At a time when access to healthcare seems to many people to be threatened, Metropolitan Family Health Network – which serves many of the underprivileged throughout Hudson County – will hold its annual summer party to highlight its services.

The Republican Congress is actively seeking to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act (known as Obamacare,) which according to local leaders could leave many people without health insurance.

For many of the neediest in the county, MFHN may be the answer, since payment for services is based on income and determined by a sliding scale.

To make people aware of these services, each summer, the MFHN celebrates National Health Center Week at its facility in Jersey City.

On Monday, Aug. 14 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Metropolitan’s 935 Garfield Ave. center in Jersey City (right by the Garfield Avenue Light Rail station, and across the street from Berry Lane Park), the facility will offer free health and dental screenings, informational sessions on nutrition and healthy living, plus music, games, giveaways, food, refreshments and more for the whole family.

This annual event is designed to raise awareness about the mission and accomplishments of American’s Health Centers as solutions for lower-income families.

President and CEO Joan Dublin of MFHN said this is part of the statewide kick-off ceremonies for the 2017 National Health Center Week. The event is being held in partnership with New Jersey Primary Care Association (NJPCA).

“It has always been a priority of mine in public service to help ensure that quality, affordable health care for our children isn’t dependent on their parents’ income level.” – U.S. Senator Robert Menendez

National Health Center Week is a nationwide annual program that recognizes the services and contributions of community, migrant, homeless, and public housing health centers from coast to coast. The theme for this year’s celebration is, “Celebrating America’s Health Centers: The Key to Healthier Communities.”

Dublin said that she and NJPCA President and CEO Jillian Hudspeth, JD will co-host the kick-off ceremony. Among the expected guests are U.S. Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr.; New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Cathleen D. Bennett; U.S. Department of Health and Human Service Region II Acting Director and Executive Officer Dennis E. Gonzalez; Jersey City Employment & Training Executive Director Jim McGreevey; News 12 New Jersey Anchor Carissa Lawson; and representatives of U.S. Senators Cory Booker and Robert Menendez.

In addition, administrators from the 23 community health centers and 129 satellite, community-based, ambulatory healthcare facilities throughout New Jersey that are NJPCA members will also be present.

On Tuesday, Aug. 15, Metropolitan Family Health Network’s celebration will continue with a special event open only to patients from Metropolitan’s 857 Bergen Ave. center in Jersey City.

Partnerships with people

“America’s community health centers are at the core of our health care system and the nation’s safety net delivering high quality, cost effective and accessible primary care to all individuals regardless of their ability to pay, keeping communities health and productive,” according to a release issued by the Hudson County Board of Freeholders on celebrating of National Health Week.

“It has always been a priority of mine in public service to help ensure that quality, affordable health care for our children isn’t dependent on their parents’ income level,” said Senator Menendez, celebrating the event in 2016

These centers, according to representatives from Metropolitan, develop strong partnerships among the people, governments and communities who work together to meet the unique and diverse health conditions of the community.

“Health Centers are run from the bottom up by a patient-majority governing board who guides how limited resources can be effectively directed to meet the healthcare needs of the community,” said Scott Carey, operating officer at Metropolitan, in a statement to The Hudson Reporter.

Metropolitan has three locations in Jersey City accessible by public transportation from all parts of Hudson County: 935 Garfield Ave., 857 Bergen Ave., and 5300 Bergenline Ave.

Success dependent on the community

With financial support from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, Metropolitan Family Health Network, Inc. (MFHN) became the newest Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in Hudson County in the fall of 2006. The goal of the new community health center is to make primary health services more accessible to families.

Previously known as the Jersey City Medical Center Family Health Center, a federal mandate required the health center to separate itself from the medical center in 2006.

The Garfield Avenue facility provides services to residents in Jersey City as well as Bayonne, and accounts for over 20,000 medical visits annually.

The Metropolitan Family Health Network, Inc. was incorporated in May 2006 as a new organization separate from LibertyHealth Care System, the parent organization of Jersey City Medical Center.

The health center is funded by federal tax dollars, including health center grants, Medicaid, Medicare, private insurance payments, and state contributions.

Al Sullivan may be reached at

Read more: Hudson Reporter – Meeting community health care needs Metropolitan Family Health Network to celebrate National Health Center Week

Metropolitan Family Health Network to celebrate National Health Center Week