For Immediate Release
May 17, 2018
Contact: Toni Granato, NJPCA Communications Coordinator, (609) 455-8782 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
NJPCA Women’s Luncheon Engages Health Activism
The New Jersey Primary Care Association (NJPCA), Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), and stakeholders throughout the state joined today for the 14th annual women’s health week celebration at the Women’s Health and Policy Luncheon. The theme of the luncheon was “Health Activism: The Significance of Engaging in Healthcare Advocacy.” Every year, NJPCA hosts this event to celebrate National Women’s Health Week from May 13-19. The week is promoted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health with the goal of empowering women to make their health a priority.
“As the backbone of the family, it is important that women gather each year to recognize our responsibility to advocate for ourselves, our families, and our communities. It is particularly significant to speak up for those who are marginalized and overlooked when it comes to receiving appropriate health care. As healthcare experts for the past 50 years, we have a responsibility to share our expertise concerning the importance of providing preventative primary care to chronically ill and underserved New Jerseyans,” said Jillian Hudspeth, President and CEO of NJPCA.
National Women’s Health Week is an excellent time for all women to take a more active role in their health and the health and wellness of their loved ones. The NJPCA luncheon emphasized the importance of engaging in advocacy, promoting evidence-based health practices, and empowering women to take charge of their health.
“Ensuring women have access to quality health care is vital not just for ourselves, but for our families, which is why I appreciate and applaud the work of the New Jersey Primary Care Association and the federally qualified health centers of New Jersey. As Governor Murphy and I have made clear, quality health care for women is a priority for this administration, so while we celebrate National Women’s Health Week today, we will focus on women’s health each and every day. That’s why I look forward to advancing this shared goal with the New Jersey Primary Care Association in the years ahead,” said New Jersey Department of Human Services Commissioner, Carole Johnson.
During the Luncheon, NJPCA showcased FQHCs work to provide care to over half a million people at 134 sites throughout the state. Jillian Hudspeth noted that New Jersey FQHCs have one of the lowest rates of low birth weight (LBW) births in the State at 7.1%. FQHCs serve nearly 147,000 women with cervical cancer screenings and provide over 300,000 individuals with clinical depression screenings.
“The New Jersey Primary Care Association is an important voice in the Department’s efforts to improve health care,” said New Jersey Department of Health Integrated Health Services Branch Deputy Commissioner, Deborah Hartel, MSW. “Federally Qualified Health Centers are uniquely positioned to advance the integration of medical and behavioral health care.”
At the event, NJPCA discussed policy priorities of the organization. These include, but are not limited to, policies that maintain resources to continue our high-quality health care services for our patients; integrates behavioral health care into the full spectrum of services; secures necessary resources and regulatory assistance to allow our centers to expand access; incorporates medical/legal partnership focused on the areas directly impacting patients’ health; and develops innovative, cost-efficient methods to increase access to primary care services.
“All NJPCA members understand the importance of partnerships, and perhaps the most important partnerships we have are those we make with our patients, especially our female patients. As women in health care, we need to forge strong partnerships with one another – our legislators, governmental administrators, community agency leaders and colleagues. These partnerships are particularly important now, when appropriated funding is becoming scarce,” said Joan Dublin, RN, MPA, ACHE, President and CEO of Metropolitan Family Health Network.
The Keynote Speaker of the event was former Assemblywoman Joan M. Quigley, the President and CEO of North Hudson Community Action Corporation (NHCAC) – one of the 24 FQHCs in New Jersey. NHCAC consists of 11 FQHC sites in Hudson, Bergen and Passaic Counties. Joan represented parts of Hudson and Bergen Counties as a Member of the New Jersey General Assembly between the years of 1993 and 2011.
“One person’s advocacy can often make a difference. But a dozen, a score, a hundred voices raised in advocacy are more certain to be heard and lead to greater success,” said Joan Quigley, President and CEO of North Hudson Community Action Corporation (NHCAC).
Along with Joan, Barbara George Johnson shared her experiences working on policy and advocacy throughout her career. Barbara is the Deputy Director for the Watson Institute for Public Policy at Thomas Edison State University. An FQHC clinician also spoke on how FQHCs are providing dental care to patients who suffer from opioid issues. NJPCA provided an advocacy update on various legislation the organization supports. The League of Women Voters helped participants register to vote at the end of the event.
The Legislative Women’s Health and Policy Luncheon was held at the Masonic Temple in Trenton, New Jersey.
The New Jersey Primary Care Association (NJPCA) is an advocate for community health centers as well as a provider of comprehensive education, training, and technical assistance to health centers in New Jersey. NJPCA currently has 24 health centers, one of which is a look-alike and 134 satellite sites providing healthcare services to over 500,000 people in New Jersey. For more information about NJPCA, please visit njpca.org.
Federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) are in every state across the nation. FQHCs are authorized under Section 330(A) of the Public Health Services Act to provide healthcare to the medically underserved. Many health centers and their sites are specially designated to serve the needs of special populations including homeless populations, public housing residents, migrant and seasonal farm workers, veterans and school-aged children. For more information about the HRSA Health Center Program, please visit bphc.hrsa.gov/about/index.html.
In the photos above are:
- Osborn Family Health Center CEO, Shawne Cuilla; CAMcare Health Corporation CEO, Mark Roberts; CEO of Rutgers Community Health Center, Susan Vonnessen-Scanlin; Monmouth Family Health Center Executive Director, Marta Silverberg; NJPCA President and CEO, Jillian Hudspeth; Deputy Director for the Watson Institute for Public Policy at Thomas Edison State University, Barbara George Johnson; North Hudson Community Action Corporation President and CEO, Joan Quigley, President and CEO; Metropolitan Family Health Network President and CEO, Joan Dublin; Zufall Health Center Chief Executive Officer, Eva Turbiner; St. James Health, Inc. CEO, Nicole Fields; and Newark Community Health Centers, Inc. President and CEO, Dr. Pamela Clarke.
- Barbara George Johnson, speaking at the Legislative Women’s Health and Policy Luncheon
- Metropolitan Family Health Network President and CEO, Joan Dublin; MCHB Region II, DHHS-HRSA-MCHB-NYRD, MCH Regional Nurse Consultant, Shirley A. Smith; HRSA Senior Medical Officer, Dr. Tanya Pagán Raggio; New Jersey Department of Health Integrated Health Services Branch Deputy Commissioner, Deborah Hartel, MSW; and Aetna Better Health of New Jersey Chief Executive Officer, Glenn A. Macfarlane.
- New Jersey Department of Human Services Commissioner, Carole Johnson; MCHB Region II, DHHS-HRSA-MCHB-NYRD, MCH Regional Nurse Consultant, Shirley A. Smith; HRSA Senior Medical Officer, Dr. Tanya Pagán Raggio; and New Jersey Department of Health Integrated Health Services Branch Deputy Commissioner, Deborah Hartel, MSW.