New Jersey Health Commissioner Cathleen D. Bennett announced that the Department is seeking applications for its first Population Health Heroes Awards to recognize New Jersey’s innovative leaders who are making system, policy and environmental changes that improve health.

“Across the state, there is incredible work being done to keep the well healthy, support those at risk for health problems and prevent those with chronic conditions from getting sicker,” Commissioner Bennett said. “The goal of these awards is to discover and showcase the work of an individual, group, business, municipality, county, faith-based or other community organization that has successfully implemented a program or intervention that has made a measurable difference in health outcomes for our residents.”

Awards will be given in six categories: Individual/Clinician; Municipal/County Organization/Coalition; Health Care Provider Institution; Community/Faith-Based Organization; Private Sector Institution/Organization; and Multi-Stakeholder Collaboration.

Applications are due March 8. Winners will be announced at the 2017 Population Health Summit in June. The Department’s Office of Population Health, which was created in 2015, is sponsoring the awards program.

Population health interventions strive to improve the health outcomes of a defined population, such as employees in a business, patients served by a health care provider, residents of a community or people with specific diseases like diabetes or obesity within a community or faith-based group.