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Press Releases

NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull Opens North Brooklyn’s First Health Center for LGBTQ Patients

Dec 20, 2017

Edward Fishkin, MD, Chief Medical Officer, NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull; NYS Assemblywoman Maritza Davila; First Lady Chirlane McCray; Gregory Calliste, CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull; Dovear Calhoun, Pride Health Center patient (Credit: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)
Brooklyn, NY

Gregory Calliste, CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull, announced today the opening of the hospital’s, and North Brooklyn’s, first comprehensive health center dedicated to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning/queer (LGBTQ) patients. The new health center will focus on providing patient-centered and culturally sensitive health services to LGBTQ communities, in an environment that will aim to remove barriers to care for New York City’s LGBTQ youth and adults. The new Pride Health Center is the public health system’s second, reflecting a commitment to LGBTQ New Yorkers that has earned the system national recognition by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation as “Leaders in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality.”

The Pride Health Center at NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull will provide LGBTQ-affirming care to the community in Brooklyn by a team of providers specially trained in the care of LGBTQ patients. Services will include primary care, OB/GYN, behavioral health, dental services, ophthalmology, hormone therapy, testing for sexually transmitted infections and HIV, and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). In addition, post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) preventive services are available during clinic hours and through the hospital’s emergency department.

LGBTQ New Yorkers can access care at the Pride Health Center at NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull Mondays from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm., with plans to expand to meet patient volume. In addition to clinic hours, LGBTQ-affirming care is available 24/7 at the hospital.

“The opening of The Pride Health Center is another step in our ongoing journey of ensuring all New Yorkers have access to culturally competent, high-quality health care,” said Gregory Calliste, CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull. “We are proud to be a partner with the LGBTQ community.”

“At a time when health care services are under attack, The Pride Health Center at NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull in Brooklyn will be a safe haven for countless LGBTQ New Yorkers,” said First Lady Chirlane McCray, who spearheads the NYC Unity Project. “NYC Health + Hospitals is leading the way to secure freedom and equality for the City’s LGBTQ community with affordable, culturally competent mental and physical health care.”

Brooklyn continues to be home to one of the largest LGBTQ communities in the country. Historically, members of these communities have been underserved in health care, lacking access to the affirming and high-quality health care they deserve.

“At the core of NYC Health + Hospitals’ mission is to offer quality, equitable care in a safe and welcoming environment to all New Yorkers, including our vibrant LGBTQ community,” said Matilde Roman, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, NYC Health + Hospitals. “We are deeply committed to ensure our patients see NYC Health + Hospitals as a safe haven, and are proud of the tremendous strides NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull is making to advance affirming health services to the LGBTQ community in Northern Brooklyn.”

“This has been a long time coming,” said Valerie Santangelo, NP, The Pride Health Center, NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull. “The Pride Health Center at NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull is enabling the hospital to fulfill our vision of being a partner in health with the LGBTQ community, providing health care in an affirming and meaningful way.”

NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull is one of 22 health system locations to be designated “Leaders in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality” by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. The hospital has received the designation since 2014 for providing equitable, knowledgeable, and affirming care to the LGBTQ community.

NYC Health + Hospitals has long been a leader in caring for LGBTQ patients and continues its commitment to providing staff with specialized trainings to ensure LGBTQ patients who seek care at any location across the health system receive responsive health care in a welcoming environment. The health system was recently highlighted as part of First Lady Chirlane McCray’s NYC Unity Project, the City’s first-ever, multi-agency strategy to deliver unique services to LGBTQ youth.

NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan was the first public hospital to open a health center dedicated to the health care of LGBTQ patients and last year announced the expansion of health services for transgender patients, including gender-affirming surgeries and increased access to hormone therapy. The Pride Health Center at NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan will continue to provide its services, alongside the new health center at NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull.

“We are delighted to offer high-quality, comprehensive care to about 78,000 LGBTQ residents who call Brooklyn home and who may not have found an affirming medical home to meet their needs,” said Edward Fishkin, MD, Chief Medical Officer, NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull.

“I thank NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull for their work on making the new Pride Health Center a reality. We have come a long way in the past two decades from the days when LGBTQ people could not see their partner in the hospital, or were forced to hide their sexual orientation or gender identity from their doctor,” said Eric Adams, Brooklyn Borough President. “Now we can proudly say that Brooklyn is the home of many hospitals that provide comprehensive LGBTQ health services, counseling, and research. We must continue the hard work to ensure all of our medical staff across the borough from large hospitals to small primary care facilities receive full training and provide care for the LGBTQ community.”

“NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull has been a health care pioneer in many areas, and I’m proud to see them open our neighborhood’s first LGBTQ dedicated, comprehensive health practice. This facility will mean that our LGBTQ community will have health services meeting their needs, reducing barriers to care for a population that is too frequently marginalized,” said Representative Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY).

“Brooklyn is a diverse community, and NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull has always gone above and beyond to provide all a safe and welcoming health care environment,” said Senator Martin Malavé Dilan. “Quality care is only as good as your access to it, and The Pride Health Center is no exception. There is a demand, and its specialized care is necessary; Brooklyn’s LGBTQ community has every right to that. I sincerely thank NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull for providing it.”

“I applaud NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull’s bold initiative to open a comprehensive LGBTQ health service center here in North Brooklyn,” said Assemblymember Maritza Davila. “As we move forward into the 21st century it is imperative that we strive to build an inclusive society that respects and embraces individuals of all walks of life.”

“Congratulations to NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull for taking a very important step. By launching the first comprehensive health center dedicated to LGBTQ patients, they are truly creating a health environment that is sensitive to the needs of our community. The Pride Health Center will serve as a great example throughout the country that New York City always leads the way, both in health and culture,” said Assemblyman Joseph R. Lentol.

“We are proud and excited that NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull hospital continues to be a leader in specialized health care that is tailored to fit the needs of our diverse communities,” said Assemblywoman Tremaine Wright. “We have a pioneering legacy in Bedford Stuyvesant and Crown Heights and I am certain that The Pride Health Care Center at NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull will be a model program. Congratulations to all of the administration and staff who have made this possible.”

“In a region as vibrant and diverse as Brooklyn, public institutions must ensure they are able to address a wide range of culturally-specific needs,” said Councilman Robert Cornegy. “NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull has ably taken up the mantle of providing culturally-sensitive health care for many years. The addition of a dedicated LGBTQ health center further demonstrates their continued commitment to being at the forefront of addressing this area’s health care needs in a comprehensive way.”

“The Pride Health Center at NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull is a welcomed addition to the community. This will be the first comprehensive health center dedicated specifically to LGBTQ patients in North Brooklyn,” said Council Member Stephen Levin. “From OB/GYN services to PrEP and preventative services, this health center will provide patient-centered, culturally sensitive health services in a safe, welcoming environment. I wish the team at NYC Health + Hospitals and NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull the best on their opening and look forward to visiting the center in the future.”

“NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull continues to blaze the way for responsible and comprehensive health care in the City of New York,” said Council Member Antonio Reynoso. “The announcement of their new center dedicated to LGBTQ patients is a milestone for our district and for our City as a whole. The vast array of services will be inclusive and staffed by providers who are trained to bring forth this necessary care with relevance and sensitivity. I continue to be impressed by the quality and access NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull stands for. I applaud their commitment to a healthier City.”

Building on NYC Unity Project

In the face of dangerous, divisive rhetoric and policies coming from the Trump administration targeting the nation’s LGBTQ communities, the First Lady unveiled the NYC Unity Project in September 2017 – the City’s bold commitment and multi-agency strategy to deliver comprehensive services to LGBTQ youth. The official launch of the Pride Health Center at NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull builds on the collaborative work and leadership of NYC Health + Hospitals and the NYC Unity Project to provide comprehensive individual and family-based primary care to LGBTQ New Yorkers and eliminate barriers in accessing care. The NYC Unity Project prioritized trainings and a certification program for 500 NYC Health + Hospitals physicians to provide optimal and affirming health care to LGBTQ communities. As of December 2017, the Project has already enrolled more than 500 direct service providers in this brand new curriculum. A key highlight of the Project’s progress is increasing capacity to provide comprehensive care for transgender and non-binary pediatric and adolescent patients and their families. Five NYC Health + Hospitals locations have already been identified as participating sites for intensive trainings beginning January 2018.

The Pride Health Center at NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull is located in Room 2B-151 at 760 Broadway, Brooklyn. Patients can make an appointment or walk-in for care. To get more information or make an appointment, call 718-963-8068.