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City and Parker Health Group Forge Service Agreement Aimed at Keeping Seniors Engaged, Energized and Mobile

(March 1, 2021) – The City of New Brunswick Department of Social Services today announced a 12-month agreement with The Parker Health Group, Inc. focused on funding specific programs to improve the overall quality-of-life for senior citizens, those who are disabled, and low-income residents.

The Virtual Vitality program is a component of this partnership that loans tablet computers to interested New Brunswick Senior Community Resource Center members that will connect them to custom-tailored programs, activities and services geared toward combating social isolation. The tablets will also provide enhanced access to telehealth services during the pandemic. The agreement includes IT consulting as well as educational tutorials for, and presentations of, the program to the users.

The City’s Dial-A-Ride program, which provides free curb-to-curb non-emergency transportation for residents in need, will resume thanks to the new partnership. The Dial-A-Ride services, which are primarily used for medical and mental health visits, physical therapy sessions and social service appointments, have been paused since early in the pandemic. Funding from the agreement will be used to purchase a new multi-passenger shuttle bus as well as cover the cost of five part-time drivers, operating expenses and the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) to help prevent coronavirus contamination. The new shuttle will feature enhanced safety measures such as a HEPA filtration system and the City’s existing vehicle fleet will be retrofitted with similar safety features. 

The components of the agreement are valued at over $380,000.

“The City has gone to extraordinary lengths to assist our senior population since the start of the pandemic,” adds New Brunswick Mayor Jim Cahill. “Our partnership with The Parker Health Group, Inc. and the funding Parker is providing will allow us to do even more as we continue to help our senior citizens with their social, physical and mental health and transportation needs.”    

“We are very pleased to help reinstate the Dial-A-Ride program as we see it to be a critical service for New Brunswick residents,” said Roberto Muñiz, Parker’s President and CEO. “The Virtual Vitality program will help ensure that elders’ emotional needs are being met, along with their physical needs, all in support of improving their quality of life. This is a mission we are deeply passionate about – to help all in Making Aging Part of Life.”