NEWARK, NJ – The North Ward welcomed the city to the Hope & Hope Community Health Center in the city on Monday, a federally qualified health center designed to provide medical care to low-income, uninsured Newark residents.
Some 5,000 residents signed a petition last year and filed it with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources Administration, to support Hope & Esperanza being designated as FQHC. The location of Mount Prospect Avenue is presented as part of a key effort among local and state officials to bring medical services to their underserved communities.
Having mediated efforts earlier with other city FQHCs to better serve residents, North Ward councilor Anibal Ramos Jr. embraced his department’s new facilities during the grand opening.
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“Having places like this funded by the federal government really helps a lot because we have uninsured or underinsured people and a lot of undocumented people,” Ramos Jr. said. a TAPinto Newark. “Sometimes these people end up in the emergency room trying to deal with primary issues and Hope & Esperanza will provide them with that access to primary care at a very affordable price.”
The facility will be headed by CEO Michelle Lolo and joins the Newark Community Healthcare Center as the second FQHC in the North Ward. Clara Maass Medical Center staff will also partner with the site to help provide care services.
In addition to primary care, the center will provide urgent care, women’s care, COVID testing and laboratory services to children, adults and the elderly. The center also plans to provide mental health and treatment services for substance use disorder and opioid use disorder, according to officials.
The new FQHC arrives in the ward after the COVID-19 pandemic, exacerbating the need for cultural and competent and accessible medical care, officials said. With many underserved communities across the state severely affected by the pandemic, federally funded health centers could serve as a component to mitigate the spread of the virus as those communities recover.
U.S. Senator Bob Menendez attended the grand opening to address the need for such facilities in urban communities. Last year, Menendez and Sen. Cory Booker announced nearly $ 5 million in annual federal funding to support FQHC operations across New Jersey in response to the COVID-19 public health crisis.
In March, senators doubled that effort when they were awarded a combined $ 129 million in funding from the American Rescue Plan to expand access to the state’s 24 FQHCs to administer COVID-19 vaccines, treatment and health services in the most vulnerable countries in the state. communities.
“The paper [FQHCs] they have played throughout the pandemic and the role they will continue to play in coming out of it, and all the inequalities that exist in our healthcare system have come to light during the course of the pandemic, ”said Menéndez. “It’s too important to leave them behind.”
In Newark, the pandemic has already killed more than 950 residents, with more than 36,000 positive cases reported.
While the city has hosted and launched emerging vaccination clinics and testing sites across the city, officials say more needs to be done to reach beyond a quarter of fully vaccinated residents, in addition to serving citizens without home and home.
With the work of local FQHCs, such as the Saint James Health Center, which launched door-to-door tests on various buildings for the elderly and administered vaccines to home residents, federally funded centers have been shown to be effective in the city’s fight against COVID.
With the launch of the Hope & Esperanza center, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka said he hopes the facility can help make COVID-19 shots into the arms of residents very soon.
“COVID hit us hard and affected this neighborhood, probably one of the toughest in the community, so someone has to serve us in terms of health care. Hope & Hope doing it in this community is a gift from God. ”Said Baraka.