In an effort to build on its mission to improve access to health care for the underserved and reflect its next stages of growth, Summit Medical Group Foundation announced Monday it has changed its name to Summit Health Cares.
The foundation, which was established in 2013 by Summit Medical Group, has a track record of bringing positive results to communities throughout New Jersey. As Summit Health Cares, the foundation will aim to expand its geographic reach to include the greater New York metropolitan area.
Summit Health Cares, led by Executive Director Julienne Cherry, will continue to build on its work in four priority areas:
- Empowering communities by removing the barriers to care, primarily through access to health screenings to raise awareness of health and medical conditions and education to properly treat those conditions;
- Providing comfort to cancer patients and their families above and beyond medical care, helping them to maintain their emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being throughout treatment and increasing their chances for survival;
- Educating future medical professionals by fostering a successful path for local high school students in underserved communities to become the next generation of health care providers;
- Giving back to the community through financial assistance and scholarships which will help students, patients, team members, and community partners achieve a healthier tomorrow.
“Our programs were more critical than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Cherry said. “In addition to offering vital health screenings, our foundation provided COVID-19 tests, evaluation, and vaccination to individuals among the Black and Latinx communities who are disproportionately impacted by the virus. We gratefully acknowledge all our volunteers, donors, and partners in making a positive impact on communities.”
Through a cadre of volunteers, including many Summit Health providers and staff, collaborations and partnerships, and with the generosity of donors, the foundation provides free medical screenings and health care education for food pantry clients and others in underserved communities, scholarships and mentorship programs for students interested in health care careers, and comfort programs for cancer patients and their families (such as music and pet therapy, mind-body programs, massage, etc.).
Throughout the year the foundation also holds backpack drives, toy drives, holiday meals and more for neighbors in need.