A ribbon cutting ceremony will take place Wednesday, Feb. 8 at the Somerville campus of Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. The Somerset County hospital is now the first in the entire state of New Jersey to open a family health center tailored to the LGBTQ community.

PROUD Family Health will offer services most important to LGBTQ New Jerseyans. In a recent press release, RWJUH president Michael Antoniades said, “We recognized that the health care needs of the LGBTQIA community were not being met and in many cases, LGBTQIA individuals were traveling outside of New Jersey for their medical care. PROUD Family Health will offer them the care they need close to home.”

A resource like this can be extremely beneficial to many New Jerseyans. It also sets a precedent for other New Jersey hospitals moving forward. The fact of the matter is the LGBTQ community has different priorities when it comes to healthcare.

I reached out to Christian Fuscarino, the Executive Director of New Jersey's largest civil rights organization, Garden State Equality, about this news. He had this to say:

Today we take an important step forward as a community and a state, with the opening of the first full service LGBT health clinic.

The PROUD Family Health Clinic at Robert Wood Johnson will provide medical care for children and adults, hormone therapy and monitoring, HIV care, referrals for specialty services, health education and counseling, and support groups for LGBT individuals and their family members.

Garden State Equality is proud to partner with RWJ on this project that makes New Jersey a national leader in the health care space."

Currently, operating hours will be on Mondays from 6 pm to 9 pm, although I would expect that to expand as demand increases. Medicare, Medicaid and most major insurance plans are accepted.

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