The state Department of Health and Senior Services has granted $5 million to community health centers, allowing them to hire staff, extend hours, and expand access to prenatal and primary care. Sixteen community health centers, including three in central New Jersey, will receive grants ranging from $153,600 to $644,250 to hire OB/GYNs, nurse midwives and support staff; buy equipment or expand hours on weeknight evenings and weekends. The average grant is 250,000.

The centers that received expansion funding include:

Eric B. Chandler Health Center in New Brunswick, which received $251,880 for equipment;

Henry J. Austin Health Center in Trenton, which received $255,600 to expand OB/GYN services and hire staff to operate a call center for patients seeking appointments; and

Visiting Nurse Association of Central Jersey, which received $176,154, to fund nurse midwife consultants, hire an outreach worker, and buy medical supplies.

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