For Immediate Release 

August 8, 2022 

Contact: Carly Nocchi, NJPCA Communications Specialist  

(732) 664-7018 (cell) or 


Neighborhood Health Services Corporation, NJPCA, and Partners Celebrate National Health Center Week at State Kick-Off 

Neighborhood Health Services Corporation, the New Jersey Primary Care Association (NJPCA), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Region II, New Jersey Department of Human Services, New Jersey Department of Health, the Plainfield, NJ Mayor’s Chief of Staff and Director of Communications and Technology Jazz Clayton-Hunt, Assemblywoman Linda S. Carter, U.S. Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (via video message), the Constituent Advocate from U.S. Senator Menendez’s office Carolina Montes, and Dr. Chris T. Pernell joined to celebrate the statewide National Health Center Week (NHCW) kick-off today.  NHCW (August 7th- 13th) is an annual celebration to raise awareness about the mission and accomplishments of America’s Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs).  

“Neighborhood Health is honored to be the official host site for the National Health Center Week in New Jersey.  This is a powerful opportunity to raise awareness for Federally Qualified Health Centers around the country as well as celebrate their mission, accomplishments, and amazing healthcare heroes” said Kerri Powell, MD, President and CEO of Neighborhood Health and Board Secretary for the New Jersey Primary Care Association. “I am proud of the staff at Neighborhood Health for their unwavering commitment throughout the pandemic which allowed the doors of our center to remain open, assuring access to health care for the most vulnerable members of our community. Like our fellow FQHCs, we also faced the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic head on by rolling out telehealth services, COVID-19 vaccines, testing, and treatment.” 


Community Health Centers provide high-quality primary, dental, and behavioral healthcare services to their patients regardless of their ability to pay.  New Jersey Health Centers also ensure that patients have access to affordable food, housing, and transportation services.  For over two years, New Jersey FQHCs have also served as front-line responders during the COVID-19 pandemic. 


“Our Federally Qualified Health Centers have done a tremendous job of taking care of their patients throughout the pandemic and beyond. I feel privileged to be able to celebrate the National Health Center Week (NHCW) with the members of our FQHCs” said Selina Haq, Ph.D., NJPCA President and CEO.  “Over the past 50 years, Community Health Centers in New Jersey have provided high quality primary and preventive care, dental and mental health services and served as an essential safety net for the medically underserved populations in the State. It is only befitting that we acknowledge the dedication and commitment our Centers bring to their communities during a week that is nationally designated for them.”  


Annually, the 23 Community Health Centers in New Jersey serve nearly 600,000 patients across all 21 counties of the State. Throughout the pandemic, Health Centers’ doors have remained open to serve their patients in-person and through telehealth and they have continued to administer COVID-19 testing and life-saving vaccines.  


“Federally Qualified Health Centers play an essential role in the lives and well-being of the people within our communities. In short, we care for patients, head to toe, from birth through the golden years.” said Joan Dublin, RN, MPA, ACHE, NJPCA Board Chair, and Metropolitan Family Health Network President and CEO. “We Advocate for the health and well-being of all the members of our community through our relationships with elected officials; federal, state, and local health departments; providers, staff, and all our partnering community organizations. We are grateful for their partnership and support.” 


Federal and State funding has allowed Health Centers to expand COVID-19 vaccination, testing, contract tracing, and treatment of COVID-19; purchase equipment, including mobile units to conduct COVID-19 testing or vaccinations; and provide COVID-19 community outreach and education.  These services are specially designed for those at higher risk for COVID-19 and the communities most impacted by the pandemic.  


“This year, the theme of NHCW is Community Health Centers: The Chemistry for Strong Communities. This theme perfectly captures the role that Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) play within the communities they serve. We at the U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services are extremely proud of our community health center program” said Dennis González, HHS, Region II, Executive Officer. “For over 50 years, the Federal government has provided crucial funding to health centers all throughout the country allowing them to serve the healthcare needs of so many underserved and disadvantaged communities.  What started as a small grant program with a hand-full of health centers in 1966, has developed into a far-reaching program of 1,400 centers throughout the 50 states and 5 territories, serving the primary and preventive health needs of 29 million patients.  As the Executive Officer of HHS Region 2, I am particularly proud of the 23 health centers in the great State of New Jersey as they deliver comprehensive, culturally competent, high-quality primary health care services to hundreds of thousands of New Jersey’s most vulnerable individuals and families.” 

