For Immediate Release

August 10, 2020

Contact: Toni Granato, NJPCA Senior Coordinator of Communications, Policy, and Training,

(609) 455-8782 (cell) or tgranato@njpca.org.

LaCisha Laws, CAMcare Health Corporation Communications Manager, (856) 993-4855 (cell) or llaws@camcare.net

CAMcare and NJPCA Mark National Health Center Week during Celebratory Kick-Off

CAMcare Health Corporation, the New Jersey Primary Care Association (NJPCA), U.S. Congressman Donald Norcross, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Region II, Assemblyman William F. Moen, Jr., New Jersey Department of Health, Camden County Freeholder Barbara Holcomb, Camden County Health Department, and Camden Mayor Frank Moran and others joined to celebrate the statewide National Health Center Week (NHCW) kick-off today. The socially distanced event was held both in-person in Camden and virtually.  NHCW (August 9th- 15th) is an annual celebration to raise awareness about the mission and accomplishments of America’s Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs). This year, it was even more important to highlight the efforts of New Jersey FQHCs who have served as front line responders during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“CAMcare Health Corporation is pleased to host this year’s National Health Center Week kick-off, especially as we reflect on all of the efforts Federally Qualified Health Centers made to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. As much as we want to celebrate, we are somber because of all the lives that we have lost to the COVID-19 disease. We are truly grateful for our dedicated staff and the Health Centers across the State who have kept our patients and communities safe.” said CAMcare Health Corporation President and CEO, Mark Roberts.

Community Health Centers provide medical, dental, and behavioral healthcare to over 580,000 New Jerseyans regardless of patient’s ability to pay. New Jersey Health Centers also ensure patients have access to affordable food, housing, and transportation services. These resources have been a critical lifeline to patients in underserved communities who have faced serious hardships due to the COVID-19 crisis.

“It is an honor to celebrate the 2020 National Health Center Week kick-off with New Jersey’s Community Health Centers as well as our federal and state partners. Throughout the pandemic, Health Centers have led COVID-19 testing efforts, while continuing to provide essential primary and preventative care for their patients,” said NJPCA Interim Executive Director, Dr. Selina Haq. “To ensure the health and safety of their patients and staff, Health Centers expanded telehealth services. Health Centers also kept their doors open for patients without telehealth access or those who required in-person care. These front-line efforts were critical in keeping patients out of New Jersey’s crowded emergency rooms during the COVID-19 crisis. Each Health Center employee’s sacrifice is truly inspiring, and we thank them for their hard work and dedication.”

At the onset of the pandemic, Health Centers quickly adapted to the public health crisis by instituting new care delivery models. Well-visit spaces were separated from sick visits, pressurized tents were utilized to screen patients for COVID-19, and Centers implemented temperature checks outside Health Center doors. The majority of the New Jersey FQHCs also implemented telehealth services that were not in place before the pandemic.

“Now more than ever, people need access to COVID-19 testing and quality, affordable health care, and South Jersey’s Community Health Centers are playing a vital role in ensuring there’s access for all,” said Congressman Donald Norcross (NJ-01). “This week, it’s an honor to celebrate National Health Center Week to recognize health centers like CAMcare that provide South Jersey families with high-quality health care, including coronavirus testing, treatment and increased telehealth services. Health Centers not only help keep residents safe and healthy, but they also support our hard-working health care professionals on the frontlines. We are so grateful for those frontline workers and their sacrifice and dedication to helping those in need.”

“As local grassroots healthcare organizations, Federally Qualified Health Centers were called upon by the federal and state government to provide COVID-19 testing. Testing is critical to respond to the pandemic because it allows providers to identify, treat, and quarantine patients who test positive. This week we especially recognize the nurses, doctors, and all essential workers who remain on the front-line providing high-quality care to New Jersey communities.” said U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Region II (NY, NJ, PR, VI), Regional Director, Dr. Anthony C. Ferreri.

“Since they started offering testing services, 90 percent of New Jersey’s Health Centers have implemented COVID-19 testing. These testing initiatives ensured the State’s vulnerable populations, including migrant and seasonal farmworkers, the homeless, and veterans were screened, tested, and if necessary were provided guidance to quarantine. Without the hard work and dedication of so many healthcare workers like the ones here at CAMcare Health Corporation, none of these efforts would be possible.” said U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Region II (NY, NJ, PR, VI), Office of the Secretary, Executive Officer, Dennis E. González.

During the New Jersey kick-off press conference, CAMcare held a musical tribute to honor and remember the beloved patients, providers, and other staff who lost their lives during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As we navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of quality healthcare has become all the more evident,” said Assemblyman Bill Moen (LD-5). “National Health Centers Week not only recognizes the health centers that give our residents access to care, but also honors the men and women in this field who dedicate their time to providing healthcare for those in need. I am honored to participate in this celebration of health centers and all they do for our communities.”

This year, the theme of NHCW is “Community Health Centers: Lighting the Way for Healthier Communities Today and in the Future.” Due to COVID-19, Health Centers across the state are commemorating the annual event quite differently than years past.

“The New Jersey Department of Health recognizes the 23 Community Health Centers and 135 licensed sites throughout New Jersey’s 21 counties. Community Health Centers are essential partners in providing services to vulnerable populations. During the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that has tragically impacted our State and nation, the FQHCs along with the New Jersey Primary Care Association have collaborated with the State to ensure COVID-19 testing and ongoing health care are provided to the constituencies they serve, including the homeless, migrant farmers, the uninsured, underinsured and other local community residents at risk of severe health outcomes if they were to contract COVID-19,” said New Jersey Department of Health Assistant Commissioner, Nashon Hornsby.

Although being celebrated on a much smaller scale this year, a host of NHCW events are scheduled in New Jersey, including drive-up vaccination services, mask, and school supply giveaways, virtual tours with legislators, as well as patient and staff appreciation events.

“Although we are all practicing social distancing, New Jersey’s community health centers are closer than ever to our communities, and more committed to doing all we can to ensure their health and wellbeing,” said NJPCA Board Chair, and Metropolitan Family Health Network President and CEO, Joan Dublin.  “Sincere thanks to all the providers and staff who have been valiant during this pandemic, and to our federal and state legislators and partners for their leadership and support.”

About CAMcare Health Corporation

CAMcare Health Corporation is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) that has been a trusted name in providing top-quality healthcare services to Camden and Gloucester Counties since 1978. CAMcare offers seven convenient locations to provide easier access to the care the community needs. Patients come to CAMcare because they know they will be treated with great care and compassion by their concerned, highly qualified medical team. In 2019, CAMcare Health Corporation served over 38,000 patients. To learn more about CAMcare, please visit camcare.net.


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 23 Federally Qualified Health Centers in New Jersey and 135 satellite sites providing healthcare services to over 580,000 people. For more information about the NJPCA, please visit njpca.org.

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 bphc.hrsa.gov/about/index.html.

 

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CAMcare and NJPCA Mark National Health Center Week during Celebratory Kick-Off