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Posted by Urban Times News on November 03, 2003 at 16:47:01:

Golden Neighborhoods Require Health Care

Mayor Glenn Cunningham and Councilwoman Richardson Officiated At the Opening Ceremony

Urban Times News

Jersey City—For the first time in nobody knows for sure how long, there has been no black medical doctor's office in ward F. Drs. Pius Chikezie and partner Dr. Emmanuel Okechukwu became the first when their new general practice opened on Monday November 3 at 10am at 485 Martin Luther King Drive. Mayor Glenn D. Cunningham cut the ceremonial ribbon and said , “This is a major step closer to realizing the vision of Golden Neighborhoods with the return of the neighborhood doctor, the first in many years in our community. There can be no neighborhood without medical care. It is as basic a necessity as food and shelter.” Along with Cunningham were Ward F Council Member Viola Richardson and 31st District Assembly Candidate Louis Manzo.

The doctors’ new office will be a general practice open to all on a walk-in, no appointment needed basis. As if on cue, to underscore the need, patients began to walk in to see the doctors within minutes of the ribbon cutting. A broadly smiling Chikezie instructed the waiting receptionist to copy the patient’s insurance card, and said “The Doctor will see you in just a minute, ushering visitors to the grand opening out the door.

Dr. Chikezie is board certified in internal medicine and together with Dr. Emmanuel Okechukwu, also board certified in internal medicine, the two doctors offer more than 30 years’ combined experience. “We aim to be the leaders in providing accessible quality medical care in the neighborhood that we serve. Our practice reflects our philosophy of compassionate care for all.” Both physicians are dedicated to bringing immediate and significant changes in healthcare issues affecting the neighborhood. They say they will even make house calls, if necessary. Both say they are dedicated to closing the racial gap in medical care and will focus on preventing diseases that predominantly affect the community they serve.

The two doctors combined to form Foundation Medical Group and Urgent Care Center in 1999, which currently operates one location at 802 Clinton Avenue in Newark. Dr. Chikezie has been a member of the medical staff at the Jersey City Medical Center for the last ten years and spent seven of those years teaching resident doctors. “When I tell people what we intend to do, they generally look at me like I had two heads. They want to know what is wrong with me. I tell them that we have a deep commitment to bringing visible and significant changes in healthcare issues affecting the neighborhood, and we are voting with our feet and with our dollars by putting down roots here.” Dr. Chikezie also has begun writing a bi-weekly column for the UrbanTimesNews on health issues of particular importance to the African American community.

View An Online Video of Councilwoman Richardson's Speech

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