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THT Brings FREE Health Screenings to Community Settings

Partnership with St. Francis, City reaches barber shops, houses of worship, public housing

Trenton, NJ

Senior housing, barber shops, and houses of worship are just a few of the places Trenton residents can now get free health screenings–along with referrals for cancer screenings and other follow-up care–thanks to a new Trenton Health Team outreach program. 

THT staff and local nursing students are visiting neighborhoods to check blood pressure, body mass index (BMI), and diabetes risk (A1c). They also are surveying residents about non-medical needs that affect health, such as access to healthy food, housing conditions, homelessness, and income insecurity–and connecting clients to local agencies that can meet those needs.

“We are bringing needed health screenings where people live, work and pray,” said Natalie Terens, THT Director of Population Health.

For residents without a primary care physician, health screenings provide information that can save lives, improve outcomes, and prevent serious conditions from developing. For example, a diabetes screening may be the first time clients learn if their Hemoglobin A1c level is healthy or requires medical attention.

Trenton Housing Authority Resident and Community Services Manager Pamela Brooks welcomes the screening events for residents.

“On-site health and wellness screenings are essential to our residents in senior/disabled buildings because often they are unable to get to their own doctor or health professional for various reasons,” Brooks said. “THT has made it possible for checks of blood pressure, A1c levels– and more–by visiting us.”

Nursing students from St. Francis Medical Center School of Nursing also benefit from the new program, said Dean Sharnee Moore-Jervis. “Working with Trenton Health Team to bring health screenings to the community is a great opportunity for our nursing students to receive hands-on clinical education and help better the health of local residents.”

This innovative Community Health Screening Program offers a well-being status check that not only focuses on specific health conditions, but also identifies social needs and connects clients to medical care and services, such as food pantries, shelter, and income supports. Check for a health screening near you.

This comprehensive approach is possible due to support from Novo Nordisk.

“A unified Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) found that 16% of Trenton residents suffered from diabetes, compared to 9% in Mercer County as a whole,” said Todd Hobbs, MD, chief medical officer for Novo Nordisk in North America. “Based on responses from dozens of forums and hundreds of one-on-one interviews, it was determined that Trenton residents specifically require programs that focus on diabetes prevention and helping people manage chronic diseases. We hope that this screening initiative helps identify people who may be at risk for diabetes so that they can take action to slow or stop the disease’s progression.”

THT also provides referrals for screenings with the New Jersey Department of Health NJCEED program and Rutgers University ScreenNJ program, a collaborative program led by Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and funded in part by the New Jersey Department of Health.

“ScreenNJ is committed to reducing cancer incidence and mortality through an emphasis on screenings for colorectal cancer and lung cancer – two of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in the New Jersey,” said ScreenNJ Program Manager Emily Carey PerezdeAlejo. “We are pleased to have an opportunity to provide screening resources to the greater community through partners like THT.”

To schedule a health screening, email THT Community Health Screening Manager Zackiya Grant.


PHOTO CAPTION: Trenton Health Team staff and St. Francis Medical Center School of Nursing students provide health screenings to patrons of A Nu U Barbershop & Salon in Trenton. After suffering a minor stroke at work, shop owner Jasper Saunders realized not knowing his health status was dangerous–so he welcomed the health screenings. “I thought it would be a great opportunity to inform our community about their own health so they can take action and make real-time decisions,” he said. “A lot of the complications come from people’s inability to network and move around the healthcare system so we wanted to bring something to them.”

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