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Press Release
October 18, 2023
3 minute read

New Jersey Economic Development Authority and Yangcheon-gu Public Health Center Partner to Advance First Lady Tammy Murphy’s Nurture NJ Initiative


SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA (October 18, 2023) — New Jersey First Lady Tammy Murphy and New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan today visited the Maternal and Child Health Promotion Center within the Yangcheon-gu Public Health Center, in Seoul, South Korea. The Maternal and Child Health Promotion Center is a space for pregnant women and children in Yangcheon-gu that provides systematic health management services and various educational programs related to pregnancy, childbirth, and childcare. Yangcheon is a “gu”, or district, of Seoul, South Korea, located on the southwest side of the Han River.

Today’s visit included the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the NJEDA and the Maternal and Child Health Promotion Center, which establishes collaboration through sharing of clinical work and best practices that will advance both parties’ mission to establish leadership in infant and maternal healthcare and accelerate efforts to support positive health outcomes for mothers and infants.

As part of First Lady Murphy’s Nurture NJ initiative, the First Lady and members of a New Jersey delegation to South Korea visited the Maternal and Child Health Promotion Center to gather information as New Jersey works to launch a Maternal and Infant Health Innovation Center in Trenton. The Center is a key initiative under First Lady Murphy’s Nurture NJ Maternal and Infant Health Strategic Plan, which aims to make New Jersey the safest and most equitable state in the United States to deliver and raise a baby.

“We are grateful for today’s warm reception from Jaehun Jung and the team at Yangcheon-gu Maternal and Child Health Promotion Center. Nurture NJ aligns closely with the Center’s vision of providing exemplary health care during pregnancy, childbirth, and beyond. We are taking many important lessons away from today’s visit, which will fuel our work to develop our Maternal and Infant Health Innovation Center in Trenton. Likewise, we hope the staff of the Center can benefit from our experience in this critical healthcare specialty,” said First Lady Murphy. “The MOU signed today cements this valuable partnership, which will advance our common work and keep us both on the cutting edge of maternal health. We are delighted to establish a lasting and fruitful relationship with the Yangcheon-gu Maternal and Child Health Promotion Center, and look forward to ongoing sharing of best practices and championing of each other’s work.”

“First Lady Murphy’s commitment to launch a Maternal and Infant Health Innovation Center in Trenton as part of the Nurture NJ initiative is lifesaving news for New Jersey mothers and their babies,” said Jaehun Jung, Head of Yangcheon-gu Public Health Center. “Partnerships are crucial to successful outcomes in this critical aspect of healthcare, where so much is at stake. Working together is essential to delivering the highest standard of healthcare to improve maternal and infant health outcomes globally. The Yangcheon Center’s success to date has resulted from a deep understanding of needs, objective assessment of programs, and partnerships based on a shared vision for the highest level of care for vulnerable patients.”

“Governor Phil Murphy and First Lady Murphy recognize that optimal quality of infant and maternal healthcare should not be a privilege but a basic human right as part of an inclusive and equitable economy. Today’s visit and resulting MOU represent the openness of the Nurture NJ team to gathering best practices from highly-respected international healthcare entities and sharing our findings freely with them,” said Sullivan. “Under Governor Murphy’s leadership, New Jersey is investing in research, innovation, and community revitalization efforts that will help to eradicate the shameful racial disparities currently present in maternal and infant health outcomes.”

New Jersey ranks 29th in the nation for maternal deaths and has one of the widest racial disparities for both maternal and infant mortality. A Black mother in New Jersey is nearly seven times more likely than a white mother to die from maternity-related complications, and a Black baby is over three times more likely than a white baby to die before his or her first birthday.

In 2019, First Lady Murphy launched Nurture NJ in response to New Jersey’s need to improve access to care for expectant mothers and babies, with a commitment to both reducing maternal and infant mortality and morbidity and ensuring equitable care among women and children of all races and ethnicities. This awareness campaign focuses on improving collaboration and programming between all departments, agencies, and stakeholders to make New Jersey the safest and most equitable place in the United States to give birth and raise a baby.

Today’s event was part of Choose New Jersey’s economic mission to East Asia, led by Governor Murphy. The mission seeks to bolster bilateral ties between New Jersey and several Asian countries, fostering opportunities and partnerships.

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