Rutgers Community Health Center (RCHC) held a ribbon cutting Dec. 16 to highlight its new location and partnership with New Community Corporation. The facility, which is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), is located in NCC’s health care building at 274 South Orange Ave., Newark.
“The partnership being forged between Rutgers Community Health Center and New Community Corporation is a partnership with a purpose. One that is most needed in our community,” NCC Board Chairman Dr. A. Zachary Yamba said.
New Community partnered with RCHC because its health care services are important for the population NCC serves.
“Having an FQHC within the NCC footprint helps us fulfill our mission of helping to improve the lives of inner-city residents by offering additional health care services,” said New Community CEO Richard Rohrman. “We are happy to partner with Rutgers Community Health Center to provide primary care to our residents and clients in a location that is convenient for them.”
First Lady of New Jersey Tammy Snyder Murphy attended the ribbon cutting. She is working to address the infant and maternal mortality rates in New Jersey and the racial disparities regarding health care.
“Recognizing that there is inequity in access to health care is the first step in correcting the crisis. Rutgers Community Health Center has proven that they are committed to correcting this issue and to treating their patients with the dignity that every person deserves,” she said. “I am so happy to be able to count this health center as a trusted partner in our shared mission to improve the health and wellbeing of families here in New Jersey.”
RCHC is one of the first nurse practitioner led FQHCs in the nation. Interim Dean and Professor at the Rutgers School of Nursing Dr. Linda Flynn explained that FQHCs are community-based health centers that provide high quality, culturally competent and comprehensive care based on strict federal guidelines. Charges for services are based on a sliding scale based on patients’ ability to pay and no patient is denied service based on inability to pay.
“Study after study has demonstrated that nurse practitioners provide safe, high quality primary care and are a major asset to ensuring that people have access to care in New Jersey and across the nation,” she said. “One in 12 people and one in nine children receive their health care from an FQHC. It is high quality, it is affordable and it is accessible care.”
Dr. Brian Strom, chancellor of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences and executive vice president for health affairs of Rutgers University, recognized the important partnership between RCHC and NCC.
“These new accommodations expand our School of Nursing’s reach to make high quality, affordable health care available to the Newark community and is another example to our commitment to have equity,” he said.
Central Ward Councilwoman LaMonica McIver said she was happy for the partnerships that allowed RCHC to come to the Central Ward.
“The municipal council has been doing a lot of work to promote health care, promote healthy residents, to get our residents the resources they need to have preventive health care,” she said. “To have this center open, it’s another place for our residents to go and get the services that they need.”
RCHC Community Health Worker Supervisor Victoria Cason explained that before RCHC, people living in her community were surviving and not fully living because of issues like unemployment, poverty, low health literacy and inadequate access to fresh food.
“Our population is now served, heard and have improved their health care disparities. We are our community’s beacon of hope, providing access, quality and affordability of primary care and psychological and social services. Together we ease the minds, soothe the hearts and cherish the souls of every single person we encounter,” she said. “We’re making a difference in people’s lives.”
RCHC CEO Susan VonNessen Scanlin explained that in addition to providing health care services, RCHC links individuals to services available to them in partnership with NCC.
“We’re all here today because of the community and the patients that we serve,” she said. “The fact that all of you are here is truly a testimony to the commitment that both Rutgers, New Community, our city, our hospitals, our community groups are making to not just provide health care but to provide all the services that equal health wellness equity.”
RCHC is located on the third floor of the NCC health care building, 274 South Orange Ave., Newark. It is open Monday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Friday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information, visit rchc.rutgers.edu.