University Hospital in the Community

University Hospital recently completed its Community Needs Assessment which, through subsequent community listening sessions, revealed deep interest from Portuguese residents in Newark’s ironbound area to improve the health of this community. For those who know her, it was no surprise that University Hospital turned to Maria DeAlmeida to coordinate a series of pop-up clinics and educational events located in the East Ward. Maria is fluent in English and Portuguese and she has worked for University Hospital for over 20 years, which included co-designing coordination of care services for the hospital’s nationally ranked Liver Transplant Center.

Recently, Maria coordinated a two-day community event for East Ward seniors that provided on-site screening for glaucoma, cataract and macular degeneration, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and dental care. The New Jersey Commission for the Blind provided basic eye screening. Other services included information about access to transportation, insurance registration, and food insecurity. Michael Silva, a member of the Newark City Council who represents the East Ward, was present throughout the event to answer questions about government services, and volunteers from the community helped set up and take down tables, offered to navigate seniors to the different medical stations, and created a comfortable and relaxed environment. Hearing tests and tobacco cessation support, and referrals for high-risk patients to the Lung Cancer Screening program, located in Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey at University Hospital, are already scheduled for the next event, which is just around the corner.

Was food provided too? Of course! Hot meals were provided for every visitor by New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s Sustain and Serve program.

University Hospital staff, doctors, and medical students standing in a group smiling.

Maria with EMS staff, Dr. Ben, and medical students present for the screening event.