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280 South Harrison Street, 4th floor, East Orange, NJ 07018

phone (973) 766-1303

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Who We Are

bessie mae women & family health center


Bessie Smith-Sneed

Who we are


The Bessie Mae Women and Family Health Center was founded in February 2012. The name of the health center derived from the grandmother of our founder, president and chief executive officer, Dr. Esney Mae Sharpe. Bessie Smith-Sneed departed this life at the age of 103. She worked until she was 81 years old doing manual labor. She married twice, outlived both husbands, and had 11 children. Bessie Smith-Sneed was a very hard working, energetic and vibrant woman who at the age of 103 could still fill a room full of women with laughter about her stories as she shared her many life experiences. Bessie Smith-Sneed was rarely sick and when she departed this life, it was not because of any sickness or disease but just from natural causes. She is a legacy and through her granddaughter, Dr. Esney Mae Sharpe’s establishment of the Bessie Mae Women’s Health Center, her legacy will live on and touch the lives of women and their families across the nation on "their journey to better health".


The Bessie Mae Women and Family Health Center is a non-profit 501(c )3 organization that is funded by patient revenue streams, various types of investments, contributions and grant funding that is tax deductible. Its main location is a 7,000sq. ft. beautifully renovated building located downtown East Orange, New Jersey. It is surrounded by almost 1.5 acres of land that is used for complimentary parking.

Our location is 20 minutes from downtown Manhattan by train and only 20 minutes from downtown Newark, New Jersey. Bus transportation is conveniently located right outside the doors of each facility. It is located at the end of the busy intersections in beautifully historical cities in Essex County, New Jersey.

The Bessie Mae Women and Family Health Center provides and render primary healthcare services for men, women and children, obstetrics and gynecology,pediatrics, preventive health and medical care, chiropractor services, mental health services, women’s wellness and nutrition, HIV counseling and testing, weight management programs, WIC (women, infant, children) referral services, pre-natal services, pregnancy testing, family planning, laboratory services, discount prescription program, life coaching, transportation and social services. The health center also provides physical fitness, successfully parenting and co-parenting workshops.

In addition, referral services are breast/cervical/colorectal/prostate screenings, assistance with housing (rental and mortgage), child care, tuition and car assistance, pastoral care counseling, career and educational development. There are a host of other training and services that are offered under the direction of an extraordinary leadership team and clinical team of people. The health center provides services to the insured and uninsured.

The Bessie Mae Women and Family Health Center is a company based on the belief that the patient’s and client’s needs are of utmost importance. The courteous, friendly, and multi-cultural staff welcomes the opportunity to earn your trust and deliver the best and phenomenal service. Through several different resources, the Bessie Mae Women and Family Health Center has partnered with former First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign and former First Lady Mary Pat Christie’s NJ Hero campaign and we now offer counseling & assistance for victims of domestic violence/sexual assault/human trafficking which reaches out to the community with information, education, and great healthy initiatives to help families on their “Journey To Better Health”.

The large population and ethnicities that is served includes: African American, Caucasian, Hispanic, Portuguese, Caribbean, Nigerian, Asia and more. The multi-lingual staff speaks up to five different languages (English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Creole, and more). In addition to fast, friendly and outstanding customer service – having the ability to communicate and relate effectively with the community is their number one priority!

Dr. Esney Mae Sharpe

Bessie Mae Women and Family Health Center strives on doing what’s best for our community. We want nothing but the best for our patients. Our mission is to help our community on “their journey to better health”. We are an organization in the urban community where people have easy access to healthcare without a long wait time for an appointment. We are a “one-stop-shop” that embraces a medical home feel. Our beautifully designed state-of-the-art clean facility gives the community comfort during a sick visit and support during their well visit.

We offer no or low-cost medical services to our patients because the majority of our community don’t have money to pay. With the growing need, high demand, ever increasing population that is in dire need of health services, the disenfranchised community with a history of marginal health outcomes makes the need for increased support more critical. This community has historically been marginalized, but with proper education and information we will be able to provide continuity of care and meet the needs mentioned above. In addition, over 3,100 patients will receive case management for needs identified through medical health screenings. We are planted in each and every area of Essex County to specifically address the barriers to medical adherence and increase the opportunities for overall good health outcomes. In our communities, a health disparity that is defined as a particular type of health difference is closely linked with social or economic disadvantages that adversely affect groups of people who have systematically experienced greater mental, behavioral, social or economic obstacles. These obstacles are health based on their racial and/or ethnic group, religion, socioeconomic status, gender, age, mental health, or disabilities. Eliminating these health disparities and barriers will allow our community to receive optimal and the appropriate medical care.


To learn more about the upcoming special events sponsored by the Bessie Mae Women and Family Health Center, the leadership, medical staff, employment opportunities, or for more information about how “you” can partner with this thriving community service, faith based and medical establishment, you can call 973-766-1303 Monday – Saturday from 9:00 – 5:00 p.m. Or you can visit the website, face book or twitter at: www.bmwfhc.org

If you are in need of medical care and would like to schedule an appointment, to schedule a meeting in one of the conference or board rooms or to utilize some of their space for workshops, etc. you can call us during our business hours. And if you are interested in being considered for membership to the Board of Directors, you can call 973-766-1303.