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Signature Programs

The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey currently has two signature programs.

  • The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey collaborates with the Partnership for A Drug-Free New Jersey on the Knock Out Opioid Abuse initiative. This initiative addresses the opioid epidemic through community outreach, prescriber education, parent education and a statewide awareness campaign.

    The Knock Out Opioid Abuse initiative began in 2017 with the Town Hall Series held for all 21 New Jersey counties in 2017 and 2018. The program expanded in 2019 and 2020 to include a prescriber education webinar, as well as parent education through PDFNJ’s 5th Grade Parent Alert. In addition, this expansion accomplished community outreach via a statewide awareness public service campaign. The second phase also included community town halls, which were interrupted because of the COVID-19 pandemic and held as webinars in spring and fall of 2020.

      Knock Out Opioid Abuse: Rutgers Hall of Fame and NFL Quarterback Ray Lucas


    [The video opens with Ray Lucas speaking to an audience at a Knock Out Opioid Abuse Town Hall. A caption appears on screen which reads: “Ray Lucas; Former Rutgers and NFL Quarterback; Color Analyst, Rutgers Football Radio Network.” The video transitions to Ray speaking to an off-camera interviewer, as he stands in front of a Knock out Opioid Abuse banner.]

    [Ray Lucas] I went from 125 pills a month to 1400 pills a month. I’ll say that one more time for everybody that’s sitting up there: 125 pills a month, to 1400 pills a month. I could have killed everybody in the front row with how many pills I was taking monthly.

    My story is going to scare some of them, I hope. The problem is that when you’re sitting at home and you’re suffering in silence…you know, the attributes that helped me get to the NFL actually held me back from asking for help. Because if you ask for help in football, you’re “weak.” You should be able to do it by yourself. So, for me it’s more of a message of, “It’s okay to ask for help.” It’s okay to say, I have a problem, and “Can somebody help me?” And maybe I wouldn’t have been an addict for three years.

    The third phase of the project focuses on educating student athletes, a group that can be more susceptible to opioid misuse and addiction. This is due to a higher likelihood of exposure to prescription opioids to treat sports injuries. The new Knock Out Opioid Abuse initiative also includes parent education through the 5th Grade Parent Alert and community outreach via a statewide awareness public service campaign.

    The town halls will be delivered in 10 high schools statewide, and will feature Ray Lucas, a former professional athlete. Lucas has battled a substance use disorder, and will share how it impacted his own life and those around him. Collaborating partner New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) will help facilitate participation from its member schools.

  • Kids’ Oral Health Program

    The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey has invested $1,250,000 in the Kids’ Oral Health Program since it launched in 2016. The goal of this Signature Initiative is to improve oral health-related awareness, education, prevention and treatment for young people up to age 18 years.

    Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the initiative provided 18 grants totaling $1,000,000 to New Jersey-based nonprofits working to improve the oral health of children. Collectively, both phases served over 30,000 individuals.

    Collective Impact of Phases 1 and 2

    • 23,098+ Oral Health Education Recipients
    • 10,412 Fluoride Treatments
    • 5,604 Sealants Applied
    • 2,209 Fillings

    Introducing the Kids’ Oral Health Program Phase 3

    The Horizon Foundation launched Phase 3 to continue to improve the oral health outcomes of children and families.

    Horizon provided a $250,000 grant to the Rutgers University Foundation to establish a Horizon Endowed Scholarship at the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine, the state’s only dental school. The scholarship will give individuals from historically underrepresented backgrounds more opportunities to enter dental school. The goal is to build a pipeline of diverse professionals in the dental field.