Rowan Integrated Special Needs Center opens

Rowan Integrated Special Needs Center opens


Senior administrators from Rowan University, the School of Osteopathic Medicine and the Gloucester County Special Services School District were joined by local and state officials for a ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating a unique clinical enterprise for South Jersey.

On Wednesday, April 3, the Rowan Integrated Special Needs Center (RISN Center) officially opened its doors in the Bankbridge Development Center and will soon begin offering patient centered primary and behavioral health care services for individuals with physical, intellectual and developmental disabilities and for their families. The RISN Center is the first facility of its kind in the South Jersey region.

“We are thrilled to be able to open our doors to begin providing services for patients, children and adults, with special needs and their families,” said Dr. Jennifer LeComte, Division Chief of General Internal Medicine at Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine and the director of the Rowan Integrated Special Needs (RISN) Center. “We are creating a bridge to adult care with care coordination at the core of our program. Primary care for all with embedded behavioral health will create greater access to all components of care for this vulnerable population.”

Gloucester County Freeholder Director Robert M. Damminger said that Gloucester County is providing a social worker to assist the RISN staff.

“Gloucester County will continue to be at the forefront of helping care for our special needs community,” he said. “This program will increase access to routine medical services, preventative health and personal care for patients with special needs and their families in the same venues where their neighbors receive care.”

Speaking to the capacity crowd inside the RISN Center, Senate President Steve Sweeney noted the special nature of the facility.

“Unless you drive to another state or forty-five miles north of here, there is not access to primary care services for special needs children and their families. That stops today,” he said. “We have made enormous strides in creating access and opportunity for our residents with special needs and their families, but we must keep going. When programs like the Rowan Integrated Special Needs center open, it helps make the health care delivery system manageable for everyone.”

Gloucester County Freeholder Lyman Barnes, liaison to the Department of Education, said that ultimately the RISN Center will be located at the new medical building that is planned for Rowan College at Gloucester County (RCGC).

“By starting the RISN center here, we have a built-in community of ambassadors to help promote the program,” he said. “When the main outpatient location moves to the new facility at RCGC, it will expand services and serve as a platform for educating new physicians and ancillary colleagues to provide comprehensive care.”

The RISN Center expects to begin seeing patients in May. Appointment information for the RISN Center is available by calling 856-566-7070.