The New Jersey State Library, an affiliate of Thomas Edison State University, will be administering a statewide telehealth program, NJHealthConnect @ Your Library, to address barriers to health equity for New Jersey residents.
The program, which is set to launch this month, will provide access to health care services through select public libraries across the state.
NJHealthConnect @ Your Library will be facilitated by Just For The Health Of It, a health literacy program developed by the East Brunswick Public Library.
The project is supported by American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds, provided to the New Jersey State Library, from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
NJHealthConnect @ Your Library addresses the barrier of access to care that is common among people who lack access to technology and cannot see a doctor during normal hours. The program uses iPads that are preloaded with 24/7 telemedicine apps of major hospital systems in the state. Each iPad contains links to multilingual health information; mental health resources for adults and teens; Zoom and Google apps for doctor conferences; crisis hotlines; and links to the latest Covid updates in English and Spanish.
The program also features a team of consumer health librarians at the East Brunswick Public Library who will train and assist participating libraries as they implement the telehealth program in their communities.
The East Brunswick Public Library will serve as a statewide hub for participating libraries and will disseminate a total of 450 iPads to 152 participating public libraries throughout the state.
“We are thankful for the availability of ARPA funds, which will allow us to support the state’s mission to help people get timely, high-quality health care services. The ongoing pandemic has emphasized a need for health literacy, especially among vulnerable populations, and we’re proud to have public libraries bridge the digital divide by offering telehealth resources to their communities,” said Jen Nelson, New Jersey State Librarian.
“I would like to thank the New Jersey State Library for recognizing the commitment and quality of the East Brunswick Public Library healthcare literacy program, Just for the Health of It. Your commitment of $323,000 from the ARPA funds to our program allows us to help so many more residents of the state at a time when reaching providers of care is constrained,” said Brad Cohen. “As mayor and president of the Library Board, I am so proud of our library, our staff, and our professionals who have built such a comprehensive health and wellness program enabling East Brunswick to become a true corridor of healthcare.”
Additional information can be found online at ww.njstatelib.org/NJHealthConnect.
- This information was provided by the East Brunswick Public Library.