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Fontine Zhang

Fontine Zhang, MD

Attending Physician
NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Gouverneur

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Improving Immigrant Care in Lower Manhattan

In 1998, Dr. Fontine Zhang was in the early months of her first job as an attending physician at NYC Health + Hospitals/Gouverneur when a middle-aged man walked into the clinic complaining of dizziness. He had just returned from a trip to South America, and Dr. Zhang suspected he could have a pulmonary embolism, the result of a blood clot from sitting in a cramped airplane seat on a long flight. 

Dr. Zhang had the patient transported by ambulance from Gouverneur’s clinic on the Lower East Side uptown to the ER at Bellevue, where her diagnosis was confirmed, and then some. The man had not one embolism but several – in the arteries to both lungs. He owed his life to the rookie doctor at Gouverneur. 

Twenty-six years later, Dr. Zhang is a fixture of the Lower Manhattan medical community, widely admired by colleagues and patients at Gouverneur and its satellite  Judson center. 

Gouverneur was a fitting place for Dr. Zhang to make her career. After emigrating from China as a teenager, she went to public school on the Lower East Side, just a few blocks from Gouverneur, and volunteered there hoping it would be the first step toward a career in medicine. She went on to attend CUNY’s Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Science, a combined undergraduate and medical school program devoted to improving health equity, and completed her medical degree at SUNY Downstate.

Addressing the health care challenges faced by New York’s many immigrant communities has remained Dr. Zhang’s motivation ever since. “I’m proud to be part of a public system that is committed to improving health care equality and making care accessible to all,” she says.

“Dr. Zhang has tirelessly served patients for the past 26 years and is well-known in the community for her unparalleled dedication,” said Gotham Health Regional Chief Medical Officer Dr. Morris Gagliardi. “Patient care is 24/7 for Dr. Zhang – she always stays late and works after hours from home revising charts and following up on patients. Many have come to see her for decades. She is the true definition of a PCP and has made a difference in the lives of many underserved New Yorkers.”

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