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Member News – St. Joseph’s Healthcare
December 22nd, 2016



St. Joseph’s Healthcare System collaborated with The Nicholson Foundation to award $640,000 to the Passaic County Health Coalition (PCHC). The goal is to implement and expand initiatives that will improve the health of low-income residents of the city of Paterson.

“We are thankful for the support from The Nicholson Foundation to expand the PCHC into a thriving and sustainable community coalition focused on improving the health of the Medicaid population, with a particular focus on high-need, high-utilizing individuals,” says Kevin J. Slavin, Chair of the PCHC and President and CEO of St. Joseph’s Healthcare System. “Our model of community-based partnerships brings a wide range of stakeholders together to promote healthy behavior, improve access to primary and preventive care, and reduce health disparities.”

The Medicaid residents of the City of Paterson who have significant economic, social, and medical needs, which require tremendous coordination of resources to drive meaningful change are the target group for this program. PCHC’s founding members have identified the need to build upon their existing coalition by expanding its membership to include additional representation of community members, agencies, and advocates who can increase the reach and effectiveness of program efforts.

“The City of Paterson is an extremely complex, poor, and ethnically diverse community with some of the most challenging health problems in the state,” explains Charlene Gungil, Co-Chair of the PCHC and Director of the Passaic County Health Department. “Making improvements to overall health will take a dedicated group of community organizations focused on the neediest patients.”

The PCHC has identified several Core Community Health Needs for the City of Paterson

• Lack of access to primary and preventive care for many of Paterson’s residents.
• Health disparities experienced by Paterson’s residents with diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancers, and HIV.
• Substance misuse and mental health disorders which contribute to poor health outcomes.
• Limited access to oral health care, particularly for those who cannot pay out of pocket for services.
• Limited housing and transportation options.
• External factors such as unstable families, crime, gangs, and a lack of structured recreational programs for Paterson’s youth directly and negatively impact on the quality of life in the community.
• High rates of pre-term deliveries and neonates born with complex health conditions.
• Disproportionate rates of hunger, food insecurity, and obesity among Paterson’s Latino population.


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