Trenton to Reopen Free Health Clinic for Children and Adolescents
TRENTON – With the aid of a new volunteer staff, the city will reopen its long-shuttered pediatric and adolescent free clinic tomorrow to provide immunizations to school-age children and general medical care to young people up to age 17, health director James Brownlee said.
Brownlee said he was excited to announce that the clinic will be available to serve the uninsured children of Trenton. The facility has been closed since 2008, when its funding dried up.
“It’s going to be a great opportunity for that population that cannot afford to get these services,” Brownlee said.
The clinic will be opened by appointment only on weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. Brownlee said the health department may expand the clinic’s hours of operation to nights and weekends if there is an interest and a need in the community.
Brownlee announced in July that the city was looking for physicians, nurse practitioners and nurses to volunteer their time to staff the clinic at 218 N. Broad St.
“In our first outreach effort, it was overwhelming,” he said. “We received feedback from over 50 volunteers that want to give back.”
The clinic received federal designation as a free clinic in April, allowing the city to solicit volunteer medical professionals, with the federal government covering the cost of medical malpractice insurance. The clinic will treat babies and children up to age 17 who do not have health insurance.
The clinic will open on Monday to administer immunizations to school children, and will begin to take appointments for well and sick care, Brownlee said.
“We are going to look at what the demand is for that treatment center and for the types of services,” Brownlee said. “That will help us determine which volunteer medical professionals we need to have in the clinic and during which hours.”
Last week computers were being installed in the four exam rooms, which Brownlee said will be used to create electronic records for the patients.
Patients can make an appointment by calling (609) 989-3242, ext. 170 or 168. Visits are by appointment only and the clinic will not accept walk-in patients.
The city also is looking into expanding the clinic’s scope to include specialty care for patients with chronic diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure, Brownlee said.
The Trenton Health Team has partnered with the city to help reopen the clinic.
Members of the Trenton Health Team include Capital Health, St. Francis Medical Center and Henry J. Austin Health Center, which operate health clinics in the city.
Brownlee said the city clinic will be making referrals to specialists in the area if patients require further care that is not offered there.
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 www.trentonhealthteam.org.