Asbury Park, NJ (January 8, 2019) – The Visiting Nurse Association Health Group Prevention Resource Network is extremely saddened to learn of the passing of Steve Saunders, Director of HIV Prevention and Education for the NJ Department of Health. Steve Saunders advocated for the most vulnerable populations throughout the state of NJ for 31 years. He gained national recognition for his work in HIV prevention by continually creating and supporting programs that would become best practices nationally.

“The VNACJ HIV prevention programs and services would not be where they are today without the incredible leadership and advocacy of Steve Saunders,” said Shannon Preston, Director of HIV Community Services at Prevention Resource Network. “He was influential in our community and a strong advocate working to remove the disparities in healthcare, especially within the LGBTQ Community”.

Steve leaves behind a husband and young son. Per his request, no formal memorial services will be held. More information about charity donations in honor of Steve’s memory will be announced at a later date.

About Prevention Resource Network

Prevention Resource Network (PRN), part of the nonprofit organization Visiting Nurse Association Health Group, provides high-impact prevention services to assist both HIV negative and HIV positive persons who are at risk for HIV transmission or acquisition to reduce risk behaviors. PRN is funded by the NJ Department of Health, Division of HIV, STD and TB Services. For more information, visit

About Visiting Nurse Association of Central Jersey Community Health Center

Visiting Nurse Association of Central Jersey Community Health Center Inc. (VNACJ CHC), a Federally Qualified Health Center, has provided comprehensive primary and preventive health care for infants, children, and adults of Monmouth County for more than 20 years. The VNACJ CHC’s are conveniently located in Asbury Park, Keyport and Red Bank. In 2017, staff provided more than 29,099 visits to more than 9,232 patients. For more information about VNACJ CHC please visit

About Visiting Nurse Association Health Group

Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) Health Group is New Jersey’s largest not-for-profit visiting nurse association and visiting physician service that helps individuals and families achieve their best level of health and well-being by providing home health, hospice, palliative and community-based care, and operating private-pay personal care services. A full range of primary care services is available through VNACJ Community Health Centers. Our unique joint partnership model with health systems leverages clinical and technical resources to operate Robert Wood Johnson Visiting Nurses, VNA of Englewood, VNA Health Group of New Jersey (Barnabas Health Home Care and Hospice, VNA of Central Jersey Home Care and Hospice), Visiting Physician Services, and Visiting Nurse Association of Ohio. Currently, VNA Health Group employs more than 2,000 staff members and cares for more than 120,000 people each year.

With the support of the 2020 Vision Campaign led in collaboration with VNA Health Group’s Children and Family Health Institute, our services and resources are designed to provide primary care for
the entire family.

VNA Health Group is accredited by Community Health Accreditation Program (CHAP). VNA Health Group was founded in 1912 and has continued to serve vulnerable populations such as children, older adults, and those with disabling and chronic illness or facing the end of life. For more information about VNA Health Group please visit


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Pictured: Dr. Kristine McCoy, MD, MPH, Chair of the Children and Family Health Center, Michael Zito-Govert, APN, Finn Brigham, Director of Special Population Services at the VNACJ LGBTQ Health Center Ribbon Cutting held on August 9, 2018

The VNACJ LGBTQ+ Community Health Center of Asbury Park will open on Tuesday, July 31. It will be the first-of-its-kind in Monmouth County New Jersey. The center will provide primary care services to the LGBT community.

“Disparities in healthcare still exist within the LGBTQ community causing many to delay or ignore their healthcare needs,” said Shannon Preston, Director of HIV Community Services at VNA Health Group. “We are very excited to have this opportunity to provide a culturally competent healthcare setting.”

The new LGBT health center is located in the same building as the VNACJ. It will be open two evenings per week and on Saturday afternoons. Services offered will be STD testing, Rapid HIV and syphilis testing, PrEP Counseling and primary HIV care. Services will expand later to include primary care, behavioral health services and Transgender health services. The center is located at the VNA Community Health Center, 1301 Main Street in Asbury Park, NJ.

“Our primary goal at the Community Health Center is to improve the overall health status of individuals in the communities we serve,” said Thomas Thees, Interim Executive Director of the Community Health Center. “With the opening of our new LGBTQ Center, our qualified, culturally sensitive and competent staff can better address the specific health needs for these individuals.”

The VNACJ Community Health Center will continue its regular weekday and Saturday morning hours of operation for the general public. Those services are also available to the LGBT community. Services include dental care, chiropractic, nutrition counseling, and podiatry. The Center has been made possible by a grant from the New Jersey Department of Health, Division of HIV, STD, and TB Services.