New Jersey Health Initiatives Pledges Another $2 Million to Build Healthier Communities Across the State

United Way of Greater Union County to Serve as Lead in Healthy Plainfield Initiative in Union County

Plainfield & Union County, NJ (August 4, 2016) – United Way of Greater Union County (UWGUC) with the Healthy Plainfield Coalition, and nine (9) other community coalitions from across the state, have joined the movement to build a Culture of Health in New Jersey. The New Jersey Health Initiatives (NJHI) recently announced new grants to help make the Garden State a healthier place for people to live, learn, work and play. The grants of up to $200,000 each will fund community-focused coalitions of organizations from different fields to develop policy-oriented, long-term solutions for healthier living. NJHI is the statewide grant-making program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), the nation’s largest philanthropy dedicated solely to health and the largest foundation headquartered in New Jersey.

UWGUC, in partnership with Mayor Adrian O. Mapp from Plainfield, NJ and over 30 coalition members, will develop and implement strategies to improve overall community health.  Healthy Plainfield is part of Mayor Mapp’s One Plainfield, One Future initiative. The Healthy Plainfield Coalition will focus on creating safer neighborhoods, promoting healthy living, improving access to fresh foods and vegetables and implementing other strategies to support community residents to live healthier lives.

“Public safety, education, youth development opportunities, and the redevelopment of Plainfield, are our top priorities and parts of a bigger strategy to create a better quality of life for our residents. Some of the ways we can build a better quality of life is to create a stronger community and offer a healthier lifestyle for all in our residents. Working with United Way of Greater Union County will help us become a better place to live, work and play,” says Mayor Adrian O. Mapp from Plainfield, New Jersey.

“We are extremely excited to be a part of this cohort of grantees. Not only will it contribute to our existing work with several of our health partners, it will allow us to expand our initiatives.  Our goal is to create a healthier community especially for those who have limited access to affordable quality health care,” states James W. Horne, Jr., President/CEO, United Way of Greater Union County.

The 10 grantees, including United Way of Greater Union County, will join the 10 additionally 2015 funded coalitions under NJHI’s Building a Culture of Health in New Jersey – Communities Moving to Action initiative, which strengthens multi-sector coalitions through funding, training, and networking opportunities.

“This is a terrific opportunity for communities across the state tell us what their biggest health challenges are and how they are collaborating across sectors to address them,” explained Bob Atkins, PhD, RN, FAAN, director of NJHI. “Our Round One grantees are already putting innovative ideas into practice. This second round of grantees increases our spread across New Jersey for a strong Culture of Health to take root.”

The coalitions are eligible to receive a total of $200,000 over four years to develop and implement a Blueprint for Action in their communities. To ensure their work continues beyond the four years of grant funding, they are required to provide matching funding of $35,000 in the final two grant years. Teams representing each coalition will also attend a Boundary Spanning Leadership Institute, led by the Center for Creative Leadership, where participants will focus on developing strong, cross-sector relationships to better address the many factors that influence health.

Across New Jersey, RWJF is working to build a Culture of Health, where health is a core value and where everyone has the opportunity to live the healthiest life possible. This vision recognizes that many factors influence health—including poverty, environment, opportunities for education and jobs, safe and affordable housing, availability of nutritious food and places for physical activity, and access to health care, child care, and social services—creating the need for action within and across sectors.

To learn more about the first round of Building a Culture of Health in New Jersey – Communities Moving to Action visit To view videos about work already underway visit NJHI’s YouTube channel.


About United Way of United Way of Greater Union County

United Way works with local government, businesses, non-profits, faith-based organizations and residents to improve lives and build strong communities by uniting individuals and organizations with the will, passion, expertise, and resources needed to solve problems.  Our commitment is to change the odds so that all children and their families, regardless of their circumstances, have the same chance to succeed in school and in life.   


About New Jersey Health Initiatives

New Jersey Health Initiatives is the statewide grantmaking program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Established in 1987 in honor of the New Jersey philanthropic legacy of RWJF’s founder, Robert Wood Johnson, NJHI supports innovations and drives conversations to build healthier communities through grantmaking across the State of New Jersey. To meet the many health needs of our state’s diverse populations, regions and communities, the NJHI program encourages collaboration across sectors to foster deep relationships committed to long-term change affording all New Jerseyans the opportunity to live the healthiest life possible. Learn more about NJHI at, and follow us on Twitter at


About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is the largest private foundation in New Jersey and has worked for more than 40 years to improve health and health care. We are working with others to build a national Culture of Health enabling everyone in America to live longer, healthier lives. RWJF has invested more than $900 million in New Jersey since 1972. For more information, visit Follow the Foundation on Twitter at or on Facebook at