Jefferson Health to open LGBTQ clinic in Collingswood

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Amanda Kimmel and Dr. Justin Schweitzer
Jefferson Health advocates for the Collingswood Clinic are Amanda Kimmel and Dr. Justin Schweitzer

Southern New Jersey LGBTQ Health Center will bring specialized services to LGBTs

Jefferson Health plans to open an LGBT Clinic in Collingswood, New Jersey later this summer. The small suburban town is just six miles outside of Philadelphia, and it’s considered by many to be one of New Jersey’s best towns for LGBTQ families. According to the United States Census Bureau, for every 1000 homes in Collingswood, six of them contain LGBT families.

The Jefferson Clinic is expected to open with two full-time primary-care physicians

This clinic will be the first of its kind in Southern New Jersey. Fellow New Jerseyans normally would have to go to Somerville or Asbury Park to visit their nearest LGBTQ clinic or head over to Philadelphia and visit the Mazzoni Center.

A typical visit to a health care facility usually makes people nervous or anxious for a multitude of reasons. Some people may be uncomfortable revealing sensitive information to health care professionals, which is why it’s important to have safe spaces specifically catered to and for LGBTQ people. The Jefferson clinic plans to create an environment where these conversations can be held in a comfortable yet professional and supportive setting.

Amanda Kimmel, the Vice President of Ambulatory Operations at Jefferson, said: “Justin Schweitzer sees that there is a significant gap on this side of the bridge for care that’s competent for this population.” Justin Schweitzer is a Jefferson primary-care physician who practices in Marlton, New Jersey.

In response to Jefferson’s plan to open an LGBTQ Clinic, Collingwood resident Toya Sloan, said, “Jefferson is my hospital. I’m happy and proud that my town can be the first place in our part of New Jersey to create a safe space where my LGBTQ brothers and sisters can go to seek healthcare treatment.”

“It’s about time,” said Cornelius Robinson. a counselor at Trenton’s Hyacinth Foundation location. “LGBTQ people exist despite people’s wishes and prayers. We exist, and we’re everywhere. The community has many health issues that should be targeted towards us. In the Mercer County area, there are clinics and such that cater to the community, but they’re not managed properly in a way that is in the best interest to help us.

South Jersey will now have resources closer to them, and [residents] won’t have to do so much traveling for simple health-related issues that only the LGBTQ community face. I am excited and happy for [South Jersey]. It’s a huge yet necessary step.”

Since 2006, Collingswood Mayor Jim Maley has been a pioneer for LGBTQ identifying individuals. Moments after the state legalized civil unions; he began officiating them. So, it comes as no surprise that is why Collingswood is the perfect site for Southern New Jersey’s first LGBTQ clinic.

The Jefferson Clinic is expected to open with two full-time primary-care physicians, as well as a rotating staff that specializes in psychiatry, gynecology, and surgery.

Jefferson Health video about the clinic