Press Release: Governor Declares August Civic Health Month in New Jersey

For Immediate Release
August 3rd, 2023

Governor Declares August Civic Health Month in New Jersey
Civic engagement non-profit, Vot-ER, plays pivotal role

New Jersey – The power of civic engagement and the vital role of organizations dedicated to community well-being are being recognized and celebrated as Governor Phil Murphy officially declares August as Civic Health Month in New Jersey. 

“Civic engagement offers every citizen the chance to have a say in what happens at the local, state, and national level,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “By voting and otherwise engaging in their communities, New Jerseyans have the opportunity to make their voices heard on policies that affect social determinants of health – including access to food, health care, housing, transportation, and education. It is crucial we continue to promote the civic health of our communities by encouraging greater participation in our democracy. Civic Health Month recognizes the laudable work of health care providers and advocacy organizations to improve the civic health of New Jersey communities and will serve as an annual reminder to us all that civic engagement is key to ensuring the health and well-being of our residents.”

Among the organizations at the forefront of this movement is Vot-ER, a leading advocate for civic participation and health, which played a pivotal role in the passage of this significant proclamation.

“Civic Health Month aims to amplify efforts in inspiring individuals, healthcare providers, and community organizations to actively participate in civic activities that promote community well-being, address health disparities, and advance health equity. Governor Murphy signing this proclamation presents an opportunity to further the mission of Vot-ER in promoting civic engagement and its positive impact on health outcomes” said Dr. Alister Martin, Founder of Vot-ER and A Healthier Democracy

Vot-ER is committed to connecting healthcare providers and community organizations to empower individuals to engage in civic activities and drive positive change. Through their partnerships, events, and resources, Vot-ER fosters civic engagement and advocates for community health policies, garnering support from officials and administrators nationwide. This proclamation by Governor Murphy serves as a testament to the dedication and impact of organizations like Vot-ER in creating a healthier and more engaged society. “As current and future healthcare providers, we know that civic health affects our physical and mental health,” says Aakash Shah from Healing the Vote, one of Vot-ER’s Civic Health Fellowship Teams based in New Jersey. “Declaring August as Civic Health Month moves us to act on that very fact.” 

To commemorate this milestone achievement, Vot-ER invites the Jersey community to join in celebrating Civic Health Month throughout August. A series of prominent speakers, workshops, and trainings will be offered. The highlight of the month will be the Civic Health Conference taking place on August 25th. Participants can register for the event and access further information by visiting this Registration Link.

About Vot-ER:

Vot-ER is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization working to integrate civic engagement into healthcare. We develop nonpartisan civic engagement tools and programs for every corner of the healthcare system—from private practitioners to medical schools to hospitals. Our work is driven by a community of health care professionals, organizers, clinical students, and technologists united by a common vision: healthy communities powered by inclusive democracy. Together, we’ve expanded Vot-ER programs into over 700 hospitals and clinics and helped more than 75,000 Americans prepare to vote.


Congrats NJ Instagram Post

Press Release: Vot-ER Appoints Aliya Bhatia as Executive Director

For Immediate Release
February 11, 2022

Vot-ER & Civic Health Month is pleased to announce Aliya Bhatia as its Executive Director. Aliya previously served as the organization’s Chief Operating Officer and then most recently as Acting Executive Director. Her appointment comes at a crucial time as more and more health care professionals and health organizations are witnessing how voting impacts policy and ultimately their patients.

Vot-ER integrates voter registration into the health care delivery system. Vot-ER is founded on a core belief that empowered voices and full participation in the democratic process lead to positive health outcomes. Vot-ER has been featured in the New York Times and many other local and national publications. Vot-ER works in over 500 hospitals and clinics and partners with over 200 national partners including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Nurses Association. In 2020, Vot-ER helped nearly 47,000 patients, health care professionals, and their colleagues start their journey to get ready to vote.

Aliya was drawn to the connection between health and democracy through the combination of being raised by parents in the medical field and various defining experiences while studying, teaching, and working on housing and health initiatives.

“Aliya’s passion for an inclusive democracy shines through in her work,” said Dr. Alister Martin, Vot-ER’s Founder and Board Chair.

“Aliya has experience building and scaling high-performing organizations, and we’re excited for her appointment as Executive Director,” said Kathryn Peters, a Vot-ER Board Member and a co-founder of Democracy Works.

Aliya started her career as a high school educator and then as a strategy consultant at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). Aliya completed her Masters in Public Policy from Harvard Kennedy School as a Sheila C. Johnson Leadership Fellow and is a graduate of the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. 

“I treasure learning from the many different health care professionals involved in Vot-ER,” said Bhatia. “Bridging across disciplines and perspectives has been the unifying theme of my career.”

Aliya resides in Washington, DC where she works to realize Vot-ER’s vision of healthy communities powered by an inclusive democracy. She is a Georgia native and has worked in Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, and Missouri.