Throughout the week, Health Centers across the nation celebrate the innovative ways they provide high-quality healthcare to various populations such as people experiencing homeless, children, and agricultural workers. Health Centers also host staff, patient, and community stakeholder appreciation days. 

“New Jersey’s Federally Qualified Health Centers are truly treasured assets in their communities,” said Deborah Hartel, Deputy Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Health’s Integrated Health Services Branch. “The work that they do is critical—serving our most vulnerable populations including those who are uninsured, underserved and undocumented—who would otherwise lack access to a medical home.” 

More than forty NHCW events are scheduled in New Jersey, including health fairs, vaccine fairs, visits by Members of Congress and state officials to local health centers, press conferences, back-to-school drives, and free health screenings and vaccines. 


“New Jersey’s Community Health Centers are invaluable centerpieces of service and care in communities throughout New Jersey,” Human Services Deputy Commissioner Lisa Asare said. “At Human Services and across Governor Murphy’s Administration, we embrace Community Health Centers for their innovation and dedication to making sure residents have access to preventative and primary health care, especially for underserved populations. While we celebrate our Community Health Centers this week, we value them every day.” 

After the New Jersey kick-off press conference, Neighborhood Health’s community event featured special giveaways from community partners including pajamas and books for children, musical entertainment, a bounce house, food, and refreshments, a D.A.R.E. cruiser car from the Plainfield Police Department, and a Plainfield Township fire truck. This event was made possible by sponsors such as Horizon, Aetna, United Healthcare, My Twenty-Four, Trinkets Boutique, Spirit of Excellence, AT&T FirstNet Mobility.  


Members of the public were able to receive COVID-19 PCR testing and vaccines as well as HIV and Hepatitis testing and screenings. These vaccines and screenings were administered by Neighborhood Health Services Corporation. Anyone 6 months and above was eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination. LabCorp had a mobile unit onsite to provide information and resources, and Hackensack Meridian – JFK University Medical Center had a mobile unit onsite to provide basic health screenings, AIC, and BMI screenings. 


Neighborhood Health’s event focused on using the 2022 National Health Center Week to reach out to the broader corners of the community and to provide education on all the services the Health Center provides, including high quality and affordable, primary care services. 


Also present were over 40 non-profits and community partners providing information and resources, food, prizes, and much, much more. 


“Our community health centers are critical to ensuring every New Jersey family—regardless of how much they make or where they live—have access to affordable, quality health care they need.” said Senator Bob Menendez. “As I travel up and down the state, I see firsthand how New Jerseyans benefit from the countless services CHCs provide to women, children, and seniors. I’ll continue fighting to make sure our health centers get the federal resources we need to keep them operating in communities all across our state.” 


About Neighborhood Health Services Corporation  

Neighborhood Health Services Corporation (NHSC), previously known as the Plainfield Health Center (PHC), was founded in 1969. NHSC’s total care program provides internal medicine, obstetrics, gynecology, family planning, pediatrics, dentistry, and social work support services. Additional services include HIV/AIDS treatment and therapy, nutritional counseling, and outreach services. The “well baby clinic” of more than 30 years ago has expanded to a comprehensive parental care program, which provides a full scope of on-site prenatal and support services. Today, Neighborhood Health Services Corporation serves more than 22,000 patients of all ages annually across its four sites.  


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 129 satellite sites providing healthcare services to over 571,000 medically underserved people. For more information about the 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 





For more information and photos, please contact Carly Nocchi.  


Neighborhood Health Services Corporation, NJPCA, and Partners Celebrate National Health Center Week at State Kick-Off