Back in the late 1990s, with national headlines on the uninsured fueling the headlines almost daily, a group of doctors and other local leaders in Red Bank started looking at better ways to care for people in need in their own community. What caught their attention was the possibility of tapping a rich resource of local medical talent and channeling the power of medical volunteers to serve people who lacked the means to pay for care.
The need was clear, and the Parker Family Health Center, named for a revered local physician who was about to retire, opened on July 29, 2000. Three patients were seen on that first night, and the reputation of the clinic grew by word of mouth throughout the community.
Today, Parker logs close to 12,000 patient visits annually and celebrated a significant milestone—the 100,000th visit—in September 2013. The clinic is open six days a week, providing comprehensive, compassionate primary health care and linking patients to other resources in the community to help them maintain their health. Care is provided by a committed and talented corps of 250 volunteers—medical professionals and others—who donate 10,000 hours a year to help their neighbors in need.
One of those neighbors is a young patient whose family brought her to Parker when her kindergarten teacher noticed her difficulty with small-motor tasks. Our volunteer pediatrician diagnosed homocystinuria, an inherited metabolic disorder than can cause mental retardation, vision problems and other lifelong issues. We secured specialty treatment at St. Peter’s Hospital, and our patient, now 10 years old, is doing well in school and brightening our days at the clinic.
Donate to help our dedicated volunteers go on doing what they do best—providing care where it's needed most, right here at home.