The city’s public hospital system, NYC Health + Hospitals, announced yesterday that the de Blasio Administration is pumping in $40 million into its system-wide primary and specialty care units in underserved communities including four units in Brooklyn and one in Queens.
The Brooklyn facilities are in Bushwick, Crown Heights, Bedford-Stuyvesant and Brownsville. The facility in Queens is in Jackson Heights.
“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 [including a facility in the Bronx and one in Staten Island] 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.”
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.
“Community health centers provide much-needed services for local residents across underserved neighborhoods in Brooklyn,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. “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 Brooklyn sites include:
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.
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
The Queens site includes:
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.