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Press Releases

NYC Health + Hospitals Expands Access to Primary and Specialty Care through Health Centers in Underserved Communities

Enhancements funded by the City will serve 42,000 more patients

Access to primary care and behavioral health care at seven locations

Oct 25, 2017

Brooklyn, NY

NYC Health + Hospitals announced today system-wide primary and specialty care expansion in underserved communities in four boroughs, reflecting $40 million in City investment. Collectively, the seven sites will serve 48,000 New Yorkers, or some 42,000 more patients than before the expansion.

The announcement was made at a ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrating an upgraded community health center in Bushwick, one of five NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health community health centers that have been refurbished. Renovated with more than $10 million in funding from New York City’s Caring Neighborhoods Initiative, these five health centers will offer an improved patient experience and access to more patients. The five sites are in Brooklyn (in Bushwick, Crown Heights, and Brownsville), the Bronx (Tremont), and Queens (Jackson Heights).

In addition, two completely new sites are scheduled to open this winter. They will be in Brooklyn (Bedford) and Staten Island (Clifton). The creation of the Bedford health center is supported with $1.4 million in Caring Neighborhoods Initiative funding. Funding for the creation of the Staten Island health center includes $20 million from New York City’s Primary Care Expansion Initiative and $8 million from the New York City Council.

“Mayor de Blasio has demonstrated his commitment to providing equal access to health care,” said Stanley Brezenoff, interim president and chief executive officer of NYC Health + Hospitals. “These seven sites will better connect tens of thousands of New Yorkers to primary and specialty care, promoting wellness and care management, as well as smoother transitions to other care when needed—goals that are important to the long-term transformation of our health system.”

“Our investment in ambulatory care is focused on underserved communities in our city because where you live shouldn’t determine how long you live or how well you live,” said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Dr. Herminia Palacio. “These services are designed to meet the city’s local community needs.”

“Community health centers provide much-needed services for local residents across underserved neighborhoods in Brooklyn,” said Eric Adams, Brooklyn Borough President. “NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health centers in Bushwick, Crown Heights, and Brownsville, as well as the new clinic in Bedford-Stuyvesant, can better serve patients and make lasting change in people’s lives through expanded and improved care. The greater investments we allocate to these locally based health centers, the better we will be at intervening in health issues and expanding the scope of preventative health.”

“Mayor de Blasio’s Caring Neighborhoods Initiative continues to bring accessible and affordable primary care services to families who are in desperate need of basic health care,” said Senator Martin Malavé Dilan. “Today’s expansion of services at NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health is living proof.”

While services available at the sites differ, all seven will offer primary care and behavioral health care, which community assessments consistently show is needed. Each health center partners with one of the public hospitals, which share electronic medical record systems to make continuity of care seamless.

The Seven Sites

Bushwick, 335 Central Avenue, Brooklyn (investment: $4.0 million)
The NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health center in Bushwick will increase its service offerings from pediatrics and women’s health to also include cardiology, podiatry, and optometry, as well as behavioral health. General ultrasound service will also be available. In addition to its regular business hours on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, it will also offer evening hours on Mondays. The upgraded facility is expected to record more than three times as many patient visits as before the renovation.

Crown Heights, 1218 Prospect Place, Brooklyn (investment $0.8 million)
The health center is expanding its services beyond pediatrics to offer family medicine and behavioral health services. “With the expansion of services into a full-blown family practice, it is nice for the entire family to be seen here,” said Dr. Carla Howard, pediatrician at the Crown Heights facility. “I have worked here since 2001, and it has been a pleasure to treat neighborhood kids who now have kids themselves.”

Brownsville, 259 Bristol Avenue, Brooklyn (investment $3.2 million)
In addition to its original pediatric services, this refurbished health center will offer family medicine, behavioral health, cardiology, endocrinology, and optometry, as well diagnostic services, including cardiovascular ultrasound and ECHO.

Bedford, 485 Throop Avenue, Brooklyn (investment $2.9 million)
Scheduled to open this winter, this new practice will offer family medicine and behavioral health services

Tremont, 1826 Arthur Avenue, Bronx (investment $1.2 million)
The health center offers family medicine and behavioral health services, and it features 13 examination rooms, new medical equipment, and a more patient-friendly ambiance.

Jackson Heights, 34-33 Junction Boulevard, Queens (investment $3.9 million) Announced in September, this refurbished health center is expanding the formerly pediatrics-only practice to include women’s health, behavioral health, adult primary care, and family medicine. Along with its regular weekday hours, it will also offer evening hours on Mondays.

Clifton, 165 Vanderbilt Avenue, Staten Island (investment $28 million)
Scheduled to open this winter, this new health center will offer pediatrics, women’s health, behavioral health, asthma care, diabetes care, radiology (x-ray, ultrasound, and mammography), ophthalmology, and podiatry. It will feature weekday and Saturday hours, as well as an urgent care center to supplement services after regular hours. The components of the modular construction are already being put in place in its future location.

The Caring Neighborhoods Initiative was announced in October 2015, with its goal to significantly increase primary care access for thousands of residents in underserved neighborhoods across New York City. Through the Caring Neighborhoods Initiative, the City provided $12 million in capital support to NYC Health + Hospitals to create or expand primary care centers in high-need neighborhoods.

The Caring Neighborhoods Initiative also aligns with the transformation efforts underway at NYC Health + Hospitals. One of the health system’s strategies to achieve the goal of expanding community-based services is to invest in community-based care in underserved neighborhoods.

NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health provides outpatient health services through its 38 sites, which include six main diagnostic and treatment centers, their 18 neighborhood health centers, and 14 school-based sites.