The past several months have been extremely challenging for everyone as individuals, as families and as communities; we are all deeply effected by COVID-19 and by the civil unrest in our communities. These are unprecedented times, filled with confusion, pain, emotions and change. Many of us are trying to navigate our way through these complex and emotional issues, which are not foreign to the work we have done at NJCRI for so many years. Our community has been overwhelmed and disproportionately affected by COVID-19 and HIV and not necessarily due to the medical issues, but more because of the underlying social disparities that still plague our community and this country to this day.


Today we see these issues being dealt with in blunt and direct ways that we have never seen before. Communities are coming together in support of and in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter Movement and NJCRI want to make it clear that we too stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter.


During these times of stress, we should all be mindful to take care ourselves and as always take into consideration the health and well-being of our clients whose challenges maybe the same or even more monumental than ours.


The journey ahead will be full of physical, emotional and spiritual struggles, but as we have been for the last 30 years, NJCRI will continue to be here for you, your families and our community. NJCRI’s doors are always open to everyone in the community and we will always guarantee that we will treat everyone with respect, dignity and compassion and will ensure that those ideals are part of the fabric of our organization and are always reflected in the work we do and the services we provide



IMPORTANT Message regarding

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

First and foremost, we care about your safety! That's why all of NJCRI employees, staff and clinicians have been tested for COVID-19 before returning to work. Also, prior to entering the premises or facility, all persons (staff and patients) must undergo a screening for the virus that includes a temperature check. Post COVID-19 quarantine, NJCRI services can be accessed in multiple ways. We will continue telemedicine, video conferencing with physicians and counselors, and will now begin on-site, outdoor services in  our medical mobile units, and private canopies stationed behind our building at 393 Central Ave., Newark.

PLEASE NOTE: You MUST have an appointment with your physician/counselor for on-site services. 

Please call us for an assessment and next steps!

  • Medical Services: (973) 558-5039 

  • Psychiatric Services: (973) 558-5054

  • Syringe Exchange Services:  (973) 558-5063 /OPEN DAILY UNTIL 4PM

We will be updating the NJCRI website regularly to keep you informed of any further developments. Also follow us on Facebook/NJCRI for current information. Please check daily. In the meantime, please utilize the sources below for additional information about the Coronavirus and best health practices to keep yourself, your famliy friends and community safe during this time. 


If you are experiencing coronavirus symptoms, or believe you have come in contact with the coronavirus:





Essex County Residents can Register for an Appointment at

The testing site is for Essex County residents; appointments are mandatory. Residents must arrive by car.



NJCRI distinguishes itself by its over 30 year history of providing HIV/AIDS care and treatment to individuals in Northern New Jersey. We are a strong integrated team between all our departments and our full service model, makes NJCRI unique and a welcome oasis for our community.   We will continue to adapt and support our clients with essential and innovative services.

 The North Jersey Community Research Initiative (NJCRI) is one of New Jersey’s largest and most comprehensive HIV/AIDS community-based organization.

Our mission is to "empower our clients by reducing social and health disparities in the greater Newark area.”


Over the past 30 years of service NJCRI has adapted and changed to rally the fight against HIV/AIDS, as well as providing important social services to our community. In 1988, the initial focus was to provide clinical trials in Newark so those that were infected with the HIV virus could gain access to promising investigational treatments. At that time patients were required to travel to New York to receive these services. NJCRI was the first AIDS service organization in New Jersey to provide medical care to those with HIV.  Our staff have published more than 30 research articles and have presented their research findings at local, national and international AIDS conferences. 

Today with over 40 different grant-funded programs, NJCRI continues to be on the cutting edge of HIV treatment. We understand that HIV is much larger than just a medical issue, and take pride in providing those in the midst of health disparities with the opportunity to improve their quality of life.  We have taken a holistic approach by streamlining all our services and creating a one-stop resource center for our clients. Named after an esteemed and respected former colleague, the Dr. George Perez Medical Care Center provides care and treatment to both HIV negative and HIV positive patients alike. 

