Health & Wellness

Nurse Practitioner from South Orange Honored for HIV/AIDS Work in Newark

From right: Peter Oates, the director of Health Care Services for the FXB Center at Rutgers School of Nursing, accepts a plaque from the county as he stands with his partner, Gary Wright. Credits: Rebecca Panico
Peter Oates, the director of Health Care Services for the Francois-Xavier Bagnoud Center at Rutgers School of Nursing, speaks at the Essex County Building during a LGBTQ Pride Month ceremony. Credits: Rebecca Panico
RAIN Foundation founder Elaine Helms, second from left, Tyler Clementi Center Director Maren Greathouse, fourth from left, and FXB Center Director of Health Care Services Peter Oates, fourth from left Credits: Rebecca Panico
Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo, Jr. speaks at an LGBTQ Pride Month celebration at the county building on June 27, 2018. Credits: Rebecca Panico

NEWARK, NJ - Peter Oates was working as a private nurse for Princess Diana’s father in England, but left when he was offered a job in the 1980s at San Francisco General Hospital’s slated AIDS unit.

“They offered me a job, but I couldn’t be hired because Medicaid and Medicare had withdrawn benefits for the AIDS hospital,” Oates, 66, recalled. Instead, Oates, who lives in South Orange, took a position in Newark.

Today, he leads the François-Xavier Bagnoud Center Health Care Services’ clinical program at Rutgers - Newark for HIV family care. He’s also working to provide primary care geared towards the LBGTQ community at Rutgers’ Federally Qualified Health Center.

Sign Up for E-News

"It's a wonderful place to work,” Oates said of the Brick City at a June 27 Pride of Essex County Awards ceremony. “It's a wonderful place to serve the community.”

Oates was one of three people honored for their service in the LGBTQ community by County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo and the county’s LGBTQ advisory board. Elaine Helms was recognized for her work with homeless LGBTQ youth and Maren Greathouse was honored for her service as the director of the Tyler Clementi Center at Rutgers.

“It is our opportunity to raise awareness about issues that affect this segment of the population and recognize outstanding members of our own LGBTQ community,” said DiVincenzo, noting that Pride Month is in June. “Our three honorees have done the difficult work in their respective fields of providing support, protecting human rights and promoting understanding.”

Oates trained at the Thomas Guy School of Nursing in London from 1972 to 1975. He came to Newark in 1984, where he was the nurse manager at University Hospital’s neurosurgical intensive care unit and later, the surgical/trauma ICU.

He got his start in the field of HIV/AIDS care in 1994, when federal data shows AIDS had become the leading cause of death for all Americans between the ages of 25 and 44. Oates became the nurse clinician in the infectious diseases practice at University Hospital at that time.

Oates considered it his life's mission, with his husband Gary Paul Wright, to advocate for HIV and AIDS health care.

“The purpose of our lives together as a couple was to connect the dots and sprinkle the fairy dust,” Oates said at the ceremony. “Meaning that we need to recognize people in the community and entities and agencies in the community  who need to get together in order to build a better health care system within this county and I think we do that on a daily basis."

The couple together founded the African American Office of Gay Concerns, which provides HIV/AIDS services to the greater Newark area. The organization is based out of Newark and offers free rapid HIV testing, condoms, sex education and support groups.

“We actually founded that in our kitchen in 2000,” Wright said as he introduced Oates during the ceremony.

Oates is also the clinical director of the Northern New Jersey Regional Partner of the Northeast Caribbean AIDS Education & Training Center. The program is also under Rutgers’ Francois-Xavier Bagnoud Center and offers education and training to people with HIV.

Newark had one of the highest rates of HIV/AIDS in New Jersey, according to state Department of Health data from 2016. There were 15,285 reported cases of HIV or AIDS in the city, data show.

“Gay men's health issues, and lesbian health issues, and even more importantly transgender health care issues are so totally different,” Oates said. “We really need to dig down and understand what those issues are for those individual populations of the communities and I think this research is very exciting.”

Find TAPinto Newark on Facebook and Twitter. Download the TAPinto mobile app for Android or iOS.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Columbia High School Principal's Removal Raises More Questions Than It Answers

The last Twitter post from Columbia High School principal Elizabeth Aaron is very telling. 

The four-year CHS schools chief, who was recently, surprisingly, reassigned to a vague “Principal on Special Assignment” post by the school district, was a Twitter regular on her @CougarPrincipal account. There she would often promote the school’s successes and notable staff and ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 18

On this week’s AtlantiCast, you’ll find out how accessing care at Atlantic Health System is now easier, more affordable and closer to home than ever, learn which item from the produce aisle could be the newest weapon against cancer, see what Atlantic Health System, the New York Times and Instagram all have in common and much more.



Maplewood Police Blotter - Stolen Vehicle in Maplewood Recovered by South Orange Police

July 18, 2018

July 11 - Motor Vehicle Theft; Sometime during the early morning hours, a vehicle was stolen from a residence on the 400 block of Richmond Ave. The vehicle was recovered by the South Orange Police Department the same morning.

Maplewood Police Blotter - Two Robberies Reported on July 5

July 2 - Motor Vehicle Theft; Sometime over the previous two days, a U-Haul truck was stolen from a business on Newark Way.

July 4 - Theft from Auto; During the overnight hours an unsecured vehicle parked on Elberta Rd was entered and keys were stolen from it.

