Thomas Edison State University (TESU) is proud to announce it has been chosen as a key partner in the establishment of the Maternal and Infant Health Innovation Center in Trenton. This initiative, spearheaded by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) with a $75 million investment, aims to enhance access to vital healthcare and social services for expectant mothers and infants during the critical first year of life.

Aligned with First Lady Tammy Murphy’s Nurture NJ strategic plan, the Center will address pervasive racial disparities in maternal health outcomes, a challenge underscored by statistics showing Black women in New Jersey experience a 3.5 times higher rate of infant death compared to white women according to 2017 data from the New Jersey State Health Assessment Data (NJSHAD), and Hispanic women in

New Jersey experience twice the rate of infant mortality compared to white women (NJSHAD 2016-2018, three-year rates).

Expressing her enthusiasm for this groundbreaking endeavor, TESU President Merodie A. Hancock, Ph.D., stated, “At Thomas Edison State University, we recognize the importance of collaborative efforts in driving impactful change. This partnership exemplifies our commitment to advancing equitable healthcare solutions for all communities and demonstrates the power of combining resources and skills to reach our goals.”

The consortium of schools will work individually and collectively to eliminate racial inequities in maternal and infant health outcomes that will benefit the city of Trenton, the state and the nation by:

  1. Expanding and diversifying the perinatal health workforce,
  2. Creating an interprofessional, world class perinatal health equity research center, and
  3. Offering innovative and culturally responsive ongoing professional development for the existing and growing interprofessional perinatal workforce.

TESU is proud to stand alongside Rutgers University, who will lead the initiative, as well as Mercer County Community College, Stockton University, and The College of New Jersey in this shared commitment to transforming maternal and infant healthcare in the Garden State.

For more information about Thomas Edison State University’s involvement in the Maternal and Infant Health Innovation Center, please contact Ruth Whittmann-Price, dean, W. Cary Edwards School of Nursing and Health Professions,

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About Thomas Edison State University
Thomas Edison State University provides distinctive undergraduate and graduate education for self-directed adults through flexible, high-quality collegiate learning and assessment opportunities. One of New Jersey’s senior public institutions of higher education, the University offers associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs. Students earn degrees through a wide variety of rigorous and high-quality academic methods that can be customized to meet their individual needs. Identified by The New York Times as “the college that paved the way for flexibility,” the University is a national leader in the assessment of adult learning and a pioneer in the use of educational technologies. The New Jersey State Library is an affiliate. To learn more, visit or email

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