The Visiting Nurse Association of Central Jersey (VNACJ) Community Health Center marked its 20th anniversary at a reception on Thursday, September 11, 2014, and also honored Katherine Grant-Davis, President & CEO of New Jersey Primary Care Association.
What began in a church basement in Asbury Park serving dozens of people, the VNACJ “Federally Qualified” Community Health Center has since grown to four locations throughout Monmouth County and in 2013, cared for nearly 15,000 patients.
In 1994, VNACJ Community Health Center was designated as a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) from the Bureau of Primary Health Care and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. VNACJ Community Center is one of only 20 in the state it’s a unique model that requires members of the community serve as governing board of directors.
“We’re a small part of a movement that started more than 40 years ago, and we have since grown to partner with visiting nurse associations and other community organizations to provide health services to millions who otherwise would not get the healthcare they need,” said Grant-Davis. For more than 21 years, Grant-Davis has been at the helm of the New Jersey Primary Care Association. Under her leadership, NJPCA has built a strong network of community health centers in every NJ County that serves more than 500,000 annually, many of whom are uninsured.
VNACJ Community Health Center is a “safety net” provider of primary care and other comprehensive wellness and preventative care in unserved communities in Asbury Park, Keansburg, Keyport and Red Bank. Fees are charged on a sliding scale and no one is denied care.
As part of Visiting Nurse Association Health Group headquartered in Red Bank, patients of the VNACJ Community Health Center have access to additional health resources such as Cancer Education & Early Detection (CEED) for women and men, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), Nurse-Family Partnership, Healthy Families and HIV/AIDS services.
VNA Health Group honored Grant-Davis with its Health Leadership award, which was presented by special guest, Tom J. Van Coverden, President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Association of Community Health Centers based in Bethesda, MD. “You have been such an inspiration for us and the expansion in New Jersey from 7 to 20 community health centers under you leadership didn’t happen without your hard work,” said Van Coverden of Grant-Davis.
The reception was held at Windows on the Water in Sea Bright, NJ. More than 100 attended including community leaders, board of directors of both VNACJ CHC and VNA Health Group, and NJ State Senator Joseph Kyrillos (R-Monmouth).
“Community Health Centers do not exist to duplicate what’s already there, but to plug gaps and eliminate barriers to healthcare to help people stay healthy and to prevent disease,” said Van Coverden.