by Kinny Nahal
Within the local area of Trenton, NJ, the Henry J. Austin Health Clinic (HJAHC) is the city’s largest non-hospital based ambulatory care provider and aims to provide quality health care service to its locals.
In order to be eligible, an individual needs to earn an income of less than $19,600 per year and provide personal financial information regarding health insurance. It is a low cost service that provides patients with medical/ambulatory needs including: adult medicine, pediatrics, HIV treatment, gynecology, dental care, podiatry, and ophthalmology. Many additional services include social service, nutrition, intervention, transportation, substance abuse assessment, translation services, and an onsite pharmacy.
The HJAHC was established in 1969 as Trenton’s Neighborhood Health Center and was eventually incorporated into a private, nonprofit entity in 1986.
The mission of HJAHC is to provide “quality, community-based, affordable, accessible primary health care services in a culturally sensitive manner with respect and dignity.” The clinic is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), a federal title given from the Bureau of Primary Health Care (BPHC) and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which is allocated to private non-profit/public health care organizations that aid “uninsured or medically under-served populations.”
The clinic, in coordination with FQHCs, operates its services to all individuals despite their inability to pay, thus only charging for services on a Board approved sliding-fee scale that is grounded on the patient’s family income and size. In general, HJAHC delivers quality care to about 17,000 individuals every year, which adds up to over 61,000 visits in three City of Trenton locations.
With this quality care stems another specialty program that has further come to help people without prescription coverage for more than 20 years through the Share the Care Program. Pfizer Pharmaceuticals has joined with HJAHC to give its eligible patients Pfizer medications to treat common chronic medical conditions like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, and depression. According to HAJHC, “Pfizer has filled an important gap in healthcare.”
Charity healthcare has generally come to serve low income patients for free or reduced prices in the United States. Specifically looking at New Jersey’s charity healthcare system, not only has healthcare come to financially benefit patients, but it has also provided them with a means to receive proper and safe medical care.
Looking forward to great success, the Trenton HJAHC welcomed its new Chief Executive Officer, Mr. George C. Stokes, as of October 3, 2011.
This article originally appeared in the Fall 2011 edition of The Wall Newspaper.