July 5 - Robberies; At approximately 1:30 a.m., a male was assaulted by two males ridding bicycles while he was walking on ...

Free 'Movies in the Park' on July 18 and August 23 in Maplewood

July 16, 2018

MAPLEWOOD, NJ - Free "Movies in the Park" are planned for Wednesday, July 18, and Thursday, August 23, a program hosted by the Maplewood Police Department in conjunction with the Maplewood Recreation Department, the Maplewood Office of Cultural Affairs, SOMA Film Festival and SOMA Municipal Alliance.

The movie on July 18 will be The Incredibles, shown in Dehart Park, ...

National Weather Service Issues Heat Advisory Through 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 17

NEW YORK, NY, - The National Weather Service issued a 'Heat Advisory' this morning for Bergen, Passaic, Essex, Union and Hudson Counties in New Jersey. The heat advisory will remain in effect from noon Monday July 16, until 6 p.m. Tuesday July 17.

Extreme heat can cause illness and death among at- risk population who cannot stay cool. The heat and humidity may cause heat stress during ...

Upcoming Events


Sat, July 21, 7:30 PM

Par 440 Restaurant & Lounge, SHORT HILLS

Solid Gold with Bobby Valli at Par 440

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink


Thu, July 26, 6:00 PM

River Barge Park & Marina, Carlstadt

Meadowlands Discovery Sunset Eco-Cruise

Green Travel

Fri, July 27, 6:30 PM

Calloway's Restaurant & Bar, Staffordville

Family Promise SOC Fundraiser at Calloway's

Food & Drink Giving Back


Fri, July 27, 7:00 PM

Par 440 Restaurant & Lounge, Short Hills

The Extra Rich In Class Dinner Show with E.R.I.C.

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

Statement From Emergency Committee to Reinstate Principal Aaron

July 10, 2018


We created a movement. We leveraged our collective 1,600 voices and forced the District leadership to sit with us today [Monday] and discuss the poorly communicated, weekend announcement that CHS Principal Elizabeth Aaron was being reassigned.

Our meeting was a first step in both accountability and transparency as Dr. Ficarra revealed Principal ...

Coalition on Race Responds to Changes in School District Administrators

The Board of Trustees of the Community Coalition on Race seeks racial equity, integration, and excellence in education for all students in our schools. While the pace of change has been frustratingly slow, we have seen some progress. Yet, candidly, there are too many students of color who are not well served in SOMA, who still experience segregated classrooms and who still suffer from racial ...

Those Boarded-Up Homes in the West Ward? Newark Has a Plan for Them.

July 19, 2018

NEWARK, NJ - The city is using the power of eminent domain to reduce the number of condemned homes and vacant lots scattered throughout the West Ward.

The redevelopment plan for the West Ward was introduced in 2016 and encompasses properties from the border of Irvington to South 13th Street between South Orange Avenue and 16th Avenue. One of the main goals of the plan is to support new ...

Lawmakers Denounce SCOTUS Nomination at Essex County Courthouse

NEWARK, NJ - State Assemblywoman Eliana Pintor Marin said it was important to support local women’s health organizations at a state level should President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court justice nominee be approved.

The assemblywoman joined state Sen. Teresa Ruiz, congressional leaders and women's rights groups yesterday at the steps of the Essex County Courthouse ...

Rutgers Hikes Tuition, Student Fees for 2018-2019 Academic Year

July 18, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Rutgers University Board of Governors today approved a 2.3 percent hike in tuition and fees, as well as increases for dorm rooms and meals, for the 2018-2019 academic year.

The increase now brings the annual cost for undergraduate students to $14,975, which is $337 more than this past school year.

Student housing will increase 1.9 percent, and ...

NJ Residents Take Action Against White Supremacist Fliers Found Around Bridgewater, Bedminster, Other Local Areas

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Residents of Bridgewater, Somerville, Morristown and surrounding communities are mobilizing for action after they found posters around town promoting Identity Evropa, which the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has labeled a white supremacist group.

According to Bridgewater resident Stacey Friedlander, a member of the “Not In Our Town – Bridgewater/Raritan” ...

Woolley Home Solutions Building Has Unique Historical Stained Glass Window

July 21, 2018

Have you ever spotted this Stained Glass Window on our building? It's compliments of the first Methodist Church in town. The repairman saw our 1924 Autocar Truck parked outside and created this beautiful piece and installed it in our front window. The church was knocked down years ago and its location is now Walgreen's parking lot.

The church was originally built in 1836 when Maplewood ...

New Plumber Joins the Woolley Home Solutions Team

We are excited to announce a new addition to the Woolley team! Our new plumber, Oscar Buonafina, is an expert plumber with nearly a decade of industry experience serving New Jersey homeowners. He is also a NJ Master Plumber Since 2007. As a military veteran, Oscar truly understands hard work and commitment, and we’re so happy to bring him on board!

"I believe in service to people ...

Maplewood Brings Local Youth to the Governing Table With the Youth Advisory Committee

The Maplewood Township Committee cordially invites diverse student residents of Maplewood who are enrolled in private or public school in grades 8 through 12 to apply to serve on its new Youth Advisory Committee.  In order to continue empowering local youth whose recent advocacy on - gun safety, safe schools, voting rights, immigration, greater institutional equity and inclusion, to name a ...