In addition, on Tuesday, May 15, the collective staff at the West New York headquarters honored one of their own nurses for her lifetime of service and dedication to women's health at NHCAC.
"Barbara Buesche best represents the foundation of what NHCAC has become," said Chris Irizarry, president and CEO.
"I am overwhelmed and this is such a surprise," said Buesche. "I love to work here and I love being with the patients."
A graduate of Holy Name School of Nursing, Barbara Buesche began her career at NHCAC 25 years ago, when the clinic was originally located at 60th Street and just beginning its women's health component.
Buesche was the first nurse to issue the first pregnancy test given in the women's health department. "She has always been giving of herself and is a person that means a great deal to this organization," said Irizarry at the event on Tuesday. "Buesche is our foundation and our rock. We thank you for all your dedication. We love you. NHCAC would not be the same without you."
A lifelong resident of Union City, Buesche first arrived at the NHCAC's door in July of 1982 after she heard that the center was looking for nurses.
She was interviewed and hired by Ann Dudsak, vice president of operations, and the late Michael Leggiero, who served as the president and CEO of NHCAC for 25 years
"It was a big challenge and this is a great team," said Buesche, who is the mother of two and the grandmother of three.
Prior to coming to NHCAC, Buesche worked at the St. Joseph's Hospital for the Blind in Jersey City, and at the now defunct North Hudson Jointure, which was a small school for children with learning disabilities in Union City. Buesche would administer the medication to the students.
Throughout her career at NHCAC, Buesche has put her emphasis into patient care, mentored new nurses and nursing assistants coming to the health center, as well as helped instill the rules and regulations specific to the organization.
Women's Health Week
For the duration of National Women's Health Week, which is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services running from May 14 - 19, the NHCAC health center sites offered local women free health screenings and tests for pregnancy, HIV, clinical breast exams, cholesterol, and electrocardiograms (EKG) among others.
NHCAC sites are located in Garfield, Hoboken, Jersey City, North Bergen, Passaic, Union City, and West New York, The centers were also giving nutritional workshops. The West New York headquarters held theirs on Monday, May 14, and Friday, May 18.
During that week, the main center sees an increase of about 10 to 15 percent more than their regular patient flow. "We want every single woman in the vicinity to come and get a free screening," said Irizarry. "No one is turned away. Everyone has complete access to the health centers."
The NHCAC is a non-profit organization that provides valuable health services and screenings for local low-income residents. They receive funding from the state, county, and municipal levels, and have partnerships with some of the leading health organizations in the state. For more information on NHCAC and their upcoming programs ,call (201) 866-9320.
Jessica Rosero can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org