Additional services we offer include behavioral research, transgender medical care, pediatrics, primary medical care, chronic illness management education, street outreach, substance abuse treatment, transportation, mental health/psychiatric services, food pantry, syringe exchange, an adult drop-in center for the homeless , and many LGBTQ services including a drop-in center for LGBTQ youth. We are also strong community advocates and provide technical assistance to other community-based organizations in our area. Approximately over  10,000 people avail themselves of our free and confidential services each year




Years of Experience

Clients served yearly

 on average 

Grant funded programs

Dedicated Staff



Brian McGovern

Chief Executive Officer

Henry Iwuala

Director of

Behavioral Health

Awilda Rivera

Director of Operations

Corey DeStefano

Director of Research

Joseph Rothenberg

Chief Financial Officer

Julio Roman

Director of Community and LGBTQ services

Ronald Poblete, M.D. 
Medical Director

Edward Raiten

Director of
Care and Treatment




Your unrestricted donation to NJCRI can help us raise awareness and provide essential treatment and support for those whose lives have been touched by HIV/AIDS, those who are battling addiction, the homeless, for those in need of emotional support, and for our LGBTQ community at large.



When you make a gift, you reaffirm your belief in our mission of service and demonstrate your concern for and willingness to help your community.

NJCRI is a 501(c) 3 charitable institution (EIN: 52-1592616). Your contribution is tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.




Check donations can be made out to : NJCRI 

Mailing address:


Attn: Joseph Rothenberg

393 Central Ave

Newark, NJ 07103




393 Central Ave

Newark NJ, 07103      

Tel: 973-483-3444

Our Address

Counseling, Testing, and Referral

Health Screening Department:

PLEASE CALL: (973) 558-5035
Toll free – (888) 688-9097

(973) 483-3444 x 215 / Moseale Coker
Fax – (973) 412-8500


HIV Care and Treatment Services:

PLEASE CALL: (973) 558-5039
Erika Escabi, RN x 203

Medical Case Management:

PLEASE CALL: (973) 558-5041

(973) 483-3444 X 208 / Vieshia Morales


Nursing Services:

PLEASE CALL: (973) 558-5039

Erika Escabi, RN x 203
Eileen Scarinci, DNP, x 250

Mental Health:

PLEASE CALL: (973) 558-5040
(973) 483-3444 x 207 / James DeSantis

(973) 483-3444 x 238 / George Walker 
F: (973) 849-0117


Substance Abuse:

PLEASE CALL: (973) 558-5045

(973) 483-3444 x 237 / Dorinda Coleman

Crossroads/ Project Access:

PLEASE CALL: (973) 558-5063
(973) 483-3444 x 204 / Ricardo Rodney


Food pantry:
(973) 483-3444 x 220 / Ron Berry


 8AM - 6PM

Tuesdays - Friday

8AM - 8PM



12PM -8PM

LGBTQ Services:

PLEASE CALL: (973) 412-9605
(888) 688-9078

(973) 483-3444 x 217 / Julion Roman


PLEASE CALL: (973) 558-5039

(973) 483-3444 x 251 / Ivan Wilson

Project RENEW:

PLEASE CALL: (973) 558-5054
 (973) 483-3444 X 222 / Henry Iwuala
Fax – (973) 648-0312


Clinical Trials:

PLEASE CALL: (973) 483-8008

(973) 483-3444 x 209 / Juan Torres

(973) 483-3444 x205 / Corey DeStefano



PLEASE CALL: 973  558- 5048
(888) 657-3228

(973) 483-3444 x 201 / Shariff Hall
Fax – (973) 485-7080

Medical Monitoring Project:

Shena Dance / 

973-483-3444 x239 

Oskar Gonzalez / 

973-483-3444 x 223 
Fax 973-485-7080



NJCRI is about Community focused care.  Please contact us with any questions regarding medical services and treatments, or If you would like to learn more about a specific program and how you can get involved!

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393 Central Avenue Newark, NJ 07103

(973) 483-3444

© 2019  NJCRI, Newark NJ.