Bergen New Bridge Medical Center (BNBMC) welcomes Dr. Christopher Awwad as the new medical director of the hospital’s LGBTQIA+ Health and Wellness Center.
Awwad has extensive experience in family medicine and specializes in comprehensive care for the LGBTQIA+ community including gender-affirming care, HIV prevention, sexual health, and primary care.
“We are an important healthcare resource for the LGBTQIA+ community because they know they will receive quality, respectful, equitable, and compassionate care,” said BNBMC President & CEO Deborah Visconi.
“Dr. Awwad will help us to further develop a healthcare experience where the LGBTQIA+ community feel safe, welcomed, and do not fear stigma as we address their physical health needs as well as mental health and wellness,” Visconi added.
After receiving his medical degree from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine – Bradenton in 2013, Awwad completed his family medicine residency training at the Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell Health.
At BNBMC, he will develop medical education and community outreach to better serve its patients by providing equitable access to high-quality, patient-centered care.
The LGBTQ+ Health and Wellness Center opened in 2020 and is located on the second floor of Bergen New Bridge Medical Center. Appointments for services can be made by calling 201.225.7130. It offers:
- Primary care services
- Mental health services
- Substance abuse services
- Endocrinology services
- Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) Screenings & Treatment
- HIV/AIDS Testing, and Treatment & Prevention, including PREP and PEP
- Care Coordination
Visconi said when the center opened that people of transgender and gender non-binary (TGNB) often experience face widespread discrimination and misunderstanding from health care providers.
Results from the Medical Center’s recent community Needs Assessment (CHNA) showed healthcare disparities for this community who, during focus groups, voiced a need and a desire for a health provider who could deliver diverse services in a compassionate and respectful setting.
“This center is a safe place where LGBTQ+ individuals can access care, testing, and education in a welcoming, supportive, equitable, and stigma-free environment,” Visconi said.
BNBMC, a clinical affiliate of Rutgers, is a 1,070-bed hospital located at 230 East Ridgewood Avenue in Paramus, NJ. The Medical Center is both the largest hospital and licensed nursing home in NJ and the fourth largest, publicly owned hospital in the nation.
A not-for-profit safety net facility, Bergen New Bridge provides high-quality comprehensive services, including acute and ambulatory care, mental health and substance use disorder treatment, long-term care, 24/7 emergency department, surgical suites, physical rehabilitation, pharmacy, laboratory, radiologic services (including digital mammography).
Satellite offices are located in Bergenfield, Englewood, and Paterson. Primary care and other health and wellness services are available at the hospital’s CareRite Now centers located in select Inserra Supermarkets in Bergen County.
Bergen New Bridge is in network with all major New Jersey commercial insurance plans covering 99.91% of NJ residents and is a Veterans Community Care Provider. It is also a Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality in the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Healthcare Equality Index (HEI). Learn more at www.newbridgehealth.org.