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New clinic brings health care to Plainfield seniors

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PLAINFIELD – If people won’t leave home to visit healthcare professionals, then the healthcare professions will come to them.

That’s the simple idea behind the new residential health clinic at the city’s Richmond Towers housing complex for seniors and the disabled on East Front Street.

One of the first of its kind in New Jersey, the clinic, converted from two second-story apartments, will provide the 250 residents of the community with an on-site healthcare facility.

The goal, according to Darryl Clark, program director at Richmond Towers, is to “enhance the lives of many residents — some of which rarely visit a doctor — and in some cases, may save lives due to better health maintenance and faster response to serious acute and chronic health issues.” 

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There may be 30 residents of the community who have not left the building in five years, lamented Clark, who works under a federal Department of Housing and Urban Development program designed to empower tenants and promote their self-sufficiency.

Randall Wood, executive director of the Housing Authority of Plainfield, said the new clinic started as a “vision” five years ago. The clinic will open this week.

“This is a wonderful thing,” Wood said. “I’m just so excited about it.”

Working in partnership with JFK Health Systems, Woodbridge Medical Group under the direction of Dr. Robert Boyd, AristaCare Health Systems, many health care professionals, clergy and government leaders, the Housing Authority transformed two apartments — an efficiency and an one-bedroom — into a clinic that will bring healthcare to where the residents live.

For example, Dr. John Capriglione, a chiropractor, donated an examination table.

“I appreciated the opportunity to help,” he said.

About 50 to 60 percent of the equipment was donated by JFK Heath System, Clark said.

“They did not hesitate to help us,” he said

Though a final schedule is being developed, the clinic will ultimately be staffed by general practice physicians, podiatrists, chiropractors, optometrists, dentists, nutritionists and other professionals.

The clinic, Clark said, will help residents take a more pro-active role in managing their health so they don’t have to visit their doctors are often. Nutritionists will be available to advise the residents on their diet and mental health professionals will be able to offer assessments, he said.

Staff Writer Mike Deak: 908-243-6607; mdeak@mycentraljersey.com

Article source: http://www.mycentraljersey.com/story/news/health/2017/06/13/new-clinic-brings-health-care-plainfield-seniors/391800001/

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