The Nurture NJ Strategic Plan is designed to evolve with the state’s stakeholders as they move along the pathway of engagement with equity and the action required to achieve it. A close read of the Nurture NJ Strategic Plan Companion Document: A Deeper Dive into Data and Key Concepts provides important context; review of the Full Nurture NJ Strategic Plan gives the full range of action necessary for transformative change; and The Nurture NJ Year-One Implementation Playbook and Toolkit gives every stakeholder a place to start.

In implementing this plan, it may be easy to pick quick wins, pithy soundbites, and easily measurable goals, but this plan was designed for long-term, sustained structural change. Tackling racial equity is not easy—but it is the state’s imperative. Women in New Jersey and their families require the state’s full commitment, stamina, and hearts. 

Every single woman deserves to bring her children into the world with safety, security, and joy. Until that is within reach, all residents of the state of New Jersey have work to do—and now, some tools to do this work.  The state now has a strategic plan, political will, broad-based public support, and the arc of history all working in its favor. There is no denying that the crisis of inequities in maternal and infant health is complex, challenging, and demands a transformative response.  

The COVID-19 pandemic has added new challenges and obstacles, further complicating this crisis, and other challenges will arise along the way, creating competing demands which threaten to throw progress off course.  The transformative response needed to address these crises requires much from all of New Jersey, and success is dependent on mounting a collective statewide response.  The momentum toward transformation has already commenced. 

As First Lady Tammy Murphy and Department of Health Assistant Commissioner Lisa Asare state, “the commitment to protect the mothers and babies of New Jersey has not wavered. In the last few months, our nation has seen what New Jersey is capable of when we prioritize the health of the most vulnerable. We may be in the middle of one of the greatest challenges of our time, but we have never been more certain that together we will continue to build a village of support for our mothers and make New Jersey the safest and most equitable place in the nation to deliver a baby.” (Star Ledger, Aug 9, 2020)