MAYOR DE BLASIO ANNOUNCES PLANS FOR A $65 MILLION COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTER IN FLUSHING

77,000 square-foot facility will bring healthcare to 25,000 underserved New Yorkers as part of the Mayor’s Caring Neighborhoods Initiative

NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio Tuesday announced plans for Healthview, a 77,000 square-foot medical facility that will be part of the Mayor’s Caring Neighborhoods Initiative in Flushing, Queens. Operated by the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center, the new center will provide care to over 25,000 underserved New Yorkers and create over 140 new jobs in the first three years of operation.

“All New Yorker deserves equal access to healthcare and this state-of-the art facility means the tens of thousands of people in booming Flushing will get the primary care they need. As we work to make this city more equitable we are focused on neighborhoods that have been overlooked – and righting wrongs,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

“The Charles B. Wang Community Health Center is fully committed to providing affordable and culturally competent healthcare services to the people of Flushing and neighboring Queens,” said First Lady Chirlane McCray, who leads the City’s mental health and substance misuse efforts. “Healthview is a wonderful example of how we strengthen a community by closing treatment gaps and addressing mental and physical health needs.”

Healthview will be located at 40th Road and College Point Boulevard amid Flushing’s bustling retail, transportation, and residential hub. The project will be a state-of-the-art, environmentally friendly facility designed to ensure primary care is available to all, regardless of ability to pay or immigration status. Healthview will serve as a primary care access point with clinicians spanning the fields of internal medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics, gynecology, psychiatry, behavioral health and family dentistry.

As part of the Mayor’s Caring Neighborhoods initiative, the City is providing $1 million for the $65 million Healthview project through the New York City Economic Development Corporation’s Community Health Center Expansion Program. Other public funding comes from Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, whose office contributed $3 million, and the New York City Council, who helped secure $2 million for the project, and. A groundbreaking for the center expected this fall.

Caring Neighborhoods is a vital part of the administration’s commitment to reduce health disparities by building primary care capacity in neighborhoods where New Yorkers have faced limited options for convenient and affordable health care services. The City has committed $20 million to cover pre-development and start-up operating costs for new health centers. In total, over 100,000 new patients will be able to receive care in their own neighborhoods thanks to the community health centers expanded through Caring Neighborhoods.

“I am excited that we will be expanding our healthcare services for the Flushing community. There are many residents of Flushing who still lack access to affordable primary care services, particularly mental health and dental services,” said Jane T. Eng, President and CEO of Charles B. Wang Community Health Center. “The new site, located at College Point Boulevard and 40th Road, will meet some of this increasing demand. The Charles B. Wang Community Health Center provides services to patients regardless of their ability to pay. We are proud to be an anchor employer, providing job opportunities for community members. We appreciate all of the support from elected officials including Mayor DeBlasio, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, New York State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, New York State Assembly Member Ron Kim, New York State Assembly Member Nily Rozic, New York City Council Member Peter Koo, New York City Council Member Margaret Chin, New York City Council Member Corey Johnson, New York City Council Member Paul Vallone and all the other government officials at the city, state, and federal level who have supported us.”

“Access to quality healthcare is an essential piece of any strong neighborhood,” said NYCEDC President James Patchett. “That’s why we’re committed to helping the city’s health centers grow their reach through our Community Health Center Expansion Program. And with the healthcare industry employing more New Yorkers than any other sector, Healthview will not only provide much-needed care to thousands more patients, it will also bring more than a hundred new jobs to the local economy.”

“Increasing access to affordable, quality health care in neighborhoods across the city will allow communities to become healthier and reduce health disparities,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett. “The Charles B. Wang Community Health Center is a well-established provider that not only engages its patients to improve their health, but it engages the community at large to create a healthier environment for all.”

“Neighborhoods like Flushing, which has large numbers of immigrants and seniors, have been historically underserved when it comes to healthcare,” said Queens Borough President Melinda Katz. “The new facility will help serve the needs of growing families as well as create jobs and fuel our borough’s economy. In partnership with the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center, this facility will also have the expertise to overcome cultural and language barriers and ensure that more New Yorkers have access to quality care.”

“This undertaking by the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center to make sure all have access to primary care is a great example of a community health center fulfilling its mission to provide quality and affordable health care to the underserved. The medical community in Flushing continues to thrive, and it is important that we provide culturally-specific access to affordable health care to everyone in our community, especially those underserved immigrants who are looking for quality care. I was proud to work with my colleagues in the City Council to advocate on behalf of funding this important service, and would like to thank the Mayor’s office and everyone involved in turning this center into a world-class medical facility right here in Flushing,” Council Member Peter Koo said.

