PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
August 13, 2013

Mary E. O'Dowd, M.P.H.

For Further Information Contact:
Office of Communications
(609) 984-7160

Christie Administration Celebrates National Health Center Week

National Health Center Week, August 11-17, is a time to showcase the comprehensive and patient-centered care provided by New Jersey's 20 community health centers and their 101 licensed satellite facilities. The theme for National Health Center Week 2013 is Celebrating America's Health Centers: Transforming Health Care in Our Local Communities, highlighting the ways health centers are improving the health of their communities.

"Community health centers provide a comprehensive medical home where our state's most vulnerable residents can receive critical preventive and primary care," said New Jersey Health Commissioner Mary E. O'Dowd. "Governor Christie has recognized the important role New Jersey's health centers play in keeping our residents healthy by providing a record $50 million in this year's budget to support their efforts to care for the uninsured."

There are more than 90 National Health Center Week events taking place around the state this week including free health screenings, picnics and health fairs. Health Commissioner O'Dowd will visit a health fair at the Visiting Nurse of Central Jersey's Community Health Center in Keansburg on Thursday, August 15 at 10:30 am. During her visit, she will tour the site and meet with community members affected by Superstorm Sandy.

Deputy Commissioner Dr. Arturo Brito will participate in Newark Community Health Center's Health Center Week's celebration at its Ludlow Street site on August 15 at 11:00 am.

Governor Christie signed a proclamation declaring this week as Health Center Week in New Jersey and recognizing Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) for their commitment to serving communities throughout the state. The Governor has increased annual funding to health centers by $10 million since taking office.

In 2012, these centers provided care to more than 460,000 patients during 1.4 million visits.

In rural areas as well as urban areas, community health centers provide prenatal care, well baby care and immunizations to prevent childhood diseases like whooping cough and measles. They provide screenings for blood pressure, cancer, cholesterol and HIV. Many community health centers provide dental care and mental health care and bring mobile vans to underserved populations. They serve the homeless and the mentally ill. Most have extended evening and weekend hours and some have pharmacies on-site.

Residents can visit the Department's website to find a community health center near them.

For additional information on health center week celebrations, please visit: http://healthcenterweek.org/events.cfm.