Health care group holds inaugural meeting

A group formed to explore ways to improve health care in New Jersey held its first meeting this week.

Health and Senior Services Commissioner Dr. Poonam Alaigh held the inaugural meeting of the New Jersey Center of Health Innovations on Tuesday, which was attended by more than 50 representatives from the pharma, biotech, maternal and child health, and other health care groups.

“The New Jersey Center for Health Innovations will harness creative and innovative methods to change and transform the way health and health care are experienced and delivered in New Jersey,”  Alaigh said in a releae.  “The Center is designed to nurture a dialogue across all industries and connect ideas that have great potential with promising mechanisms to improve the health of all our residents.

On Wednesday, Dr. Alaigh visited an organization, Bergen Volunteer Medical Initiative, which will be one of the initiatives examined by the Center for Health Innovations.

The Bergen Volunteer Medical Initiative is a volunteer nonprofit organization that has provided free primary and preventive medical care to hundreds of low-income working people in Bergen County who lack health insurance.

Dr. Samuel Cassell, a retired Bergen County internist, created this organization of volunteer physicians and nurses in 2009 after becoming increasingly concerned about the lack of healthcare for many county residents, according to the Department of Health and Senior Services.  This initiative is part of a national group Volunteers in Medicine, which began in Hilton Head, S.C.

“This initiative is a model of how to address the physician shortage and access to care,” said Dr. Alaigh.  “This is exactly the type of innovative work we want to examine and determine how to replicate at the New Jersey Center of Health Innovations.”

Health care group holds inaugural meeting