Institute for Family Health Will Open Community Health Center at North General Facility on Tuesday, July 6
Plan Will Preserve Critical “Safety Net” Health Services for Harlem Community
New York, NY (June 29, 2010) – The Institute for Family Health announced its plan today to provide critical health services for Harlem residents served by North General Hospital, which will close this week. The Institute has federal and state approval to open a community health center in the North General building which will begin operations on Tuesday, July 6. The health center, which will accept all patients regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay, will offer outpatient services including urgent care, primary and preventive health care, behavioral health, dental and many specialty services.
“The Institute will open its doors and begin seeing patients formerly served by North General next Tuesday, July 6,” said Dr. Neil Calman, the Institute’s president and CEO. “As a federally-funded community health center, it is the Institute’s mission to provide high-quality primary care services that are accessible and affordable for community residents. The Institute currently operates 24 medical practices in New York State, and we provide health care to over 80,000 state residents annually. Our new health center at the North General facility will preserve the community’s access to outpatient health services virtually without interruption.”
Founded in 1983, The Institute for Family Health is a federally-qualified community health center (FQHC) network that provides primary health services to medically underserved populations. The organization’s 13-member Board of Directors now includes 10 patient representatives from the communities where it operates health centers, and will recruit two additional board members from the North General community. As an FQHC, the Institute receives federal funding to subsidize care for uninsured and under-insured patients, and will use a portion of this funding to provide care to uninsured patients at a new family health center at North General.
All of the Institute’s health centers in Manhattan, the Bronx and the Hudson Valley provide a full range of primary medical care, specialty care, dental services, mental health, and support services either directly or by referral. In addition to those services mentioned above, primary care services available at the new center at North General will include chronic disease management, family planning, gynecological care, HIV testing and treatment, immunizations, hearing and vision screening, social services, and nutrition services. The Institute will also offer insurance enrollment, translation, and subsidized prescription drug coverage to qualifying patients. Under the Institute’s management, clinicians at the new health center will use Epic, a state-of-the-art electronic health record system, which has been shown to improve the quality of care that patients receive.
The Institute is a cutting-edge primary care provider with a long history of serving diverse urban communities. All Institute centers are recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance as Level 3 Patient Centered Medical Homes and are fully accredited by the Joint Commission.
The new health center at the North General facility will open with staff and clinicians from the Institute’s other New York City health centers, former employees of North General Hospital who meet requirements of the new positions, and others being recruited from the community. The Institute plans to phase in services at the new health center, and will hire clinical and administrative staff on an ongoing basis as services expand. Yesterday, the Institute began interviewing existing North General staff who chose to apply for positions at the new health center.
In a statement yesterday, State Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines, M.D., said: “It is clearer than ever that effective, quality health care should not begin with a hospital visit. