Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXI, No. 48
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
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Hospital Receives $6MM Bristol-Myers Grant for Community Health Center and Health Care

Matthew Hersh

The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation announced last Wednesday that it would issue a $6 million grant to the University Medical Center at Princeton to help create a new community health care center at the hospital that would provide health care services to uninsured and underinsured residents.

The gift, to be donated to the hospital at $1.5 million per year for four years, will support the creation of the Bristol-Myers Squibb Community Health Center at UMCP’s $400 million, state-of-the-art campus on Route 1 in Plainsboro, now scheduled for completion by 2011.

The grant will also support educational programs at a satellite location near the hospital’s current Witherspoon campus once UMCP relocates. It will also help provide transportation for Princeton patients without other means of transport. And it will offer new mental health services for patients whose physical illnesses are complicated by mental health problems.

In addition to the community health center, a portion of the grant will support health education and outreach programs at a new satellite location in the vicinity of the current UMCP facility on Witherspoon Street to be called the Bristol-Myers Squibb Community HealthCare Information Center. The new center will also provide on-demand transportation to the hospital for Princeton patients with no other means of transportation. In addition, the center will offer community education events such as health fairs, screenings, and lectures. Visitors to the Community HealthCare Information Center also will be able to access health information or schedule clinic appointments.

The existing Outpatient Clinic at UMCP provides health care services to approximately 5,000 uninsured and underinsured children and adults and received 17,000 recorded visits in 2006.

The grant, according to Margaret Lancefield, medical director of the hospital’s clinic, would help to continue providing care to patients “regardless of their ability to pay.”

John Damonti, president of the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, said in a statement that he was “pleased to help assure that uninsured and underinsured patients have access to high quality health care, including new mental health services, at the new hospital and the satellite community center.”

In March, William and Joan Schreyer of Princeton made a $5 million gift to support an education center at the new hospital. The Foundation previously received a $5 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to support the hospital’s relocation.

Princeton HealthCare System announced in January 2005 that it would set its sights on building a new campus outside of Princeton, and then in November of that same year, identified the 160-acre site at the FMC Corp. site in Plainsboro as a new hospital destination.

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