“For over 40 years, the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center has done an outstanding job in providing critical health services to New Yorkers and the new Healthview project will allow it to serve area residents even better,” said U.S. Rep. Grace Meng. “This new facility will be a huge boost for Flushing, ensuring that thousands of underserved residents have access to critical health services while providing jobs and stimulating the local economy. I thank the de Blasio Administration for investing in it. I look forward to this important facility benefiting the community for many years to come.”

“With healthcare for over 3 million New Yorkers in jeopardy, it is critical that more options are available for the people of Queens.” said Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, a member of the Senate’s Health committee. “I am pleased to see a Federally Qualified Health Center (FHQC) opening here in Flushing. The Charles B. Wang Health Center plays an intricate role, and has a proven track record in providing much needed health services to over 20,000 patients a year, in Flushing. I appreciate the Mayor and the First Lady’s support of the Charles B. Wang Health Center.”

“On behalf of the residents of Assembly District 40, I offer Mayor Bill de Blasio a warm welcome to our neighborhood. His administration’s support for local organizations like the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center (CBWCHC), a nonprofit federally qualified health center dedicated to serving the underserved, has had a tremendous impact on the members of our community. I also congratulate the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center on the planned construction of its new health facility. It is truly heartening that, even in the face of a potential repeal of the ACA, we can still take important steps to protect and even improve medical care and services for our fellow New Yorkers,” Assembly Member Ron Kim said.

“Flushing and the surrounding area face great challenges when it comes to receiving medical care and other health related services. Community health centers not only provide affordable care but do so in a way that is sensitive to the cultural needs of each neighborhood. I commend Mayor de Blasio for investing in the Caring Neighborhood Initiative and for prioritizing those areas that need it most,” said Council Member Julissa Ferreras-Copeland.

“Creating more community-based health services in high-need areas is the key to erasing our city’s health disparities,” said Council Member Corey Johnson, Chair of the Health Committee. “This administration is working to guarantee that every New Yorker can get the help they need in their own neighborhood from professionals who understand their community. I applaud Mayor de Blasio for ensuring that the needs of all New Yorkers are met and the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center for being such a willing and capable partner for our City.”

“Federally Qualified Health Centers like the Charles B. Wang CHC are a critical health care resource for the tens of thousands of New Yorkers that they serve,” said Council Member Paul Vallone. “At a time when the Affordable Care Act is in danger of being repealed, we must continue to invest in these centers which service all patients regardless of language barriers, culture or ability to pay.”

For more than forty years, Charles B. Wang Community Health Centers have been providing high quality, affordable, and culturally competent health care services, primarily to New York City’s Asian American community. CBWCHC connects underserved patients with critical medical, dental, mental health, education and social services. The majority of the health center’s employees are bilingual and bicultural; many are from the community being served and share the same background and demographics as the patient population.

As part of Caring Neighborhood’s strategic approach to expanding primary care, NYCEDC’s Community Health Center Expansion Program provides a range of support to Federally Qualified Health Centers. There are over 30 non-profit health centers that already provide high-quality primary care in New York City and seek to expand their services in high-needs neighborhoods. This program seeks to accelerate the creation of these health centers by making available on a competitive basis up to $8 million in grants, real estate assistance to help identify new health center sites in underserved neighborhoods including potentially City-affiliated properties, and one-on-one technical assistance, among other benefits. The program has supported the opening of four new FQHCs across the City to date. They include  Union Community Health Center, in Van Nest, and the Damian Family Care Centers serving Hunts Point and Mott Haven,  the William F. Ryan Community Health Network – Ryan / Frederick Douglass Community Health Center in Harlem and Housing Works Community Healthcare – Keith D. Cylar Community Health Center in the East Village. The initiative will open at least four more throughout its lifetime.

This effort is the latest in NYCEDC’s portfolio of programs to generate shared prosperity for all New Yorkers. As the City’s primary engine for economic growth, NYCEDC is committed to strengthening neighborhoods and growing quality jobs by building community assets and ensuring that those community assets – like community health centers – have the resources to scale up.

In addition to City support provided through the Community Health Center Expansion Program, CBWCHC has received grants and donations for the new Healthview facility from partners including New York City Council, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, and the Chinatown Health Clinic Foundation.

The Caring Neighborhoods initiative complements the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s initiative to support the integration of public health and primary care in high-need neighborhoods by revitalizing its underutilized buildings to co-locate community-based organizations and providers of medical, dental and mental health services. It also complements the administration’s work to improve healthcare access for immigrant New Yorkers, as detailed in a report by the Mayor’s Task Force on Immigrant Health Care Access.

For more about the Healthview project, visit Charles B. Wang Community Health Center’s website: www.cbwchc.org

Source: Mayor’s Press Office

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