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PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
August 14, 2008

Heather Howard
Commissioner

For Further Information Contact:
Donna Leusner
(609) 984-7160


 
GOVERNOR JON S. CORZINE, HEALTH AND SENIOR SERVICES COMMISSIONER HOWARD VISIT COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTER


 

New Brunswick – In recognition of National Health Center Week, Governor Jon S. Corzine and Health and Senior Services Commissioner Heather Howard today visited the Eric B. Chandler Health Center in New Brunswick to recognize the vital services that health centers and health professionals provide to New Jersey’s most vulnerable residents.

 

Governor Corzine announced that despite an extraordinarily difficult state budget year, the state was able to provide a financial boost to the centers which provide medical, dental and specialty care to approximately 350,000 people who are either uninsured, enrolled in FamilyCare or recipients of Medicaid and Medicare.

 

Health centers will receive a $3 increase—from $98 to $101--for each uninsured patient visit to one of the 19 community health centers, which operate a total of 82 sites in 19 counties throughout the state.

 

The $1 million increase is part of $40 million in funds which the state will reimburse the centers this year for providing high quality, cost-effective health care for the uninsured.

 

“At a time when families are struggling to put food on the table and gas in the tank, let alone pay for costly procedures or medicines—clinics like the Eric B. Chandler Health Center provide excellent care for our most vulnerable residents—Medicaid and Medicare beneficiaries and the uninsured,’’ said Governor Corzine.

 

“There is no question that uninsured patients who locate a primary care physician that they can afford are more likely to be healthy—many studies have told us that,’’ the Governor said.

 

Commissioner Howard said the increase in reimbursement is a recognition that health care costs are rising.

 

National Health Center Week is the perfect opportunity to demonstrate the state’s strong financial and philosophical support for the vital services that community health centers provide. These centers guarantee that uninsured and medically underserved patients have access to comprehensive primary and preventive care,’’ Commissioner Howard said.

 

New Jersey’s 82 community health centers have been tireless champions for NJ FamilyCare and a strong voice for expanded community-based primary and specialty-care capacity,” Human Services Commissioner Jennifer Velez stressed. “Our missions are the same—we are in business to care for New Jersey’s most vulnerable residents.”

 

The Eric B. Chandler Health Center, celebrating its 20th anniversary, provided 56,000 patient visits last year and is operated jointly by the UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and the Eric B. Chandler Community Advisory Board. The center provides a broad spectrum of social services as well as community-based health and wellness programs, such as a Family Education Program, a series of health education seminars on topics such as domestic violence, immigration, managed care and health maintenance.

 

"Health Centers in New Jersey are grateful for the level of support shown by the administration,’’ said Kathy Grant Davis, executive director of the New Jersey Primary Care Association, the trade group that represents health centers.

 

“So many of our patients are underinsured or uninsured. State funding support has allowed us to expand the number of sites throughout the state and to reach out and serve patients who otherwise may not have sought care, but now have a medical home,’’ Davis said.

 

“The Chandler Health Center serves as an anchor in our community bringing together residents, health care providers and community leaders who support our mission,” said Sandra Adams, interim executive director of the Eric B. Chandler Health Center. “Chandler also serves as an educational facility offering valuable programs to promote healthy lifestyles, and most importantly, the physicians and staff provide affordable, comprehensive health care to anyone in need.”

 

Integral to providing comprehensive care, interpreter services are provided to patients at Chandler, its annex center, as well as at area hospitals to ensure that patients understand the options available to them throughout their care and treatment.

 

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