The Francine A. LeFrak Wellness Center

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The opening of The Francine A. LeFrak Wellness Center provides medical, behavioral, and dental diagnostic screenings, referrals, as well as, nutrition and healthy lifestyle support. The clinic is solely dedicated to our NJRC court-involved participants.

The 13,613 NJRC program participants disproportionately suffer from addiction, with 73% having a history of alcohol and drug addiction, 42% co-occurring mental health illness, and two-thirds confronting a chronic illness. Court-involved persons have a higher percentage of illness while historically having significantly reduced access to health care, wellness, and preventative screenings.

Through an innovative partnership with RWJBarnabas, Clara Mass Medical Center, NJRC provides on-site medical and behavioral health care screenings for NJRC program participants. A substantial percentage, upwards of two-thirds of NJRC participants, while incarcerated, have not had access to medical diagnostic care. As such, illnesses long associated with incarceration, namely diabetes, hepatitis C, and HIV are frequently not diagnosed in a timely and responsible manner. While these illnesses can readily be treated with a proper pharmaceutical regimen, in the absence of diagnostic screening and evaluation uncovered symptoms may mask potentially serious debilitating illnesses.

A growing body of medical research has documented the lasting effects of correctional trauma. Potentially traumatic prison experiences may impact the mental health of program participants; to facilitate successful reentry, the Francine A. LeFrak Wellness Center provides linkage to mental health screenings for those program participants, both men and women, who may have been victims of emotional and physical and/or sexual abuse.

Significantly expanding linkage to substance abuse treatment, namely, detoxification, residential treatment, Intensive Outpatient Treatment, and induction of Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) provides clinically directed treatment as quickly as possible.

In addition to medical and behavioral care, the Wellness Center provides access to clinical dental care provided by Malosmiles USA, Dr. Shankur, and Preeti Iyer. Comprehensive dental screenings, in accordance with the American Dental Association, minimize a wide variety of health risks, which are approximate to the conditions that many program participants have experienced in prison and in isolation.

Ensuring that program participants with underlining health conditions have access to appropriate treatment for those conditions in accordance with current medical guidelines is a prime directive of the Francine A. LeFrak Wellness Center. The high prevalence of medical and mental health illness as a proximate cause of abuse prior to and during incarceration necessitates access to integrated, coordinated health care delivery systems. NJRC is committed to ensuring that persons who are eligible for Medicare or Medicaid complete referrals to provide for insurance.

Lastly, the Francine A. LeFrak Wellness Center is a cornerstone in facilitating successful reentry. Overcoming healthcare barriers within correctional settings and ensuring access, screening, and treatment of medical, behavioral, and dental illnesses at no cost to program participants helps to ensure improved healthcare, which ensures the benefit of the program participants.

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The New Jersey Reentry Corporation (NJRC) is proud to announce that the Same Sky Foundation Fund, a division of the Francine A. LeFrak Foundation, has generously donated $100,000 to establish the Same Sky Emergency Micro-Grant Fund for Women.

The financial support from the Same Sky Foundation Fund will provide emergency resources for women as they begin the process of reentry through their involvement with New Jersey Reentry Corporation’s programs and services. These emergency funds aim to ease the burden of reentry with access to money that will help cover the cost of temporary housing, basic necessities, and appropriate work clothing.

It is understood that approximately 7,500 women will be served by the organization annually, and this grant will provide support for as many women as possible during each grant year.

NJRC is most grateful to Francine A. LeFrak and the Same Sky Foundation Fund for providing critically needed financial support to court-involved women as they re-enter society. The grants will enable NJRC women program participants to meet fundamental, urgent needs, thereby alleviating barriers to employment, training, and self-development.

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