As many of you know, being able to vote has an impact on individual patients’ health. Voting rights are considered a social determinant of health. The ER created a new program to address this. Beginning 9/14/22, the ED Population Health Social Determinants of Health screeners started screening ED patients for voter registration and will begin assisting interested patients with registering to vote in NJ. This initiative has the support of Cooper leadership, was approved by our legal team, and should not affect or delay patient care.
Just two months ago, the American Medical Association declared that voting is a social determinant of health. Camden’s voter registration rate is 64%, which is 3 points below the national average and 10 points below New Jersey’s average. Actual voter participation in Camden is even worse – showing just a 46% participation rate for the 2020 presidential election, and only a 16% participation rate for the 2021 New Jersey gubernatorial election. Both of those rates are at least 20 points below the New Jersey average.
Please remember that if you are talking to patients about their civic health, it MUST be done in a non-partisan way in accordance with laws related to Cooper’s nonprofit status. Link here to helpful website with Dos and Don’ts for 501(c)(3)s.
Our Pop Health SDOH screeners are staffed in our ED M-Th 9-6:30 & Fri 12-3. This new initiative will show our patients that we are committed to their overall well-being: their mental, physical, social, and now, their civic health.
Dr. Kate Ginty is available for questions.
NJ voter registration deadline: October 18th 2022. Link to register here.
PA voter registration deadline: October 24th 2022. Link to register here.
There is more information here for those who are interested. New Jersey Department of State – Division of Elections – NJ Voter Information Portal