Bethesda, MD – The National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) has honored Rina Ramirez, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Zufall Health Center in Dover, NJ, with the Samuel U. Rodgers Achievement Award. Established in 1977, the award is presented to an outstanding primary care clinician who exemplifies excellence in clinical leadership. It was presented at the 49th annual NACHC Community Health Institute & EXPO (CHI) in Orlando, FL, a national conference attended by more than 2,000 community health leaders from across the country.
Dr. Ramirez joined Zufall Health in 2007. Her vision was to fundamentally change health care delivery for the 4700 low-income patients of the then modest volunteer clinic as it transitioned to a Community Health Center. Her efforts helped build Zufall into an acclaimed network of health centers with a team of 43 licensed clinicians who now care for more than 37,000 patients annually. Thanks to her work and determination, Zufall is a leader in quality care, achieving exceptional clinical outcomes despite the fact that 50 percent of the center’s patients are uninsured. The programs developed by Dr. Ramirez include mobile clinical services to reach patients who include farmworkers, the homeless and mentally ill, all of whom typically confront barriers to health care. She also launched an enhanced hypertension management program which has drawn national recognition. Additionally, Dr. Ramirez took on a leadership role in advocating for health centers and their patients at the state and national level. She served on the NACHC Clinical and Behavioral Health Committees and chaired the Clinician Committee of the New Jersey Primary Care Association (NJPCA).
“I am passionate about health care equity and advocate for our patients and the well-being of our communities,” said Dr. Ramirez. “It is gratifying that our center is providing the best care. I am also an advocate for our clinical workforce, who make it possible to deliver compassionate, culturally competent and comprehensive health care, and who are willing to embrace innovation and change.”
America’s Health Centers are local, non-profit, community-directed and federally-supported organizations that provide quality health care to 28 million people in 11,000 locations. One of the bright spots in America’s health care system, health centers–started more than 50 years ago as a pilot project during the War on Poverty—have now become the largest primary care system with a longstanding record of bipartisan support. Health centers also generate $24 billion in annual health system savings by reducing unnecessary hospitalizations and unnecessary visits to the ER.
To find out more about the mission and accomplishments of health centers please visit www.nachc.org.
Founded in 1971, the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to enhance and expand access to quality, community-responsive health care for America’s medically underserved and uninsured. NACHC represents the nation’s network of more than 1,250 Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), which serve 28 million people through 11,000communities located in all of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam. Learn more about NACHC at www.nachc.org.