Pediatric Health Centers

Author Archives: Health n Wellness

Presentation by Titiana Huzien, Nutrition Intern and Taylor Weber, M.S., Nutrition & Wellness Educator

Written by: Titiana Huzien, Nutrition Intern

You’ve finally quit the dessert-after-dinner habit, so there is no way you’re eating too much sugar? Well, while cutting out the common sugar villains like candy and cake is a huge leap, there are lots of other ways that sugar likes to hide. This includes everything from high fructose corn syrup found in some of your favorite foods, to your favorite juice to even that “all natural” protein bar.

So, what exactly is sugar? Well sugar is known as a carbohydrate in its simplest form. There are two main sources of sugar: Natural and processed. Natural sugar is found in whole, natural foods. The fruit considered as the food group closely linked to natural sugar, but vegetables such as carrots, beets, squash, zucchini, and onions also contain some natural sugar. Examples of natural sugar include the sugars found in dairy products, fruit, and vegetables. Processed sugar is sugar that’s been tinkered with in some way and extracted from its natural source. Examples of processed sugar include white cane sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and agave.

Some common sources of hidden sugars include granola & cereal, protein bars, yogurt, breads/gluten free breads, pre-made sauces and dressings, nuts and seed butters, non-dairy milk, and protein powders.

On average, adults should eat no more than 90 grams of total sugars and less than 30 grams of free sugars. Added sugars should take up less than 10% of your total calorie intake each day. Men should not eat more than 9 teaspoons of added sugar (36 grams) and women should not eat more than 6 teaspoons of added sugar (25 grams).

What are some signs that you may be eating too much sugar? These signs can include:

  • Craving for sugar or carbs
  • Lack of energy and tiredness
  • Weight gain
  • Frequent colds and flu
  • Dull taste buds
  • Foggy brain
  • Skin problems
  • Eye wrinkles
  • Mood swings
  • Memory loss
  • Toothaches / cavities
  • Stomachaches & imbalanced gut flora

In order to cut back on sugar intake, try to cut back on the amount of sugar you may regularly add to foods and drinks, such as tea, coffee, and cereal, replace sugar-sweetened beverages with sugar-free or low-calorie drinks, and compare food labels and select the products with the lowest amounts of added sugars. When baking, reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe by a third and try replacing sugar in recipes with extracts or spices, such as cinnamon, ginger, almond or vanilla. Finally, replace sugar on cereal or oatmeal with fruit.

Health N Wellness Services, LLC is looking for a Treatment Coordinator for our one of our Paterson Full Service Community School Health Centers which provides children access to quality health/mental health care inside the school during the school day.

The Treatment Coordinator duties include:

  • Community Outreach and events
  • Registering students for clinic and expediting services through providers.
  • Maintain monthly stats and reports
  • Maintaining compliance with health center cleanliness and PPE regulations
  • Mindful and compliant with sensitive materials with respect to HIPAA and FERPA

We are looking for an individual who is a team player, friendly, and with outstanding communication skills to provide high quality services to our families. Good computer skills and bilingual Spanish/Bengali a plus. This position pays hourly rate based on experience/education and follows the school day/year schedule.

All candidates will be reviewed regardless of race, color, sex, gender identification, religion, national origin or language. Ability to work independently and as part of a multi-disciplinary team.

If you are interested in this position and want to learn more, please contact Denise Hajjar at

We are thrilled to welcome back our wonderful students to all of the Full Service Community School Health Centers (FSCS) in participating schools.  We know this is going to be a wonderful and healthy year for all children, even though it may be challenging!

The FSCS Health Center is The Board of Education’s Comprehensive School-Based Health Clinics. We operate pediatric Health Centers that provide children access to quality care inside the school and now virtually!

At all FSCS Health Centers your children can receive the following care:

  • Pediatric Doctor scheduled appointments for sick and well-care preventative services
  • Dental Care
  • Vision Care Both screening, exam, and eyeglasses
  • Nutrition Education and parents/guardians workshops
  • Behavioral Health Counseling and Social Work Support for students and families
  • Telehealth Counseling
  • Audiology screenings

In order to utilize our services, you must first enroll with your school’s Health Center. Below is a list of the participating schools:

  • School 2: Contact Brenda Clark at 973-321-1000 ext. 20273
  • School 5: Contact Nargish Akther at 973-321-2273
  • New Roberto Clemente: Contact Jenny Cepeda at 973-321-1000 Ext. 22489
  • Senator Frank Lautenberg : Contact Diane Savage at 973-321-1000 Ext: 20648
  • School 15: Contact Shalika Ulloa  at 973-321-1000 Ext. 10155
  • Napier Academy: Contact Victoria Vargas  at 973-321-1000 Ext. 20406
  • John F. Kennedy Educational Complex: Contact Taylor Weber at 973-321-1000 ext. 50034

Thank you and we look forward to working together to make all students healthy and successful this year!

Follow our Instagram & Facebook accounts!

**Please visit the NJ Family Care website to apply for insurance if you lack coverage to see if you qualify. Should you have any questions regarding NJ Family Care application process to enroll your child(ren), please contact the Treatment Coordinators at your school sites by clicking on the “Participating Schools/Contact Us” from the menu above.

Here is our Nutrition & Wellness Educator, Taylor Weber MS, as a guest on Parent University discussing how to eat wise and stay focused while learning at home or in school!

beach blue car combi
Photo by Nubia Navarro (nubikini) on

Dear Parents/Guardians,

It has been our sincere pleasure to work with your family in providing Health Care Services this school year. We overwhelmingly appreciate your confidence and warmly recognize your support as we strive to make sure that each and every student has the brightest future and utmost success.

