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DCF Partners with Middlesex County to Support Community Public Health
State-County Partnership Ensures Access to Childhood / Adult Vaccines for Families /
STI Screening, Treatment and Service Referrals

NEW BRUNSWICK – Through a partnership between state and county government, the New Jersey Department of Children and Families and the Middlesex County Department of Public Safety and Health are teaming up to address two important facets of community public health – access to childhood vaccines, and sexual health information, screening, and treatment.

“I want to recognize the tremendous work of DCF’s Office of Training and Professional Development and Facilities Teams to lend a helping hand to a partner agency doing so much great work to support community health in Middlesex County,” said NJ DCF Commissioner Christine Norbut Beyer.  “Through this partnership, we’re able to support families from throughout the county – many of whom may not even be involved with DCF – with access to life-saving immunizations and sexual health screening and treatment.  This is what good government is all about and goes to the interconnectedness between well-being and the social determinants of health and safety.  When families are physically healthy, they’re better able to thrive.”

“Improving access to quality health care services has always been a commitment of the Middlesex County Board of County Commissioners,” said Commissioner Director, Ronald G. Rios.  “Partnerships like this with the New Jersey Department of Children and Families are vital to serve our community, especially those who are uninsured or underinsured – everyone deserves the right to good health. Healthy families are the fundamental building blocks of a strong and resilient community and ensures the continued success of our County.”

The partnership began when the Public Health Nursing Division of the Middlesex County Office of Health Services was displaced due to necessary repairs being performed on their offices on Jersey Avenue in New Brunswick.  Prior to the necessity of repairs, the Nursing Division was engaged in not only the distribution of COVID-19 vaccinations, but also, other common childhood vaccines such as MMR and Meningitis, as well as adult vaccines for Shingles and Pneumonia.  Due to COVID social distancing requirements, patients would sometimes have to wait outside to allow time to disinfect exam rooms between patients.

When building repairs necessitated the relocation of the Nursing Division’s vaccine clinic, the Department of Children and Families stepped up to offer space at DCF’s Professional Center, located at 30 Van Dyke Ave., New Brunswick, NJ.  During the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the trainings typically held in-person at the Professional Center had transitioned to virtual platforms, and the Professional Center was instead being utilized to mobilize in-state and out-of-state donations for families served by DCF, in addition to masks and other forms of PPE.  With access to the Professional Center’s auditoriums, the Nursing Division could set up several socially distanced medical stations, accommodate patients waiting between appointments, and continue to offer access to vaccination for families in need.

While the focus of the vaccine clinic is to ensure access to childhood vaccines for uninsured and underinsured residents in Middlesex County, the clinic is also offering vaccines to adults in need, including COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters, regardless of insurance status, and other vaccines that are limited to uninsured and underinsured individuals.  Appointments for the vaccine clinic are strongly encouraged and can be made by calling 732-565-3788.  Available dates are posted here, and walk-in clients are accepted from 1 PM – 3 PM.

When families arrive at the clinic, they will be checked in at the front desk by bilingual staff and will be able to meet with a pediatrician or general practitioner for basic medical screening and vaccination.  If additional services are warranted, families will be referred to specializing facilities operated by St. Peter’s Health and Robert Wood Johnson.  Families will also be able to acquire masks and other supplies that have been donated to DCF.

“We recognize that for many of the families being supported through the vaccine clinic, they’ve experienced so much disruption and interruption in their lives already due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr. Ngoc Quynh Tran-Hoppe, MD, Medical Director, Middlesex County Office of Health Services.  “Many of the families we serve may have incomplete medical records, and we have to work with them to determine patient history and family history.  In many cases, we’re administering vaccines that are required for entry into public school, to ensure that the student’s education isn’t further disrupted by the lack of immunization.”

“Through the Middlesex vaccine clinic, we’re supporting the entire family, from birth through adulthood,” added Dr. Tran.  “Whether you need an MMR shot, a COVID booster, or you’re an older resident who would be in the risk category and might need a pneumonia vaccine, we have everything on-site to support the community health needs of Middlesex County residents.”

In addition to the Vaccine Clinic, the DCF Professional Center will also host an STI screening and treatment clinic on Thursdays through the end of March, serving individuals regardless of insurance status.  Screenings will take place in a private exam room from a board-licensed OB/GYN, and treatment and medication will be made available, as necessary.  These clinics also offer HIV screening and counseling, and referral to additional services, including medical follow-up, housing, and telecommunication support.

“This partnership with our colleagues in Middlesex County is consistent with the vision that we have for the work of DCF – that all New Jersey residents are safe, healthy, and connected,” said Jessica Trombetta, Executive Director of the Office of Training and Professional Development at DCF, which oversees the DCF Professional Center.  “This partnership is about supporting family wellbeing and community health by tearing down the barriers preventing families from accessing these important services and focusing on the outcomes for families.  We’re thrilled to support such a worthwhile partnership, to make a difference for community health and for children and families in Middlesex County.”


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