Belleville, NJ – The Center of Excellence for Latino Health at Clara Maass Medical Center, a facility of RWJBarnabas Health recently received a grant in the amount of $2,500 from Investors Bank in Nutley.

The Center of Excellence, which was established in 2016, was selected to receive the grant in support of health outreach and education initiatives offered within Latino communities in Essex, Bergen and Hudson counties and to increase awareness of multidisciplinary health and wellness services to Latino families, from pediatrics to geriatrics, with particular emphasis on services for primary care, prevention, and behavioral health.

“We are very thankful to Investors Bank for lending their support to ensure that Clara Maass Medical Center is able to empower Latino families with education and information that they need in order to live healthier and happier lives” said Mary Ellen Clyne, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Clara Maass Medical Center.

Sign Up for Nutley Newsletter
Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

 “It makes me proud that Investors Bank is a champion for good health and has chosen to invest resources to support the health of the Latino community” said Sarah Bonilla, MPH, Program Manager of the Center of Excellence for Latino Health.

“The Center will use the grant from Investors Bank to support the Medical Center’s delivery of healthcare to the Latino community in a culturally sensitive manner” said Thomas Ortiz, MD, a primary care physician in Newark who also serves as the Medical Director of the Center of Excellence. “This includes offering materials that are bilingual, conducting health outreach events in Latino communities and even facilitating conversations with families to help them to establish an ongoing medical relationship with a primary care physician” Ortiz said.

 At Clara Maass, the Center of Excellence for Latino Health was established in 2016 to address important health issues facing the growing Latino population such as higher rates of obesity, and increased risks for developing diabetes and heart disease.

 With support from corporations such as the Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey, Verizon, Investors Bank, Partners for Health, Walmart, Provident Bank Foundation and other health-minded organizations, the Center has achieved success in serving as a trusted resource and advocate for Latino families in Essex County (and Hudson, Bergen and Passaic counties) through:

Community-based health education and screenings

  • Facilitating referrals to proactive healthcare, i.e., primary care physicians, community resources, nutrition counseling, parent education, etc.

  • Latino youth mentorship programming, and

  • Establishing health ministries at local churches  

In photo (L-R): Elizabeth Bennett, Director of Development, Clara Maass Medical Center Foundation: Frank Mazzarella, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Clara Maass Medical Center; Sarah Bonilla, MPH, Program Manager, Center of Excellence for Latino Health; Neil B. Conlan, Assistant Vice President, Investors Savings Branch Manager-Nutley Branch; Mary Ellen Clyne, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer, Clara Maass Medical Center; Celeste A. Oranchak, Vice President for Development; Clara Maass Medical Center Foundation; Razie Dauti, District Manager, Investors Bank