Feb 24, 2021
Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health today opened the second of three COVID-19 Centers of Excellence throughout the city. The new community health clinic located in Jackson Heights, Queens will support recovering COVID-19 patients beginning March 1, 2021.
“Our recovery efforts are for all, especially for those in need living in the hardest hit communities by the pandemic,” said Mayor de Blasio. “We are proud to open this Excellence Center in the heart of Queens today as part of our commitment to come back from this pandemic stronger than ever.”
“We are so excited to open our second COVID-19 Center of Excellence in a community that has suffered so much during this pandemic,” said President and CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals Mitchell Katz, MD. “As we continue to learn more about the long-lasting health impacts of this pandemic, we’re being proactive to create medical homes for New Yorkers. This site will not only provide critical health support to those still recovering from COVID-19, but also provide new opportunities for this community to access high-quality, ongoing primary care.”
“Working with our partners under the emergency construction rules allowed during the pandemic, DDC was able to trim at least a year off the time it would normally take to construct a facility of this size and complexity,” said NYC Department of Design and Construction Commissioner Lorraine Grillo. “I want to thank Dr. Katz and Health + Hospitals for entrusting us with this important project, as well as similar projects in the Bronx and Brooklyn.”
The new COVID-19 Center of Excellence site, located at 37-50 72nd Street in Jackson Heights, Queens, is designed to meet the unique needs of patients recovering from COVID-19, including specialized services like pulmonary and cardiology care, radiology and diagnostic services, and mental health services. The 26,000 square-foot community health clinic will house 20 exam rooms, in addition to a digital imaging suite.
The site will also offer comprehensive primary care health services for Queens residents, including cancer screenings, dental and vision care, diabetes management, podiatry, adult medicine, pediatrics, and much more. In June 2020, Mayor de Blasio and the Taskforce on Racial Inclusion & Equity announced the opening of three COVID-19 Centers of Excellence in communities of color that have been hardest-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, Bushwick, Jackson Heights, and Tremont.
“Today, we take a step forward to see what the recovery from COVID-19 looks like. This new first of its kind COVID-19 Center of Excellence will offer care for all of the chronic conditions that can affect people after having COVID. This Center is another example of NYC Health + Hospitals fulfilling its commitment to fight back against COVID-19 and support New Yorkers’ health, especially in our hardest hit communities,” said Senior Vice President for Ambulatory Care at NYC Health + Hospitals Ted Long, MD, MHS. “We have been with New Yorkers every step of this pandemic, from wide-spread community testing to intensive care to now offering vaccines to eligible community members. This new Center of Excellence is the future for our recovery, and after everything we have been through, our communities deserve this.”
“I’m proud that we are able to offer comprehensive, high quality care to our community, especially those that have suffered the effects of COVID-19. This new, state-of-the art Community Center of Excellence demonstrates that we’ll be here to support the healthcare needs of our patients and fellow New Yorkers for the duration of their recovery and beyond” said NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health CEO Michelle Lewis.
Patients can be referred to the Queens COVID-19 Center of Excellence after a hospital visit or through their primary care provider to receive short- and long-term care to address their recovery from COVID-19. Positive COVID-19 test results, antibody or not, are not required to receive care at this site.
COVID-19 has had a disproportionate impact on communities of color, with Black and Latino New Yorkers dying around twice the rate of their white counterparts when adjusted for age. According to the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, in sections of Jackson Heights, Queens, approximately 37 percent of people who have been tested for COVID-19 have been positive for the virus. This is also true for approximately 30 percent of people in the Tremont section of the Bronx, and 25 percent of people in Bushwick, Brooklyn.
“Few locations in the city was harder hit at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic than the communities of Elmhurst, Corona and Jackson Heights — the epicenter of the epicenter of this unprecedented public health crisis,” said Queens Borough President Donovan Richards. “The new COVID-19 Center for Excellence in Jackson Heights will provide Queens residents with the critical care they need as they recover from COVID-19, and our borough is grateful for our ongoing partnership with NYC Health + Hospitals to keep our communities safe.”
“Having a COVID-19 Center of Excellence located in one of the neighborhoods at the epicenter of this pandemic builds on the resources we need to continue bringing to the communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19,” said Council Member Francisco Moya. “This center will ensure Queens COVID-19 patients have access to short- and long-term care as well as mental health services as they work to recover from the effects of the virus.”
“COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted immigrant and black and brown communities. Many of our members at Make the Road New York have lost lives and have struggled to put food on the table or afford their rent. We are relieved to see a new COVID-19 recovery center opening up in Jackson Heights, Queens, one of our city’s hardest hit neighborhoods. This center will provide comprehensive care in our community for patients recovering from COVID. This is a step in the right direction to ensure equitable access to health services,” said Theo Oshiro, Deputy Director at Make the Road New York.
“As a primary care provider, we recognize the importance of giving the community access to essential health services. This Covid Center of Excellence will provide much needed services and resources to people recovering Covid-19 in one location that makes it easier for them to navigate,” said Paloma Hernandez, President and CEO, Urban Health Plan.
“The pandemic has brought into blinding focus the inequities of our city. Not only was our community the epicenter of infection rates but has among the lowest access to healthcare. I applaud this effort to chip away at this problem by not only increasing Covid care capacity, but the ongoing preventive and primary care so desperately needed here,” said Annetta Seecharran, Executive Director of Chhaya Community Development Corporation.
NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Roosevelt will be open:
NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health opened the COVID-19 Center of Excellence in the Tremont section of the Bronx in November, 2020. Since the opening, over 600 unique patients have been seen at the Tremont site, with hundreds of specialty care referrals.
The Brooklyn Center of Excellence is scheduled to open in March 2021.
Visit https://www.nychealthandhospitals.org/covid-19-center-of-excellence/ to learn more about NYC Health + Hospitals’ COVID Centers of Excellence, or call 844-NYC-4NYC to make an appointment.