A select group of managers across New Jersey government agencies that administer Medicaid are taking part in a unique two-year training program called the New Jersey Medicaid Academy (NJMA), which began in October. Funded through a nearly $400,000 grant from The Nicholson Foundation, the program is developed and led by expert faculty from the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS), a nationally recognized nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the health of low-income Americans. The NJMA is designed to advance the capacity of New Jersey’s Medicaid leaders to improve the state’s Medicaid program and better serve New Jersey’s 1.7 million Medicaid beneficiaries.
The training program will provide participants with the opportunity to strengthen their knowledge of Medicaid; learn about emerging national Medicaid trends; boost their personal leadership skills; and develop an understanding of innovative Medicaid program design (including approaches undertaken by other states). It will also offer participants the chance to develop new, meaningful relationships across New Jersey’s health and human services agencies to allow them to work together to continuously improve services for state residents served by Medicaid.
With the launch of the NJMA, New Jersey will join California as the only two states in which the Center for Health Care Strategies has administered a Medicaid training program. The curriculum for the NJMA was specifically developed by CHCS to support the goals of the New Jersey Department of Human Services’ Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services (DMAHS) for improving innovations and efficiencies in the state’s Medicaid program.
“We are thrilled to partner with The Nicholson Foundation and the Center for Health Care Strategies to offer this unique training program,” said Valerie Harr, director of the DMAHS, who spearheaded the effort. “We hope the NJMA will help make New Jersey a national leader in effective and efficient Medicaid delivery for our most vulnerable populations.”
Applications were open to managers in DMAHS, as well as the Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services, Division of Developmental Disabilities, and other related state agencies. Between 60 to 70 competitively selected managers will participate in two, seven-month cohorts of the NJMA over two years.