PHCS News

Bristol-Myers Squibb Community Health Center Opens May 22

May 3, 2012

Will Serve Uninsured and Underinsured Area Residents

For more than 80 years, as University Medical Center at Princeton, a respected teaching hospital, was expanding and evolving, one constant was the presence of a Clinic providing free or low-cost care to central New Jersey residents who need it.

Established in 1929, a decade after the hospital first opened on Witherspoon Street in Princeton, the Clinic has seen its patient volume increase by 28 percent in the past five years, handling 22,000 visits last year alone.

This month, when the hospital moves to Plainsboro, the Clinic will move as well-an upgrade to a larger, state-of-the-art home that was made possible in large part by a $6 million gift from the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation.

The new Bristol-Myers Squibb Community Health Center, which opens along with the hospital on May 22, was dedicated Tuesday, May 1, during a ceremony at the new hospital campus. The new Community Health Center will provide primary and specialty care to uninsured or underinsured residents.

"As a physician and the leader of a global R&D organization, I am proud to say that helping patients is more than our goal at Bristol-Myers Squibb-it's what energizes us to come to work every day," said Elliott Sigal, MD, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer and President, Research and Development for Bristol-Myers Squibb, and a former Princeton HealthCare System (PHCS) trustee. "We are committed to addressing unmet medical needs, improving access to treatment and eliminating health disparities, especially among at-risk and underserved populations. Each day we are measured by one thing: our ability to make a difference."

PHCS President and CEO Barry S. Rabner said the new University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro (UMCPP) and the Community Health Center will continue the same collaboration that exists in Princeton, where medical and surgical residents receive practical training by providing patient care at the Clinic, working closely with experienced physicians who are members of the PHCS Medical Staff and faculty members of UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Many specialists on the PHCS Medical Staff also volunteer their services to Clinic patients. Additional physicians are hired to provide care in high-volume areas such as pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology.

"As we were planning the new hospital, it was a given that a Community Health Center would be a part of it," said Barry S. Rabner, President and CEO of Princeton HealthCare System (PHCS). "Like the hospital, the Center will be closer to a majority of its patients and will enjoy the benefit of state-of-the-art facilities where we can continue to provide exceptional care. In addition, the gift from Bristol-Myers Squibb allowed us to maintain a connection with our community in Princeton by establishing a Community HealthCare Information Center on the current hospital campus."

The information center, to be located at 281 Witherspoon St. in Princeton, will offer information on PHCS Community Education programs and transportation to the new hospital. In addition, this center will facilitate transportation for neighborhood residents who walk to the current Clinic and have no other means of getting to the new location.

"Bristol-Myers Squibb has a long history of supporting the communities where our employees live and work and we take pride in our efforts to help our nonprofit partners reduce health disparities and improve health outcomes," said John Damonti, President, Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, and Vice President, Corporate Philanthropy, Bristol-Myers Squibb. "The Bristol-Myers Squibb Community Health Center at the new University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro is a shining example of that commitment."

The new Bristol-Myers Squibb Community Health Center will be larger and have a more effective layout to handle increased patient volume.

The center will have approximately 40 staff members, many of whom are bilingual in Spanish, and will offer extended hours, including Saturday mornings and three evenings each week.