South Jersey Institute for Population Health awards $349,000 for research projects

Share this:

(Camden, NJ) – The South Jersey Institute for Population Health (SJIPH) has awarded 13 research projects with over $349,000 as a part of its third annual funding cycle. These projects will have a positive impact on the quality of life for residents throughout the region.

Each research team consists of partners from Rowan University, Rutgers-Camden, and a community-based organization. The program is facilitated by the institute and the Rowan University and Rutgers-Camden Joint Board of Governors.

“The South Jersey Institute for Population Health continues to be a model for institutional collaboration and community engagement in the region,” said Jeffrey Nash, president of the Rowan University / Rutgers – Camden Board of Governors. “There is a wealth of expertise and experience that sits with the faculty and staff at Rowan University, Rutgers University – Camden, and our community partners. We look forward to learning from this research as we continue working towards our shared vision of a healthy and more equitable South Jersey.”

The projects selected will examine several underserved populations in the region and the array of health disparities that impact those communities. The following projects received funding:

Reading and Writing the World for Healthier Communities- A Publicly Engaged Project at Mighty Writers Camden

Machine Learning-based Predictive Analysis to Understand Public Health Risk from Heavy Metal Exposure in Camden

Community-Partnered Integrated Care (CPIC) for Preventing Perinatal Depression and Anxiety

Creating a Culture of Wellness for Bancroft Organization- Supporting Wellness in Group Homes through Policy, Systems and Environmental Changes

A Research Investigation to Examine the Factors Impacting Colorectal Screening Rates for Communities of Color in Rural Cumberland and Salem Counties in Southern New Jersey

Exploring the Multi-faceted Relationships Between Criminal Justice System Contact and Health Among Camden Residents- A Pilot Study

Learning to Eat Like Grandma- A pilot study to address metabolic syndrome, diet quality, food insecurity, and nutrition literacy among older adults living in multigenerational households

Exploring the Mediating Role of Social Determinants of Health in Arterial Stiffness and Sleep Quality among Low-Income Hispanic Adults

Understanding Camden’s Mental Health Needs

Smart Parents And Resourceful Kids Sharing stroke awareness (SPARKS) program in Camden

The Association between Age and Breast Cancer- Are Young Women in New Jersey at Risk?

Supporting Effective, Community-Informed Food Security Screening Protocols in NJ Healthcenters

Rowan-Virtua SOM:Rutgers-Camden Migrant Health Initiative

“SJIPH research projects over the past 3 years have been valuable to understanding more about our region and its health disparities,” said Nicole A. Vaughn, Rowan University co-lead for SJIPH. “We are excited that this 3rd cycle of research projects includes interventions to address preventing perinatal depression and anxiety, mental health needs in Camden, and migrant health in South Jersey farms.”

Two tracks were available for project teams. The first track offered research teams approximately $25,000 to complete their project. In the second track, established teams applied for up to $75,000 to fund larger research projects. Funded research projects began working as of April 2024 and operate on an 18-month timeline, which was updated from the previous 12-month timeline.

“Bottom-up solutions require funding and support. For a third time, SJIPH convened potential community organizations and academic researchers, then funded community-university research partnerships to produce bottom-up solutions to public health disparities in South Jersey,” said, Stephen Danley, Rutgers University-Camden co-lead for SJIPH and director of the Center for Urban Research and Education. “We are proud to be funding these partnerships and excited to see their impact on the region,”

One of these projects, led by Dr. Nils Brolis, of the Rowan-Virtua School of Osteopathic Medicine, will be focusing on migrant health in rural South Jersey.

“The SJIPH has created the perfect environment for research collaboration to flourish in South Jersey,” Broli said. “Through their partnership network, mentorship, and grant funding, they offer small ideas–like our Migrant Health Initiative project–the chance to become something larger and enduring. As a lifelong New Jersey resident, I believe this type of grassroots research support prioritizes the issues which are most important to our local communities.”

The SJIPH, established in 2018 through a state grant received by the Rowan University / Rutgers – Camden Board of Governors, supports collaborative research aimed at addressing health disparities among underserved populations in both rural and urban communities in New Jersey’s southern counties.

For more information regarding SJIPH currently funded research projects and the opening of the next funding cycle, visit