570 Park Avenue, East Orange, New Jersey 07017




Our culturally sensitive healthcare literacy sessions are led by highly trained medical and education professionals focusing on one or more of the Seven Health Pillars: Diabetes/Obesity, Hypertension/Cardiovascular Disease, COPD, Chronic Kidney Disease, Aging/Dementia/Depression/Dying, HIV/AIDS, Cancer Screening.  UHIP's health literacy programs are provided in a variety of community settings:


  • Community Based "Health Literacy Trainings" (taught at local churches, community centers, health fairs, senior centers, barber shops, hair salons, schools, treatment facilities, etc.) designed to promote self-advocacy for our clients to obtain a healthier lifestyle
  • Programs designed to serve adults age 18 and older, the elderly, and other at risk populations which include the uninsured, under-insured
  • Small Group “Health Talks” focusing on a specific health topic of importance to the community (that can include as needed Smoking Cessation and Stress Management Support)
  • “Ask the Doctor” meetings where you can ask our providers any health related questions and get a clear cut answer
  • Sunday morning health talks from the pulpit (at various local house of worship congregations)
  • Nutrition and Weight Management Seminars/Workshops
    • “Biggest Looser” weight loss programs promoting health, physical fitness and nutritional guidance.
    • Hands-On Healthier Cooking classes with a professional chef instructor
    • Medication management and medication interaction workshops
  • "Community Leaders Series" Health Care Education 101 for the Common-Man/Woman” - focusing on the Seven Health Pillars taught in conjunction with  local college campuses
  • Aging In The Home  - Health Talk for Seniors and Care Givers
  • Advance Directive/Living Will Panel Workshop, and End of Life Preparations
  • Medication Management & Medication Interaction Talks
  • Mindfulness Workshop – Mind over pain
  • Man Up - Men's Group  Workshop on Colon and Prostate Cancer Awareness
  • Developing Your Diabetes Pit Crew
  • The Emergency Room is Not Your Doctor (the emergency room is not a replacement for primary care providers)

Menu of Health Literacy Programs and Training Sessions

Health Literacy Services…


Providing Better Health through Education…


The hash tag for UHIP (Urban Healthcare Initiative Program) should be “knowledge is power” and health literacy— the ability to understand the message— is at the core of every aspect of this program.


Dr. Alexander G. Salerno, Chief of Staff of Salerno Medical Associates and founder of UHIP, learned some crucial lessons on how to reach members of the urban community, including the elderly and mentally ill, from church leaders in the community itself.  It was a lesson he learned from pastors, deacons and elders in the Baptist community as he embarked on community intervention to bring primary health care to residents. He was advised that many people on their urban landscape fear medicine and what their doctors tell them because they fear bad news. People who operate out of ignorance and fear, he was told, can’t make a rational decision.

“I wanted to provide knowledge and de-stigmatize diseases and conditions by really displacing fiction and dealing with facts, Dr. Salerno recalled. “There is so much fake information out there that permeates the populace, especially the lower socioeconomic groups.”

Dr. Salerno, the second-generation administrator of a family practice established by his parents, Drs. Alfonse and Svetlana Salerno, started UHIP to really focus on healthcare literacy and healthcare education. He felt that if they could demystify and educate, they could get prospective patients to be more proactive and less reactive. He truly believed that the collateral benefit would be better health through education. The recognition UHIP has received as an educational entity bears that out. It applied to adolescents, the most senior of the population and all walks of life. At its inception it was more like a faith-based movement, and subsequently the Seven Pillars of Health became the gospel of UHIP.


What Is Health Literacy and Who Needs It?

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 defines health literacy as “the degree to which an individual has the capacity to obtain, communicate, process, and understand basic health information and services to make appropriate health decisions.”


The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which does its share of health education, reminds that anyone requiring health information and services needs health literacy skills. The CDC breaks health literacy down to capacity and skills:

“Capacity is the potential a person has to do or accomplish something. Health literacy skills are those people use to realize their potential in health situations. They apply these skills either to make sense of health information and services or provide health information and services to others.


The provider of health information and services, whether it be a physician, public health worker, nurse, pharmacist or gerontologist, also needs health literacy skills.

Why? The CDC suggests the following:

—To assist others in finding information and services they need

—To communicate about health and services may need

—To understand just what people in need of healthcare are asking for

—To determine what works best and then take action whatever the situation and people involved

We at UHIP have those health literacy skills that we bring to the community to “demystify” healthcare.


— Call 973-676-8447 to learn more about UHIP and our Health Literacy Services—