About UHIP

Everyone is Entitled to

Quality HealthCare

Make a Donation

Join the Movement

Dr. Alexander Salerno MD, MHA (UHIP Founder)

In 2010, Dr. Alexander Salerno launched the Urban Healthcare Initiative Program (UHIP) to address the growing disparity in healthcare outcomes in the urban community through education outreach programs. Today, UHIP  operates under its independent Board of Directors. Through this initiative the UHIP team reaches out to the community through local community based organizations, churches, community centers, even barbershops and hair salons. Their mission is to strive for better healthcare outcomes through health literacy training within urban communities of northern New Jersey, promoting proactive healthcare and disease management.

Dr. Salerno, a former military captain, holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Skidmore College, a medical degree from St. George’s University School of Medicine in the Caribbean and a Master of Healthcare Administration from Seton Hall University.

Currently, Dr. Salerno runs his family-owned and operated practice, Salerno Medical Associates (SMA), which has been serving the East Orange and Newark communities for over 30 years. UHIP, from that initial creation progressed to become an independent entity, still operating with continued support from Dr. Salerno.  In addition to SMA, Dr. Salerno also oversees the Community Healthcare Outreach Program (CHOP), a local organization that provides house calls to those in need and to mentally ill and substance use disorders populations throughout Northern New Jersey.

Dr. Salerno received the 2016 Top Doctor Award for his work in SMA’s Newark offices and another 2016 Top Doctor Award for his work in SMA’s East Orange offices. Salerno Medical Associates has also been recognized as one of the top Newark Family Medical practices in 2016 by Opencare.com, based on patient reviews from Yelp, Google, RateMD. In addition, Dr. Salerno has been honored with the Physician’s Choice Award in 2008, 2009, and 2010.

Our Mission & Goals

UHIP is a non-profit 501(c)3 community health education advocacy program active among community- and faith-based organizations within the greater City of Newark and Essex County, New Jersey communities. The mission of UHIP is to improve health disparities and healthcare access among African Americans, Hispanics and other communities that suffer disproportionately from chronic disease, disability, and premature death, and who have no or limited access to quality care. Our goal is to directly address barriers to quality and affordable care in local urban communities by increasing health literacy and where possible promote access to comprehensive health care. To achieve its mission and goals, UHIP partners with local community organizations, transitional living centers, houses of worship and civic groups, community centers, senior citizen housing facilities, mental health/substance abuse treatment programs, barbershops, hair salons, etc., to bring services to vulnerable populations in the spaces where they congregate.

Board of Directors

The Urban Healthcare Initiative Program now operates independently under its Board of Directors providing services within the community.

Rev. Dana Owens
Board Chairperson
Pastor, Messiah Baptist Church, East Orange NJ

Boris (Bo) Barlatier
Board Treasurer
Development Manager, SMA Specialty Medical Lab, Feasterville, PA

Laura Budinick, PsyD
Board Member
Chief Administrative Officer
Beth Israel Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of New Jersey

Bernita F. Faust
Board Secretary (Consumer)
Community Advocate

Dale Groninger
Board Member
Human Resource Administrator, Salerno Medical Associates, East Orange, NJ

Marilyn Harris, DMin, MDiv, MBA
Board Member
Vice President, Community Relations
Beth Israel Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of New Jersey

La-Kisa Hines
Board Vice Chairperson
Certified Health Educator – United Healthcare Community Plan, NJ

Denise Peroune, PhD
Board Member
Executive Director, Urban Healthcare Initiative Program, East Orange, NJ

Community Partners

Some of our community partners include: Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, Community Healthcare Outreach Program (CHOP), AARP of the Oranges, Greater Newark Healthcare Coalition, Newark Urban League, Whole Cities Foundation, Jewish Renaissance Vocational Services, Sinai Post-Acute Nursing Center, Newark and East Orange Housing Authorities, New Horizon Behavioral Health, Rutgers University-Advocates for Healthy Living Initiative, Essex County Mental Health Association, St. Mary’s Hospital-Seton Center, Alarais Health at St. Mary’s Orange.  Shelter/Housing service locations include [Newark] Nevada House, Angel Hope House, Sunrise Care, Court Towers, [Orange] Washington Manor Senior, [East Orange] The Pavilion, Harmon Grove, Haven Manor. Church partners include [Newark] New Hope Baptist Church, Saint James AME Church, Bethany Baptist Church, Pilgrim Baptist Church, Better Life Wellness Center, [East Orange] New Hope Baptist Church, Messiah Baptist Church, [Irvington] Jerusalem Baptist Church, [Montclair] Union Baptist Church and others.

Meet our Amazing Team!

Administrative Team

Denise L. Peroune, PhD

Denise L. Peroune, PhD

Executive Director

Kelvin Roberson

Kelvin Roberson

Community Outreach Liaison

As the community face of UHIP he is responsible for building community relationships, identifying and establishing new UHIP community service opportunities.


Frank Jordan

Frank Jordan

Grants Coordinator/Media Administration

Management of funding development, social media and website development. 


Present and Past Funders

Past Funders:

  • Horizon Foundation for New Jersey
  • Partners for Health Foundation
  • The Healthcare Foundation of NJ
  • Amerigroup Foundation
  • Saint Michael’s Medical Center
  • Johnson and Johnson/LifeScan
  • DeRosa Pharmacy
  • Novo Nordisk
  • The Montclair Foundation
  • Daiichi-Sankyo

UHIP Awards

When We Help, We are Making The World a Better Place

Improving Healthcare literay gives our community the tools to practice preventive health care

Saint James AME Church – Man-Up Weekend