I recently received a card and on the back was this beautiful saying brought to us by Papyrus cards:


We wish you a happy, healthy and safe summer!

Join us for our “Adjusting to Change” Community Circles on Tuesday mornings at 10:00 am for all Paterson families from June 23rd until July 14th. Topics discussed include Stress and Trauma due to COVID-19 and Social Injustice. Please feel free to join our group with any other concerns you would like to share.

To join, please go to and enter the meeting ID and password.

Meeting ID: 613 684 0507

Password: Circle

Banana bread is a classic, all American, comfort food that just about everyone loves! Usually it’s packed with butter and lots of refined sugar. But this recipe is great because we swapped out the bad stuff for some more nutrient dense options like coconut oil, honey, unsweetened almond milk and whole wheat flour instead of refined white flour!


  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup honey OR maple syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 large bananas)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • Optional: add in 1/2 cup chocolate chips, raisins, nuts, craisins, etc.


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan
  2. In a large bowl, beat the coconut oil & honey (or maple syrup) together with a whisk.
  3. Add in the eggs and beat well, then whisk in the mashed bananas and almond milk. (If your coconut oil starts to solidify on contact with cold ingredients, simply let the bowl rest in a warm place for a few minutes.)
  4. Add in the baking soda, vanilla extract, salt and ground cinnamon. Whisk to blend.
  5. Switch over to a large spoon and stir in the whole wheat flour until combined. If you are adding in any additional mix ins, gently fold them in now.
  6. Pour the batter into your greased loaf pan and sprinkle lightly with cinnamon.
  7. Bake for 55 – 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  8. Enjoy!

As I held my phone and watched the horrifying video of George Floyd, I like most, found uncontrollable tears run down my face. My mind immediately raced back to when I was a little girl, so very affected and frightened by the race riots. Then, I thought about the poem I wrote that same year for a contest for principal-of-the-day. It was entitled “Brotherhood”:

Something sought and talked about but seldom understood

To love, to need, to understand

A word called Brotherhood

A rather large word, with a larger meaning of course!

A communicating, heart bonding, hand holding force

Now take this word and pass it to another

And truly say ‘my brother’.

Almost 50 years from writing this poem…another black man has died for absolutely no reason. I want real change. We can no longer stand by while the world is burning with hatred, racism, religious persecution, lack of charity, failure to HONOR EACH HUMAN LIFE, and silently watch the homeless, the sick, the hungry, the unaccepted, the most vulnerable.

I am proud to work with the most loving, supportive members of the Paterson Bd. Of Ed who to date have provided over 500,00 meals at our distribution sites not to mention all our Community partners; St. Paul’s Community Development, Oasis, The Boys and Girls Club, Community Development Corp (NJCDC), New Destiny Family Success Center, they are family who care for our community and embrace their needs with open hearts. They inspire me each and every day to support my staff at our Full Service Community School Health Centers. Our team of Treatment Coordinators and Mental Health Providers have been working endless hours reaching out to families. I want this to become the contagious virus that will overthrow all the pain of COVID-19 and the unthinkable murder of George Floyd.

We are here to continue to support our community and invite each of you who read this post to join our ‘Virtual Community Circles’ next week. Please refer to our posting of scheduled times on this site. It is a safe space led by our therapists.

Do not let the life of George Floyd be remembered as a horrific video display, but may his life inspire us to make real change. Not accept the injustice, but work toward the healing peacefulness of brotherhood. I pray his life not be in vain. His life mattered. Black Lives Matter.

Denise Hajjar, MS

Health N’ Wellness Services, LLC

Dear Full Service Community School Health Center Family:

We miss you! We hope that this letter finds you and your family well. We are sending you this letter to provide you with resources that might be helpful while we are social distancing and adjusting to our new routines.

First, for everyone, but especially our children, we want to share a short story adapted from child psychologist Ana Gomez:

The Story of the Oyster
“Do you know about the oyster who lives at the bottom of the sea who uses its special powers when something is bothering it until a pearl is formed?
In these difficult days, we can be like the oyster and when something is bothering us, notice our feelings – lonely, sad, angry, frustrated, happy, worried, relaxed, confused, mixed up. Notice the way the feelings we have make our bodies feel.

Draw a picture of our feelings, talk about our feelings and
thoughts. Draw a picture of ourselves. Does our body feel
loose like a noodle or hard like a rock? Does it feel light or
heavy? Where on our bodies do we feel these feelings? What
do the feelings look like? What do they say?

Like the oyster, we have special powers to make what is bothering us into a pearl. When our feelings get too big, too hot or too cold, we can do things to cool them down or warm them up. We can be kind and loving to our feelings. Ignoring our feelings will not make them go away. Do we need a hug or someone to talk to or someone to tell us that things will be ok? We can use the power of breathing to calm our minds, hearts and bodies. We also can sing, hum, dance or jump!

Now imagine that we have a long, special cord that goes from our heart to the hearts of all the people we love. This cord joins us together. We are not alone. We all have special powers and like the oyster, we can create pearls.”

Thank you for reading! We look forward to coming back to school and finding out what pearls you have made and what feelings you identified to help create your pearls. We also want to hear about who you are connecting with by using your long, special cord. On the following pages please find information and links to helpful resources.

The resources included here below are up-to-date as of the post date. Information is changing rapidly and not always correct, so we urge you to rely on information from government websites.

Download the PDF below for your reference:

English Letter

Bengali Letter

Spanish letter