The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey

Established in 2004, the mission of The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey is to support organizations that make New Jersey healthier. Over the past 14 years, The Horizon Foundation has invested more than $56 million in grants that support the health and well-being of New Jersey residents.

Much of The Horizon Foundation’s focus in 2018 was on funding organizations and initiatives combating the state’s opioid epidemic. Horizon BCBSNJ was proud to sponsor an award-winning Knock Out Opioid Abuse Town Hall series through The Horizon Foundation, facilitated in collaboration with the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey (PDFNJ). The two-year series concluded in 2018 and helped bring vital information on the opioid crisis to all 21 counties in the state, and provided a forum to highlight initiatives that have been making a positive impact.

As a result of the series’ success, The Horizon Foundation and PDFNJ are co-hosting an additional 24 town halls in 2019 and 2020, offering a Continuing Medical Education course for providers and facilitating a statewide public awareness campaign.

“This is an opportunity to showcase some of the great examples of programs that are working at the local level and to share these best practices with other communities that are dealing with this issue. This epidemic affects everyone and only by coming together can we effectively explore solutions to address the opioid crisis.”

Angelo Valente
Executive Director, Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey

The Horizon Foundation also partnered with RWJBarnabas Health’s Institute for Prevention to commission the George Street Playhouse’s touring musical, Anytown, which explores the impact the opioid epidemic has on students and families. Presented as a cautionary tale, Anytown empowers students with the knowledge to make positive decisions to avoid opioid use and help them understand the dangerous consequences of addiction in a way that is relatable to its intended audience of students in grades seven through 12.

The Horizon Foundation furthered its efforts to help combat the opioid epidemic through a series of grants in 2018, including:

  • A grant to Community in Crisis (CiC) that supports community-level opioid prevention education programs, and the dissemination of the Opioid Abuse Toolkit: Resources for New Jersey Communities (prepared by Rutgers Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy in collaboration with CiC and Horizon BCBSNJ)
  • A grant to the Center for Family Services to help address opioid abuse in southern New Jersey communities
  • A grant to Children’s Aid and Family Services to educate teens and young adults ages 14 to 26 years who are transitioning from foster homes about the dangers of opioid abuse

The Horizon Foundation also develops its own signature initiatives to place a greater focus on specific health issues impacting people throughout our state.

Kids’ Oral Health Program (KOHP)—The Foundation’s Kids’ Oral Health Program (KOHP) aims to improve oral health-related awareness, education, prevention and treatment for young people up to age 18 years, and to advance professional development for the field in high-need counties of New Jersey. The Foundation invested $500,000 in 2018, including grants of $62,500 each over two years to eight New Jersey-based nonprofits. Since 2016, The Foundation has invested a total of $1 million in KOHP, impacting more than 17,000 children and families.

Healthy U—In partnership with the New Jersey YMCA State Alliance, Healthy U is aimed at preventing childhood obesity in children ages 3 to 13 by combining physical activity, nutrition education and parental involvement in an environment that is fun, cost-effective and easy to sustain.

The Foundation has invested $4.7 million in the Healthy U program to date. In total, Healthy U will impact more than 90,000 children and their families at 480 YMCA sites, and engage 90 elementary school partners. Celebrating its 10-year anniversary in 2018, Healthy U’s evaluation results have consistently demonstrated evidence of healthy behaviors and behavior change among Healthy U participants.