This week will be filled with a range of health events and fairs as organizations bring awareness about local health care resources and needs in individual communities.

Health providers in South Jersey will hold events for health education and information, giveaways and free screenings as they participate in National Health Center Week, which highlights opportunities in health care access all over the country.

“Health centers across the state know their community’s needs best, which makes them vital components of New Jersey’s health system,” said Cathleen Bennett, state Department of Health commissioner.

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National Health Center Week started Monday and continues through Saturday. The theme this year is “Celebrating America’s Health Centers: Innovators in Community Health.”

CompleteCare Health Network, based in Bridgeton, started off the week in South Jersey on Monday with mobile mammography van services at the network’s Vineland campus.

Ocean Health Initiatives will hold a community health day event today at its Manahawkin location in Stafford Township. Vendors there will include Amerigroup, gOHI Wellness Program, Stafford Township Lions Club and HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Toms River.

CompleteCare will hold a community day at its Vineland campus Wednesday and a farmworker health day at Sheppard Farms in the Cedarville section of Lawrence Township Thursday. There will be free health screenings, food, giveaways, activities and more related to health education and awareness at both events.

New Jersey has 23 community health centers — at least one in every county — with more than 111 sites across the state providing health care safety nets for residents.

Gov. Chris Christie established the state’s participation in National Health Center Week “to recognize the achievements of health centers in delivering accessible, cost-effective and quality services to all people, regardless of their ability to pay,” according to the state Department of Health.

AtlantiCare will mark its 10th year of participation with the AtlantiCare Mission HealthCare Community Health Fair, formerly known as the annual Picnic for the Homeless, at the Atlantic City Rescue Mission on Friday.

The event, in previous years, has aimed to introduce better ways for people to get primary health care earlier instead of waiting and then having to use an emergency room for care.

For more information on National Health Center Week events in Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland and Ocean counties, visit healthcenterweek.org

Contact: 609-272-7022

NLeonard@pressofac.com

Twitter @ACPressNLeonard

Staff writer

Previously interned and reported for Boston.com, The Asbury Park Press, The Boston Globe

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