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Editorial: Reopening of Trenton Health Clinic for Kids Brings Important Medical Services to Those in Need

The online exchanges will allow consumers to browse for insurance and determine if they qualify for federal subsidies to help pay for their policies. The aim is to ensure more people have access to health care and, consequently, tools to help prevent disease and manage of chronic illness.

There’s no denying, however, that it’s complicated.

In the midst of all the distracting political noise over Obamacare, which is deploying “navigators” to help consumers sort through the options and avenues to coverage, Trenton has revived a most straightforward model of health care.

It’s simple: Some kids in the city need vaccinations and other medical services that their parents cannot afford. Meanwhile, dozens of health-care professionals in the region are eager to help those children and struggling families.

With the help of the Trenton Health Team and the federal government, city officials have brought the two together with the reopening of a free clinic for patients up to the age of 17.

To begin, the clinic is open by appointment on weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. But city Health Director James Brownlee says the hours may be expanded to nights and weekends if there is an interest and a need in the community, Times staffer Nicole Mulvaney reported this week.

Federal designation as a free clinic means the U.S. is covering the cost of medical malpractice insurance, which allows altruistic professionals to concentrate on their patients.

The most recent Kids Count report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation found that N.J. initiatives addressing child health have ebbed, dropping the state from fifth to 13th place in the nation. Health is calculated with measures that include the incidence of low-birth weight babies, uninsured children, child and teen deaths and teens who abuse alcohol or drugs.

In Trenton, where most of the 14,300 Mercer County children living below the federal poverty line are to be found, many families face stark decisions on spending – food, housing, utilities – with little left for health care. The clinic’s services should alleviate some of their worry about the well-being of their kids.

We commend the city and Trenton Health Team – including Capital Health, St. Francis Medical Center and Henry J. Austin Health Center – for reinstating this valuable resource.

About the Trenton Health Team
Trenton Health Team (THT) is an alliance of the city’s major providers of healthcare services including Capital Health, St. Francis Medical Center, Henry J. Austin Health Center and the city’s Health Department. In collaboration with residents and the city’s active social services network, THT is developing an integrated healthcare delivery system to transform the city’s fragmented primary care system and restore health to the city. THT aims to make Trenton the healthiest city in the state. Support for the Trenton Health Team was provided in part by a grant from The Nicholson Foundation. For more information, visit