Why and How to Support Access to Health Care in Northern and Central New Jersey
“Growing up in a poor household, [my family and I] were given many opportunities and assistance. So, I believe that the success that my family has had, the opportunities that we’ve had, everyone deserves those.”
So says former Zufall Health president and chief executive officer Eva Turbiner, who retired in February 2023, in a recent episode of the Community Foundation of New Jersey (CFNJ) podcast “Jersey Gives a Damn.”
The daughter of Holocaust survivors, Turbiner tells CFNJ that her parents emigrated to and rebuilt their lives in the U.S. with help from the Jewish Federation, a social services agency, shortly before her birth. Her personal experience benefiting from this critical aid is the first of many reasons that she believes in the Zufall mission. Opportunity for good health – like the assistance that Turbiner and her family received – is a building block for success. Zufall’s focus on primary and preventive care is the most impactful and most-cost effective way to achieve this building block.
Zufall provides everyone, regardless of income, insurance, or immigration status, with access to high-quality, affordable, and culturally responsive health care. This care affords families fewer school and work absences, better management of chronic diseases, healthier birth outcomes, and reduced visits to the emergency room. Such outcomes help to offset health disparities that disproportionately impact families who earn low incomes or are otherwise marginalized.
This model of health justice not only benefits our most vulnerable community members, but has positive health implications for everyone, Turbiner says. The COVID-19 pandemic and other infectious disease outbreaks demonstrate our interconnectedness; just one person’s infection can have far-reaching effects and strain the entire health care system.
If you, too, feel strongly that health care access should be a priority for our most vulnerable northern and central New Jersey residents, you can become involved with Zufall in a variety of ways:
Many Zufall services – including dental care and patient navigation programs – rely on donations because they receive limited insurance or government funding. Essential equipment like our mobile medical and dental vans, too, are dependent on charitable contributions. Donations provide flexibility and contribute to Zufall’s sustainability and overall impact. Learn about the many ways to give at zufallhealthfoundation.org/donate.
Volunteer Your Time and Talents
Zufall began as a humble volunteer initiative under the guidance of its founders, Robert Zufall, MD, and his wife, Kathryn. More than 30 years later, this spirit of volunteerism has endured, with a dedicated group of volunteer providers who generously give their time to serve our patients. In addition to clinical volunteers, we welcome people who can provide administrative and logistical support to our special events. One Zufall’s biggest ongoing, nonclinical volunteer opportunities is Public Health AmeriCorps, a program in which aspiring health professionals provide health education and outreach during an 11-month service term. Contact us to discuss all of our volunteer needs.
Work with Us
Directly support Zufall’s patients as a medical, dental, or behavioral health provider or support professional. Primary community health care is dynamic and satisfying work, and for clinicians, loan forgiveness programs are available. As one of many health centers in New Jersey, Zufall prioritizes competitive salaries and benefits for its employees. Review our active job opportunities.
The first step to involvement, though, Turbiner says, is awareness. Although Zufall’s service area is considered affluent compared to much of the country, there is still a substantial amount of need present.
“People need to understand their neighbors are in need and that they need to step up… It is in their own self-interest as well as the right thing to do.”
Based in Morristown, NJ, CFNJ is a is a philanthropic organization that creates and scales custom solutions for purpose-driven individuals, families, and businesses. Listen to the full podcast episode from CFNJ, “A conversation with Eva Turbiner, public health leader and just-retired CEO of Zufall Health,” on Spotify, Apple, or Pandora.
Top: Pictured with Zufall Health director of community-based clinical services Krishna Patel, RDH, MPH (center), and Corner Family Programs vice president and director of programs Jackie Looby, former president and CEO Eva Turbiner (left) explains the significance of community-based health care. “We’re trying to get services out to people where they are, where they can get to. We don’t expect everyone to come to one giant building. That’s unrealistic,” Turbiner says.