ELIZABETH — A $24,000 grant from Ronald McDonald House Charities will allow the Trinitas Pediatric Health Center to extend staffing and hours of operation to accommodate an overwhelming number of phone calls and walk-ins from parents requesting an appointment either for a sick or well child visit.
“The economic downturn has left a growing number of families without insurance, and in just the last several years, four local hospitals have closed their doors. This has resulted in many more families looking to our Pediatric Health Center for care,” explained Nadine Brechner, Chief Development Officer and Executive Director of the Trinitas Health Foundation. Approximately 9,000 families from communities including Elizabeth, Carteret, Hillside, Linden, Roselle, Roselle Park and Union seek care for their children at the Center.
According to Maribeth Santillo, Director of Nursing, Emergency and Ambulatory Care, “In addition to this large number of visits, every month the Center’s nursing staff receive and handle approximately 750-800 phone calls which may include questions about a sick or injured child requiring an appointment or general health issues which may require guidance or referral.”
“The generous support of Ronald McDonald Charities will allow Trinitas to build on the Pediatric Health Center’s capacity. This grant will expand office hours at least three days per week and enable the staff to arrange 60-70 additional patient appointments per week,” Brechner explained. “With increased hours of operation, patients and families can expect reduced wait times. In addition, the Center’s staff will be able to tend to children before their illness reaches a critical level. There will also be more opportunities to educate parents on preventive care. There will be a long-term benefit and positive impact on the number of children who need our care, the frequency of their visits, and the overall health of the children in our region.”
“All of us at Ronald McDonald House Charities are so pleased that these grant dollars will make such a dramatic difference for the children of Union County. This is what we’re all about,” explained Janice Mulligan, Coordinator of the New York Tri-State Area Chapter of Ronald McDonald House Charities, at center presenting a check to Gary S. Horan, President & CEO of Trinitas. Also at the check-presentation ceremony was Elke De La Cruz, owner/operator of the McDonald’s restaurant on North Broad Street, Elizabeth, third from right.
According to Brechner, “We are very grateful to Elke, whose long-time support of Trinitas included assistance in obtaining this grant from Ronald McDonald House Charities. She has been a true champion for our patients.”
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