People with autism and intellectual disabilities historically have a life expectancy nearly 20 years less than the general population in part because of a lack of specialized care. To address these health inequities, Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care, the RWJBarnabas Health network and nonprofit organization Woods Services are establishing the first integrated primary and behavioral health care center for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and autism in New Jersey.

The New Jersey General Assembly recognized the critical need for intellectual and developmental disabilities services by supporting a grant of $800,000 toward the startup costs for the initiative. The center, which is expected to open in early 2024 at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton, will serve people who live in central New Jersey, with future plans to expand services to other areas of the state. To read the full story.