"How are you Feeling?"
When they ask you that at a new Florham Park Medical Office, they mean
both physically and mentally.
A Medical Office Containing Lots of different doctors and specialists—that’s
nothing new, really. But a medical facility in Florham Park, recently
opened by the
Barnabas Health Medical Group, offers something most similar buildings don’t: a behavioral health
office staffed with mental health professionals ready to treat psychological
or behavioral issues at a moment’s notice.
The facility is home to nine internal medicine providers and rotating specialists
in cardiology, dermatology and gastroenterology. “Our goal with
this office is to provide more integration of behavioral health with primary
care,” says Lina Shihabuddin, M.D., chief medical officer of the
Behavioral Health Network for the RWJBarnabas Health system. “Having
our behavioral health team in the same building will help provide a greater
continuum of care for our patients.”
That team consists of a psychologist, a psychiatrist and a psychiatric
nurse practitioner, plus a receptionist and a medical assistant. They
will be available for patients of physicians who share the facility, both
on a walk-in basis and by appointment. The practitioners will conduct
an initial assessment and then manage treatment, be it medication, therapy
or both. “A lot of people who seek health care also have depression,
anxiety, adjustment disorders, domestic violence or lifechanging events,
so the need is high,” Dr. Shihabuddin says. “Now, instead
of waiting for a referral, they can go two doors down in the same office
space. It’s like one-stop shopping.”
That will be especially helpful for the region’s Asian immigrants,
as the Saint Barnabas Center for Asian Health also has its office in Florham
Park. There is a high rate of undiagnosed depression in this population,
and the population often delays seeking professional help until very late,
says Su Wang, M.D., M.P.H., medical director for the center. “Elderly
Asian women have the highest rates of depression across all ethnic groups.
Many older Asians have moved here to help care for grandchildren but are
faced with cultural and language barriers,” she says. “They
love being with family, but they have been taken out of their comfort
zone and feel very isolated. There are also a lot of psychological struggles
within families, as parents face cross-cultural parenting issues. The
communication barriers can grow as children become more fluent in English
and less so in their native tongue.”
Mental health issues are still taboo for many in this population, but the
psychologist at the behavioral health center is Pei-Chen Hsu, Ph.D., who
is fluent in English, Mandarin and Taiwanese. She was the director of
psychological services at Hamilton-Madison House in New York City, which
serves a largely Asian population, and has extensive experience in working
with couples, families and youth. “It is very difficult to find
therapists who are covered by insurance, and even harder to find someone
who can understand unique cultural issues,” Dr. Wang says. “Dr.
Hsu will meet a very important need in this area, and her cross-cultural
understanding gives her a broad reach, making her a great therapist across
The Florham Park facility, at 222 Columbia Turnpike, comprises 12,000 square
feet of patient care space on one floor, 27 patient exam rooms, an onsite
phlebotomy (blood draw) room and ample parking. It is currently open Monday
to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday mornings.
To schedule and appointment with the behavioral health team during business
hours, please call 973.261.9075. Appointments can also be made 24/7 by
calling the access center at 1.800.300.0628.