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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.