The Trenton Health Team (THT) is an innovative multi-sector partnership dedicated to the health and well-being of the greater Trenton community. Beginning in 2006 as a partnership among Capital health, St. Francis Medical Center, Henry J. Austin Health Center, and the Department of Health and Human Services of the City of Trenton, the collaboration has grown to include more than 100 community organizations that impact health. THT operates with a broad understanding of what health and well-being means for the city of Trenton, engaging in activities and strategies that will help build a “Healthy Trenton.” THT’s vision of a Healthy Trenton includes: healthy environment and housing, vibrant public spaces, a growing economy, effective education, healthy food access, improved safety, equity and social cohesion, and quality healthcare.
Addressing the dearth of youth-related health data in Trenton, THT collaborated with the Trenton Public Schools (TPS) district and Board of Education to develop surveys based on the CDC’s Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System to collect data on tobacco use, physical activity, nutrition habits and access to healthcare for all TPS middle and high schools and one charter school. THT obtained 5,600 completed surveys, which the organization plans to analyze and share with the larger community and academic institutions, as well as use as baseline data to determine the efficacy of projects and leverage funding for related grants. The 2018 Derian/CBLI Summer Research Intern looked at similar surveys done around the country and made suggestions about analyses that should be done to get the most out of the data. Students can use the data to compare different demographic groups inside the city or compare Trenton youth to other youth populations.
Additional current ways students can contribute to THT include supporting the sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) public awareness campaign and advocacy work to introduce a SSB tax policy in NJ, investigating topics and prevention programs related to childhood obesity and tobacco use and leveraging the District Wellness Policy and Council to strengthen nutrition and physical activity standards in Trenton schools and early childhood centers.