The Greater Freehold community now has a convenient new option for receiving coordinated, family-centered health care with the opening of the Freehold Family Health Center at 597 Park Avenue in Freehold. This state-of-the-art center now houses the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (RWJMS) Family Medicine Residency Program at CentraState—which trains the physicians of the future—while providing people of every age with primary and specialty services as well as health navigation and support resources designed to keep families healthy.
“One of the tenets of family-centered care is to provide a full circle of services throughout the lifespan, and we’ve created this center with like-minded partners as an ideal setting for doing so,” says Maria Ciminelli, MD, FAAFP, program director of the Rutgers RWJMS Family Medicine Residency at CentraState and assistant professor at Rutgers RWJMS. “It’s a progressive environment for our residents to train in, and we have a wonderful opportunity to impact the health of countless people.”
Improving Access to Collaborative Care
The new center was designed around community needs and input through a unique partnership with CentraState, Rutgers RWJMS, the Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) Health Group, and VNACJ Community Health Center. Every facet of the center is intended to improve access to care, including a location that is easily accessible by walking and bus routes.
Services at the center range from newborn to geriatric care, including OBGYN, sports medicine, and chronic disease care. In addition, the VNA Health Group will offer an array of programs under its Child and Family Health Institute, such as a WIC clinic, early intervention programs, home care services, and cancer education and early detection programs. Bilingual staff are available to assist with all services.
“When providing community-based care, you need to assess and not assume that people have the resources they need to follow through on the recommendations their physicians provide,” says Kristine McCoy, MD, MPH, chair of the VNA Health Group Children and Family Institute. “Co-locating CentraState and VNA services means one-stop shopping with easy access to key services that can change their health trajectory.”
Guided by Rutgers RWJMS faculty and CentraState physicians, residents will complete their educational training while caring for patients at the Freehold Family Health Center for the full three years of their residency, an approach that reinforces the importance of collaboration and prevention initiatives to improve the well-being of the community as a whole. . The center is unique in that it is the first and only community health center in New Jersey to house a family medicine residency program.
“This center is a collaborative achievement many years in the making, and it’s a great example of how a vision can evolve into a true synergy,” adds Dr. Ciminelli. “Working alongside our partners, we have tapped into the ability to achieve so much more for our patients and our community.”