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Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Neighborhood Health Center is NOT closed

Logo developed for the Neighborhood Health Services
Corporation after its name was changed from
the Plainfield Health Center.


That is a direct quote from a well-known Plainfield political figure, and it fits my note on the Health Center posted on CLIPS at 1:17 AM on Saturday morning.

I went over to the Center a little past noon on Saturday, to find the place hopping with activity and 33 cars parked in the staff and patient parking areas.

Late this evening, I got a blistering email from retired police captain (and former Public Safety Director) Siddeeq El-Amin, who is also chairman of the Neighborhood Health Center's Board, which I am reprinting below --

Today I saw your Clips and was completely astonished at what I read.  You have known me for decades in the City of Plainfield.  You have known me for my employment with the Plainfield Police Division, known me as a former Public Safety Director, known me a member of the Planning Board, and known me as the Board Chairman for the Neighborhood Health Center.  And you certainly know my personal cell and home numbers.  Good investigative reporters would know how to obtain them.

So why in hell couldn't you just call me, or email me, when you received that initial "rumor" of the Health Center allegedly closing?  But no, you decided to post a tantalizing tidbit on your Clips that you were "chasing down a rumor the Neighborhood Health Center has been shut down. Check back for more on Sunday
."  Are you now trying to be like FOX News?

Fact:  the Neighborhood Health Center is NOT SHUT DOWN OR CLOSED!   But you would have known that if you had bother to contact someone in authority at the Health Center.  This is the very reason why so many Plainfielders don't take your utterances with any form of seriousness.  You major in gossip and speculation and minor in facts.  Writing titillating "rumors and speculations" in attempts to get readers to return for more may work in the "National Enquirer" environment but Plainfield citizens deserve better.  Unfortunately, you are not able to deliver better.  And the damage you have caused to the Health Center, the only major health provider for the uninsured and underinsured populations in the Plainfield area is unspeakable.

Siddeeq W. El-Amin, BS (RU'68), MPA (RU'97)

Siddeeq is right. I do have his numbers, though I decided 1:00 AM was really too late to call -- anyone. My bad judgment was to print the "tantalizing tidbit" -- out of fear of being "scooped" if the story was in fact true.

Thankfully, it is not, as my trip to the Center Saturday mid-day confirmed.

I have written over the years about both the Neighborhood Health Services Center (see here) and its predecessor, the Plainfield Health Center (see here).

Siddeq is correct that the Neighborhoord Health Center is the "only major health provider for the uninsured and underinsured populations in the Plainfield area."

Its loss would be tragic indeed.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]
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