Will Expand Access to Care for More Than 50,000 New Yorkers in Underserved Neighborhoods in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx
NYC Health + Hospitals announced plans to build three new community-based health care centers that will provide comprehensive, one-stop ambulatory care services for more than 50,000 children and adults. The plans reflect the public health care system’s commitment to expand access to primary care in underserved and high-need neighborhoods, one of the core strategies outlined in “One New York: Health Care for Our Neighborhoods,” the transformational plan for NYC Health + Hospitals issued by Mayor Bill de Blasio in April 2016.
On October 25, the health system’s Board of Directors authorized the signing of three lease agreements that will clear the way for construction of full-service ambulatory care centers in Bushwick, Brooklyn, Jackson Heights, Queens, and Tremont, Bronx. The new health centers will occupy more than 100,000 square feet combined and will cost approximately $82 million to build. They are expected to open by 2021.
“We are pleased to approve these new lease agreements and support the health and wellness of thousands of underserved New Yorkers,” said Gordon Campbell, Acting Chair of NYC Health + Hospitals’ Board of Directors.
“Primary care and the other community-based services that these centers will provide are the foundation of our patient-centered approach and the growth engine of our financial sustainability plan,” said Mitchell Katz, MD, President and Chief Executive Officer of NYC Health + Hospitals. “It’s exciting to design and build new health care facilities from the ground up and in convenient locations that will make it easy for families to access the health care they need without having to leave their neighborhoods.”
“We have a clear vision for our public hospital system: Keep it strong for all New Yorkers by establishing much-needed access to affordable primary care in neighborhoods across the city,” said Dr. Herminia Palacio, Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services. “Under our Transformation agenda, Health + Hospitals is growing its primary care footprint in underserved communities, which will help us achieve our goal of improving health outcomes and closing health inequities.”
“Once inaugurated, the three newly announced community-based, full-service health care centers will help more than 50,000 New Yorkers in underserved neighborhoods, including the Tremont community, manage their health more effectively by ensuring direct access to comprehensive, quality primary medical care,” said State Senator Gustavo Rivera. “As the Ranking Member of the Senate Health Committee, I am encouraged that our City is expanding its network of community-based health care centers, which will help us close the health disparity gap that continues to plague low-income minority communities.”
“It is extremely important that we increase access to health care in the borough of Queens; as a result of the recommendations of the Berger Commission, hospitals have closed, and Queens needs more health care services to bridge the gap,” said State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky. “For far too long those living in underserved and high-need communities have experienced a dearth of quality health care options. I commend NYC Health + Hospitals for tackling this problem by announcing a future community-based full-service health care center in Jackson Heights. This center will reduce the burden facing our public hospitals by providing much needed ambulatory and primary care, along with a myriad of other health services. I hope that patients will use these facilities instead of emergency rooms. It will truly be a one-stop shop for health care needs that will go a long way to improve the health and wellness of all those in the community.”
“I am pleased that the Mayor’s office and NYC Health + Hospitals have begun the process to open three new community-based health care centers, including one in Jackson Heights,” said Assemblyman Michael DenDekker. “The need for additional access to health services is reaching a critical level, and these new full-service centers will give our communities more options and relieve the burden on our existing facilities, specifically NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst. I look forward to working with the community and stakeholders to help mold these new health care centers so that they address the diverse needs of our neighborhoods.”
“It’s great to see NYC Health + Hospitals continue its transformation to a community-based approach to medicine with these three new health care centers,” said Councilwoman Carlina Rivera, Chair of the Committee on Hospitals. “When it comes to non-life-threatening health issues, we have to get New Yorkers out of emergency rooms and connect them to primary care doctors who can provide them with the kind of long-term care and treatment plans that lead to healthier lives.”
“The approval of the new community health care center that will be housed at the new Tremont Renaissance affordable housing development will be part of an innovative model that connects health, housing, and food services all in one,” said Councilman Ritchie Torres. “This facility will serve thousands of residents who are in need of high-quality medical services tailored to their needs. I look forward to the partnership with NYC Health + Hospitals to ensure its success.”
The new health centers will feature a comprehensive, best-in-class, one-stop ambulatory care service model that will include pediatric and adult primary care, women’s health, behavioral health, dental services, age-appropriate screening exams, radiology, and optometry. Also under consideration are full-service pharmacies. The services available at each site will be refined through the community engagement process.
“With same-day access to all or most of the services patients need under one roof—and near where they live—our patients will miss less time from work and their families,” said Theodore Long, MD, MHS, Vice President for Ambulatory Care at NYC Health + Hospitals. “In the traditional model, making follow-up appointments can add time, inconvenience, and frustration to the process. Besides responding to the preferences of our patients—which is most important—this model moves NYC Health + Hospitals toward value-based purchasing through the delivery of all aspects of high-quality care on site.”
The three locations were carefully selected following NYC Health + Hospitals’ analysis of community needs and opportunity for growth. The locations are near public transportation, with two sites part of new complexes featuring affordable and market-rate housing and commercial establishments and one in a newly renovated building.
The locations are:
- 815 Broadway in Bushwick, Brooklyn
- 71-17 Roosevelt Avenue in Jackson Heights, Queens
- 1920 Webster Avenue in Tremont, Bronx
The new health centers are part of a larger series of initiatives announced in September to transform the health system’s vast ambulatory care operation, improve access to in-demand primary and specialty care, and reverse the recent trend of declining outpatient visits. The initiatives are laid out in a five-point strategy: build strong relationships between patients and their primary care clinicians, increase flexibility in appointment scheduling, improve clinic efficiency, reduce long wait times to specialty outpatient services, and increase revenue with new billing and coding practices. The strategy will be adopted across the public health system’s more than 70 community-based ambulatory care sites, including 11 hospital-based outpatient operations, which together provide more than five million outpatient visits to children and adults every year.