NEWARK, N.J. – U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker today announced the awarding of $1,232,698 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to boost the New Jersey Hospital Association’s (NJHA) Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP), to help hospitals throughout the state combat the COVID-19 outbreak. The senators fought to secure this funding in the emergency coronavirus spending package that was signed into law last month.

New Jersey has the second most positive cases in the nation, with over 68,000 confirmed cases and 2,800 deaths. The surge in cases in the state, which is not expected to peak until later this month, has caused a strain on hospital resources.

“New Jersey’s hospitals are on the frontline of this crisis and they need the resources to take this outbreak head on,” said Sen. Menendez. “This funding will help ensure our state’s health care system can treat patients suffering from COVID-19. I’ll continue fighting for the resources and federal funding our hospitals need to battle the outbreak.”

“New Jersey’s health care professionals have worked tirelessly to contain the spread of this virus and protect the health and safety of all New Jerseyans,” said Sen. Booker. “This federal funding will help New Jersey hospitals and other health systems continue to prepare for and respond to this public health crisis.”

NJHA will distribute these funds to hospitals, nursing homes and Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) organizations who are on the frontlines of the crisis and with the greatest burden of care. The health care providers can then use these funds to update their emergency preparedness plan, purchase personal protective equipment, and train staff members.

The HPP provides funding and technical assistance to every state and territory to ensure their health systems can respond and recover from an outbreak or disaster, like the current COVID-19 pandemic or Superstorm Sandy. This means statewide, hospitals can collaborate to ensure the residents of that state can get the medical care they need in the event of an emergency.

Last month, Sens. Menendez and Booker called for increased funding for the HPP and Public Health Emergency Preparedness Program (PHEP) for FY21.