Capital Health will open primary care facility in Princeton

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Former Princeton Packet building on 300 Witherspoon Street in Princeton on June 23. ANDREW HARRISON/STAFF
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New home for the Capital Health primary care facility on Witherspoon Street in Princeton. ANDREW HARRISON/STAFF
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Former Princeton Packet building on 300 Witherspoon Street in Princeton on June 23. ANDREW HARRISON/STAFF
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New home for the Capital Health primary care facility on Witherspoon Street in Princeton. ANDREW HARRISON/STAFF

The building that housed the former offices of The Princeton Packet will become the new home for a Capital Health primary care facility next year.

When the building reopens in January 2021 at 300 Witherspoon St. in Princeton, the new facility will offer same day appointments, chronic and well care for children and adults as well as evening hours, according to Capital Health spokesperson Kate Stier.

“We will have at least four to five physicians (family medicine and internal medicine) with room to expand up to seven full-time physicians. The landlord is actually renovating the space and we are paying her for our portion of the fit out,” Stier said.

The building, which served as the main office for The Packet, had been sold to Helena May in 2016, after the Packet newspaper was merged with Broad Street Media to form the operating company, Packet Media LLC.

Capital Health currently is in negotiations for a well-baby clinic service for its new Witherspoon Street location.

“We will be providing primary care services to all patients, not just the uninsured,” Stier added. “The location will also have on-site parking for patients.”

The Capital Health system consists of two main hospitals Regional Medical Center in Trenton and Capital Health Medical Center in Hopewell. When the primary care facility officially opens on Witherspoon it will become the 18 primary care facility location within Capital Health’s system.

“The ability for families to easily access health services in town is a fundamental pillar in community health. The Princeton Health Department’s ultimate goal is to create social and physical environments that provide good health for all, which people associate with the social determinants of health,” Princeton Health Officer Jeff Grosser said. “The ability of individuals to walk to a local health practice whenever they need preventative or acute care will ultimately improve health equity in Princeton.”

As the coronavirus pandemic continues statewide and across the country, Grosser added that the facility comes to Princeton at a critical time.

“The Harvard School of Public Health recently released a listed a variety of factors that identify both the populations being impacted most severely by COVID-19 as well as the reasons why. Nationally, data is demonstrating that African Americans and Hispanic Americans are at greater risk from the virus,” he said. “They are more likely to live in crowded conditions, to work in service jobs that put them in close proximity to others, to have to go to work because they can’t afford to miss it, to take public transportation, and to lack access to protective gear at work.”

The Princeton Health Department views the new primary care facility as a way to improve access to health care in the heart of Princeton.

“The municipality is going to support funding to ensure that any uninsured or underinsured child is able to receive the necessary vaccinations and preventative health care services, which will begin to reduce the number of individuals in town with zero health coverage due to lack of insurance,” Grosser said.

A hospital system such as Capital Health has not been located in downtown Princeton since 2012, when University Medical Center of Princeton (Penn Medicine Princeton Medical Center) moved to Plainsboro from Princeton.

“We are very excited about the great potential for the new Capital Health site on Witherspoon Street. I want to personally thank Councilwoman Michelle Lambros and Councilwoman Leticia Fraga who have been advocating for a closer health site in Princeton,” he said.