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Current Projects

The following list provides information on research projects currently underway at Rutgers Center for State Health Policy. To help you navigate, projects are classified by focus area and include the project name, funder, a brief description, and a link if you would like to request additional information.

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Population Health

  • New Jersey Population Health Cohort Study

    Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

    While New Jersey ranks among the wealthiest states, there are significant and persistent health disparities in addition to other social factors that impact health and well-being. The New Jersey Population Health Cohort Study aims to generate new knowledge that will help us build a healthier, more equitable New Jersey by collecting data over time to better understand the factors that contribute to these disparities and the impacts on health and well-being. The study will enroll about 10,000 participants from across New Jersey, with an emphasis on historically disadvantaged groups, multi-generational families, and immigrant groups. Researchers will also combine information from participant surveys and other sources such as lab tests and activity measures to help understand factors that drive better health and well-being.

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  • Implementation of the Integrated Population Health Data (iPHD) Project

    New Jersey Department of Health

    Governmental program data often exist in “silos” and are under-utilized in program evaluation and policy development analysis. To address this gap, in 2016, the NJ Legislature enacted the Integrated Population Health Data (iPHD) Project to establish a process to integrate health and other data from publicly supported programs for population health research for the purpose of improving: 1) the health, safety, security, and well-being of New Jersey residents, and 2) the cost-efficiency of state government assistance programs. The legislation designated CSHP as the operating entity of the iPHD, reporting to a Governing Board comprising representatives of state agencies and members of the public with relevant expertise. To date, the Governing Board has approved the release of data for 10 projects through 2 proposal cycles beginning in 2022. More information on the iPHD can be found at

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  • Monitoring New Jersey Family Strengths and Needs in the COVID-19 Pandemic

    New Jersey Department of Children and Families

    Families with children, particularly lower-income families and those from racial/ethnic minority groups, have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic due to interruptions of schooling, job loss, and negative health impacts. To gather information about NJ families, the NJ Department of Children and Families asked CSHP to develop a statewide representative survey (to be administered at two points in time) and four focused surveys of population groups experiencing disproportionate impacts from COVID-19. Analyses will look at particular impacts on low-income, Black and Hispanic/Latinx families, and by region of NJ. CSHP is partnering with the Rutgers Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling to implement the surveys.

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  • Impact of COVID-19-Related School Closures on Children's Weight Status

    National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD/NIH)

    Almost 30 million children receive meals daily through federal school lunch and breakfast programs, and these meals provide up to 50% of children’s daily nutritional needs. Mandatory closure of public schools necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic threatens access to healthy meals for low-income children and is likely to contribute to excess weight gain and associated health problems. Critical to preparedness to respond to future disasters and to assure the adequacy of the food safety net, this study addresses the impact of school closures on weight status and investigates the potential of emergency, child-targeted food assistance programs to mitigate adverse effects. Building on an eight-year research collaboration with four NJ school districts serving predominantly low-income populations, the study follows a cohort of 120 public schools, collecting nurse-measured heights and weights data on students supplemented by a survey of the school’s food and physical activity environment, geo-coded data on the environment around schools, and distribution of emergency meals and Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) benefits for out-of-school children.

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There are no current projects for this focus area at this time.