the misuse of emergency department services for uninsured populations as a target for intervention. An emergency department diversion project was put into place, funded at $2.2 million by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Over the course of the project, approximately 6,000 patients were seen and treated in Newark emergency departments for ambulatory care-sensitive conditions; 87 percent were permanently connected to a medical home for a consistent source of care resulting in a 6 percent emergency room return rate.

The CHIP was also used to prevent the closure of two long-standing community hospitals. Quantitative and qualitative data collected for the Newark CHIP helped identify the needs of the community. A Certificate of Need process recommended that primary care services should remain for the hospitals’ patient populations and facilitated the transition of primary medical care services to existing health care systems in Newark.

The Result
The CHIP has proven it utility on multiple levels - it has improved the health of residents and the community and served as a tool for strategic health planning and policy development. This innovative use of the CHIP to impact local policy spawned the interest of other local health systems facing potential decreases in services and prospective closures. The Newark Department of Child and Family Well-Being partnered with the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, community representatives, hospitals, federally qualified health centers, health care professionals and university representatives for strategic planning, development and implementation of a strategy to improve health care services for residents of Newark. Known as the Greater Newark Healthcare Coalition, the organization now has 17 member organizations from across the state. The Newark CHIP provided the guiding blueprint for the development of initiatives, pilots programs and policies that are becoming the state of New Jersey’s new regional health planning body.

Lessons Learned
The success of the Newark CHIP as a greater strategic planning tool was in large part due to periodic collection quantitative and qualitative data. The data provided multiple levels of utility and was used as the basis for strategic planning, policy changes and pilot program development on the local, county and state level. The process was successful because it included stakeholders from a wide variety of community organizations, not just hospitals or health care providers.

Contact Information
Deborah L. Edwards
Assistant Director of Personal Health Services


Additional Resources

Webinars December 13th, 2017

Equity of Care Webinar SeriesPart 2: Aligning Diversity and Inclusion, Community Engagement, Busi......

Webinars November 20th, 2017

Equity of Care Webinar SeriesPart 1: Aligning Diversity and Inclusion, Community Engagement, Busi......

Webinars November 17th, 2017

Transportation and the Role of Hospitals This AHA webinar on “Transportation and the Role of Hos......