Population Health

What is Our Goal?

The Nicholson Foundation’s goal is a healthier New Jersey. We support the efforts of health care systems to change the way they care for patients in vulnerable populations by addressing environmental factors and the social determinants of health.

What Does "Population Health" Mean?

“Population health” refers to social, economic, biological, and environmental factors which may interact with each other to influence the health of individuals and populations as a whole.


HRIA asthma training

Physicians and Community Health Workers receive training to deliver an in-home asthma intervention from Nicholson grantee Health Resources in Action.

Why Is Population Health Important?

Today, despite ever-growing expenditures on healthcare services, there are stagnant or worsening measures of the overall health of the population.

Increasingly, researchers, decision-makers, and community leaders agree that an individual’s health has less to do with what happens in the doctor’s office than with healthy or unhealthy behaviors and environments.

Efforts to address population health are especially important to vulnerable populations. These populations are disproportionately located in areas where environmental conditions like poor housing, pollution, and limited access to healthy food options increase the risks of health conditions like asthma, diabetes, and obesity. Studies show that these conditions can be improved by the right evidence-based population health projects.

What We Do

We support the efforts of healthcare systems to change the way they care for patients by addressing social, economic and environmental factors that affect health. We believe the strategic use of data and evidence-based practices can improve health outcomes, enhance patient engagement, and reduce costs.

Our work in this area includes:

  • Funding local health care organizations to implement an evidence-based in-home asthma intervention model that uses community health workers to help New Jersey families identify and fix asthma triggers in their homes.
  • Supporting a public media and community organizing campaign that promotes healthy behavioral and policy changes to lessen the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages in New Jersey.
  • Providing crucial support to build the Trenton Health Team, which provides care coordination, works to increase patients' engagement in their health, and brings together healthcare and community stakeholders in Trenton to improve health outcomes through coordinated action.