February 9, 2024
RWJBarnabas Health and Saint James Health recently launched two new joint programs to help address issues of health equity, access to care, and health outcomes in the City of Newark: New Retail Pharmacy and The Food “Farmacy.” A ribbon cutting ceremony was held. Both programs serve patients at St. James Health Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) located at 228 Lafayette Street in Newark’s Ironbound neighborhood.
Our on-site retail pharmacy provides patients with discounted medications and education on the 340b program and allows patients to pick up their prescriptions at the time of their appointment, increasing affordability and access to critical medications. This model also improves quality of care by facilitating close and direct access for St. James’ physicians, nurses, and pharmacists as they work together as a clinical care team.
“The foundation of a thriving community is the health and well-being of its residents,” said Nicole Fields, president and chief executive officer of St. James Health. “We have big plans to deliver care in a collaborative way that improves the health and daily lives of our patients. , we want to create a truly healthier Newark.”
A food “pharmacy” is a health food pantry that provides fresh, refrigerated, and shelf-stable foods to improve access to healthy foods in geographic areas identified as food deserts. As part of the program, registered dietitians provide nutritional counseling, culturally responsive healthy recipes, and education so participants can learn healthy cooking and eating methods to improve chronic disease and develop healthy We help you understand why diet is important to your overall health and well-being. . The Community Food Bank of New Jersey is supporting this effort as an agency partner with RWJBarnabas Health and Saint James health to enhance the supply of shelf-stable products available to patients in their food “pharmacies.”
“As the largest academic health system in New Jersey and the largest provider of charity care and care to beneficiaries of the Medicaid program, we are committed to helping people stay healthy when they are sick and dealing with chronic illness. We understand the importance of ensuring access to healthy food and affordable medicine for people who are sick,” said Mark E. Mannigan, President and CEO of RWJBarnabas Health. . “Through our work here, we have the opportunity to provide healthy foods to the people of Newark to help prevent or manage chronic diseases and conditions, and provide them with the support they need to improve their symptoms and feel better.” We can help ensure access to affordable medicines and stay well. ”
The 340b retail pharmacy and food “pharmacy” was created in partnership between RWJBarnabas Health and Saint James Health FQHC through funding from a $25 million Our Healthy Newark grant from the State of New Jersey. Works with a core group of federally qualified health care organizations. (FQHC) into a hospital’s electronic health record system, deploying community health care workers to assist in patient care, expanding the care provided in local clinics, and Recruit health professionals who address the social determinants of health. This collaboration between RWJBarnabas Health and Saint James Health is a pilot for this ongoing effort and demonstrates that providing care and resources closer to home positively impacts health outcomes.
“Food is medicine, so if you give people access to food you can actually help them live longer. If you give them access to a GP, access to housing, access to a healthier environment. , it will actually add years to your life,” said Newark Mayor Ras Baraka. “Families and kids can come here for their primary care doctor, because that’s the number one reason. Number two, they can come here to buy medicine, and then they can go upstairs and get food. You can buy it. It’s a trifecta and it’s incredible.
“You get a diagnosis. You get a prescription. There’s no excuse not to take your medication or not get better,” said state Sen. Teresa Ruiz. “We are a one-stop shop to ensure Newark residents can thrive, whether it’s access to fresh food, ensuring access to health care or ensuring affordable medicines.”
This collaborative initiative focuses on social decisions that impact health equity and health outcomes, such as access to transportation, primary care facilities, safe housing, affordable medicines, healthy food, and other socio-economic factors. It’s part of a broader effort by RWJBarnabas Health to address the contributing factors.
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