United Way And Neighborhood Health Services Announce Partnership To Improve Access To Healthcare

ELIZABETH – Representatives from United Way of Greater Union County and Neighborhood Health Services (NHSC), which operates two Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) in Union County, have agreed to collaborate on a healthcare initiative.

“At United Way we view access to health care as one of the cornerstones that a family needs in order to succeed,” stated James W. Horne Jr., President & CEO of United Way of Greater Union County. “Having health insurance means you have access to a primary care physician who can look after your health and well-being. This means that kids are able to go to school unhindered by unnecessary absences due to ill health; this means parents are able to go to work so that they can provide for their family.”


Rudine Smith, President/CEO of Neighborhood Health Services Corporation (NHSC) states that, “NHSC is one of 20 Federally Qualified Health Centers in the State of New Jersey.” She further comments, “NHSC has four locations in Union County. The main health center and two school based sites are located in Plainfield. There is also a satellite site in Elizabeth. We offer primary ambulatory health care services such as: Adult Medicine; Dentistry; Early Intervention Services; Ob/GYN; Pediatrics; Podiatry and Vision to the underinsured, uninsured as well as managed care subscribers. We are delighted to partner with the United Way to collaborate in closing the gaps that exist with access to health care services for the residents in our service areas who are seeking a medical home.”

The program will encompass two parts. The first part will be a series of information and education workshops on various health care topics presented by NHSC’s medical staff. These presentations will take place in UWGUC’s Family Success Centers in Elizabeth, Linden, Plainfield and Roselle. Secondly, NHSC will station a staff person in the Family Success Centers on a rotating schedule. This person will provide interested residents information about public health insurance eligibilities (e.g. Medicare, Medicaid, NJ Family Care and NJ Family Care Advantage) as well as direct them to NHSC’s primary care providers including dental services.

“Unfortunately, many of our neighbors in Union County don’t know that they, or their children, are eligible for certain government sponsored health insurance,” said Horne. “My hope is that by bringing this type of expertise into the community we can make a real impact on the number of uninsured in Union County.”

According to the US Census Bureau, Union County has the second highest percentage of uninsured persons under 65 years old (22.9%). By informing Union County residents who may not be aware that they are eligible for government sponsored health insurance, United Way and NHSC hopes to decrease the number of uninsured individuals in the county.

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