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Three N.J. health centers receive 2014 community outreach award

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Bayonne Medical Center's Neighborhood Health Center receives 2014 Community Outreach Award from the NJHA.  Bayonne is part of CarePoint Health.
Bayonne Medical Center's Neighborhood Health Center receives 2014 Community Outreach Award from the NJHA. Bayonne is part of CarePoint Health. - (FILE PHOTO)

The New Jersey Hospital Association awarded its 2014 Community Outreach Awards to three Garden State health centers.

Recipients of the award: The Bayonne Medical Center’s Neighborhood Health Center; the stroke education and screening program of Overlook Medical Center in Summit; and the Somerset Medical Center in Somerville for its diabetes outreach program to the Hispanic community.

The NJHA also provided information from its New Jersey Hospitals: Community Benefit Report, which collects data from hospitals across the state to quantify the value of the community benefits they provide. NJHA said for 2012, New Jersey’s hospital community benefit programs totaled $2.6 billion.

That includes:

  • The value of unpaid patient care.
  • Community health improvement services like health education, treatment and prevention programs for things like stroke awareness, cancer screenings, immunization clinics and prescription assistance.
  • Health professional’s education, including the cost of graduate medical education, residency programs and scholarships.

Bayonne, which is part of CarePoint Health, makes its health center available to walk-in patients regardless of where they live, that have no medical insurance, and to those who belong to Medicaid. Only adults are currently treated at the center but it anticipates adding pediatrics in the near future.

Health center patients receive comprehensive primary and post acute follow-up care at no cost including blood work, vaccinations, immunizations and screenings, mammograms and colonoscopies. They also receive routine follow-up care for chronic disease management including heart disease, diabetes and respiratory diseases. Patients that are unable to pay for medications receive 100 percent cost coverage for any medications over $10.

The NHC has employed a social worker to help community members find quality care when faced with barriers.  The NHC also provides coaching on diabetes and nutrition.  This program partners with cultural and religious organizations, senior centers and the Bayonne Medical Center Outpatient Pharmacy.

According to CarePoint, the program has reduced unnecessary emergency room visits by more than 40 percent, cut avoidable hospital admissions by more than 60 percent, and better overall health outcomes.

Overlook was recognized for its Stroke Education and Screening Program, which provides three primary activities: free screenings; Brain Power, an interactive inflatable brain and educational program about brain health; and lectures by a stroke survivor.  Overlook Medical Center’s Healthy Avenues community van brings screenings directly to targeted populations at community- and faith-based organizations, businesses, senior centers, libraries, low income housing and municipal health departments.  

Since Jan. 1, 2013, the program has screened more than 1,400 individuals in the targeted populations and brought more than 700 school children to its Brain Power program.  

The El Poder Sobre La Diabetes program at Somerset Medical Center in Somerville was recognized for helping the Hispanic population to prevent or delay diabetes.  

According to NJHA, diabetes is the fifth leading cause of death for Hispanics in the United States and El Poder assists 100 individuals annually in making lifestyle changes that will reduce at least one of the risk factors for diabetes. The program offers four, 10-week education sessions where participants commit to 10, 90-minute sessions that are held in locations convenient and familiar to the participants such as churches and community centers.

The program has consistently demonstrated positive participant health outcomes and in 2013, 95 percent of participants showed improvements.

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Beth Fitzgerald

Beth Fitzgerald

Beth Fitzgerald reports on health care, small business and higher education. She joined NJBIZ in 2008 after a 34-year career at the Star-Ledger and has been reporting on business in New Jersey since 1978. Her email is beth@njbiz.com and she is @bethfitzgerald8 on Twitter.

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