For Immediate Release

August 5, 2019

Whitney Miller, Project H.O.P.E., Inc. Planning, Evaluation, and Communications Coordinator, (856) 541-6092 ext.1011 or

Project H.O.P.E. and New Jersey Primary Care Association Celebrate National Health Center Week at Camden Kick-Off

Project H.O.P.E.- Camden Healthcare for the Homeless, the New Jersey Primary Care Association, (NJPCA), U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Region II, Regional Director, Dr. Anthony C. Ferreri, Camden County Sheriff Gilbert Whip Wilson, City of Camden Councilwoman Sheila Davis, and other stakeholders held the New Jersey National Health Center Week (NHCW) kick-off today in Camden.  National Health Center Week (August 4th- 10th) is an annual celebration with the goal of raising awareness about the mission and accomplishments of America’s Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs). Representatives from the New Jersey Department of Health and many community organizations were in attendance.

“Project H.O.P.E. together with Community Health Centers across the nation, is excited and proud to celebrate National Health Center Week 2019.  Since their birth in the 1960’s, Community Health Centers have been leaders in the movement to identify and address the impact of environmental and social factors on health and well-being.  Community Health Centers have a long history of reaching beyond the traditional medical model of care to address housing, nutrition, care management, mental health and substance use in the primary care setting.  We know that our success in managing chronic disease in vulnerable communities is a result of our integrated care models, the care coordination we provide to every patient and our focus on community,” said Patricia DeShields, Chief Executive Officer of Project H.O.P.E., Inc. “I am privileged to lead Project H.O.P.E.  and participate in the work of Community Health Centers.  We are excited to celebrate our accomplishments and we look forward to the work ahead!”

In New Jersey, Federally Qualified Health Centers serve over half a million patients, a number that continues to grow along with the demand for affordable primary care. Every year, Health Centers celebrate their patients and the ability to provide access to affordable and quality healthcare.

“Federally Qualified Health Centers represent the best of America. Regardless of your color, economic status, background, or religion, FQHCs are here to provide the quality healthcare services that communities need and deserve. We are proud to co-host the National Health Center Week kick-off this year with Project H.O.P.E. In all 21 counties, 24 FQHCs provide medical, dental, behavioral health, and substance use disorder treatment services to over half a million patients and make New Jersey healthier as a result.” said Jillian Hudspeth, NJPCA President and CEO.

After the New Jersey kick-off press conference, Project H.O.P.E.’s community event featured medical and dental screenings, and entertainment for all.

“I cannot think of anyone more rooted in the city of Camden or more responsive to the needs of its most vulnerable residents than Patricia DeShields and her entire Project H.O.P.E. team.  Whether patients are struggling with mental health or substance abuse disorders, or looking for cost-effective prenatal, pediatric, and primary care, or struggling with homelessness and have nowhere else to turn, Project H.O.P.E.’s doors are open to all,” said Sen. Menendez.  “We’ve seen community health centers use the historic investments provided by the Affordable Care Act to reach more patients than ever before and, in the coming years, I want to see community health centers across America grow even deeper roots in our towns and cities.”

This year, the theme of NHCW is “Celebrating America’s Health Centers: Rooted in Communities.” A host of NHCW events are scheduled in New Jersey and across the country, including health fairs, visits by Members of Congress and state officials to local health centers, press conferences, back-to-school drives, community breakfasts, patient appreciation events, free health screenings and much more.

“The HHS investment in Camden’s Project H.O.P.E., and over a thousand other health centers nationwide, is an example of an extraordinary partnership that provides service to 1 in 12 Americans – often our most vulnerable citizens,” said Dr. Anthony C. Ferreri, Regional Director for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  “Project H.O.P.E. is on the front lines of community health, providing over 25,000 patient treatments annually and this week we applaud that service, and the good work of all community health centers.”

Federally Qualified Health Centers provide comprehensive, high quality primary, medical, dental and behavioral health services for all ages. FQHCs are open to all regardless of patient’s ability to pay. FQHCs offer a sliding fee scale to make healthcare affordable for all New Jerseyans.

“As chairwoman for the NJPCA, it is with great pride that we acknowledge the wonderful work of our FQHC partners during National Health Center week.  The activities planned for this week-long celebration are a sampling of the dedication and hard work our partners take part in every day within our communities.  FQHCs are truly “rooted in our communities” partnering with some wonderful organizations all in the mission to serve the underserved populations within our reach,” said Dr. Theresa Berger, NJPCA Board Chair and Ocean Health Initiatives CEO.

About Project H.O.P.E.

Project H.O.P.E. is a Federally Qualified Health Center that provides primary health care, behavioral, and substance abuse treatment to the homeless and underserved. Over the past 26 years, Project H.O.P.E. has laid the groundwork and led the way in providing accessible medical care to vulnerable populations in the Camden City region. More than 6,000 individuals are served each year at their West Street Health Center and satellite locations: Cathedral Kitchen, Joseph’s House, and Volunteers of America via their mobile health van. Project H.O.P.E. is one of 1,400 federally supported health centers that serve more than 28 million people annually nationwide.  Health Centers are continuously ranked among the highest quality and most cost-effective care in the nation.

About the New Jersey Primary Care Association

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. There are 24 Federally Qualified Health Centers in New Jersey, one of which is a look-alike and 137 satellite sites providing healthcare services to over 569,000 people in New Jersey. For more information about NJPCA, please visit

Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) also known as Community Health Centers 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 Community 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


Project H.O.P.E. and New Jersey Primary Care Association Celebrate National Health Center Week at Camden Kick-Off