New Jersey Health Initiatives - A Better State of Health
A Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Program
Trenton Health Team Goes Where Neighbors Live, Work and Pray

Senior housing, barber shops, and houses of worship are just a few places Trenton residents can get free health screenings–along with referrals for cancer screenings and other follow-up care–thanks to a new Trenton Health Team (THT) outreach program.

THT staff and local nursing students are visiting neighborhoods to check blood pressure, body mass index (BMI), and diabetes risk (A1c); survey residents about non-medical needs that affect health, such as access to healthy food, housing conditions, homelessness, and income insecurity; and connect participants to agencies that can meet those needs.

“We are bringing needed health screenings where people live, work and pray,” said Natalie Terens, THT Director of Population Health.

Kevin Veillard, a Master of Public Health candidate from Trenton, helped THT team up with Jasper Saunders, owner of A Nu U Barbershop and Salon, to host one of our first health screenings. “Health promotion in barbershops can be an efficient way to reduce risk factors for chronic diseases among at-risk populations,” said Veillard, a student at George Washington University. 

Jasper, who once suffered a stroke while working in his shop, said a number of his customers were very pleased and excited with the health screening event. “A lot of health complications come from people’s inability to move around the healthcare system, so we wanted to bring something to them,” he said.

Trenton Housing Authority Community Services Manager Pamela Brooks welcomes the screening events because senior and disabled residents often are unable to visit their own doctors.

Likewise, Trenton Housing Authority resident and Community Services Manager Pamela Brooks welcomes the screening events because senior and disabled residents often are unable to visit their own doctors, adding “THT has made it possible for checks of blood pressure, A1c levels– and more–by visiting us.”  

Nursing students from St. Francis Medical Center School of Nursing also benefit from the new program, said Dean Sharnee Moore-Jervis. “Our nursing students receive hands-on clinical education and help improve the health of local residents.”

This comprehensive approach is possible due to support from Novo Nordisk, as well as THT partnerships with the New Jersey Department of Health New Jersey Cancer Education and Early Detection (NJCEED) program and ScreenNJ. Learn more about these initiatives and connect with our project director here.

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Project
Author
Michelle Ruess
Organization
Trenton Health Team