Red Bank NJ Community Health Center has new location
RED BANK – On the first day Red Bank Community Health Center opened in its new location, there was a busyness in the air as employees adjusted to the new space, nearly double that of the center’s previous location.
The health center had been tucked away on the second floor of an office building on East Bergen Place. Now, it sits directly across the train station and bus stop at 66 Bridge Avenue, a mile northwest of the old facility.
“To be in a location where we would be more easily accessible for our patients, in communities of color, in Black and brown communities close to public transportation, those are all priorities,” said Sarina Brady, Chief Operating Officer of the Visiting Nurse Association of Central Jersey.
Brady explained that the Red Bank Community Health Center is part of the Visiting Nurse Association of Central Jersey (VNACJ), a federally qualified health center founded in 1994, which “(sees) patients regardless of their ability to pay.”
The center is one of four operated by the association, which has other locations in Asbury Park, Keyport and Freehold.
The new location features an additional four exam rooms, for a total of eight, and a new in-house dental division.
“We’re super excited about this. (We) did not have dental at the other site,” Brady said.
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She said the health center received $400,000 in federal funding to support the cost of the added dental services.
The center also provides chiropractic services, prenatal care and behavior and mental healthcare.
“It’s really meant to be holistic-type care,” Brady said. “Really anything that would relate to primary medical that a patient would need, we would want to be able to serve on site.”
She said the health center accepts Medicaid, Medicare and commercial insurances as well as patients who are uninsured, who Brady said would otherwise “have very limited options.”
The health center runs on a sliding scale of cost, meaning lower-income patients pay lower bills for the same care.
Brady said the health center strives to gain trust with the communities it works with.
It has a three-person outreach team, which works with service-based organizations like JBJ Soul Kitchen, Lunch Break, Red Bank Family YMCA and St. Anthony’s Church.
Brady said the health center also provides confidential Spanish language interpretation for residents who need or prefer to speak in their native language.
“Before in Red Bank, … the employees were more English speaking, so it was hard for the patients to get through and communicate their needs,” Sandy Solis, the office manager, said. “Now, we have employees that speak Spanish and English.”
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For people who don’t speak either English or Spanish, Solis said the center has an interpreter line “that we call and make sure that everybody’s understood on what their needs are.”
“We’re available and we’re accessible,” Brady said. “We do have to function within a very complex system, probably one of the most complex industries out there. However, … we have the people that can help in a culturally competent way, work one-on-one with folks to help them understand and (figure out) what steps they have to complete.”
For services such as physical therapy or radiology, which the health center does not provide, Brady said, it can refer patients to other healthcare facilities.
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The property was formally occupied by the beauty salon Lambs and Wolves and a T-Mobile store. It was bought by the Red Bank-based Denholtz Properties shortly before the pandemic began, according to Kris Hurlbut, Senior Vice President of Leasing at Denholtz.
The health center is a two-minute walk around the corner along Chestnut St. from Denholtz’s headquarters and its apartment building The Rail.
She said, after the salon made plans to move to the four-story Anderson Building across Monmouth Street, the association began talks in 2020 with Denholtz about moving across from the train station.
“It’s a beautiful facility. They really upgraded everything,” Hurlbut said. “This space is going to be really great for the community.”
OliviaLiuis a reporter covering transportation, Red Bank and western Monmouth County. She can be reached at [email protected]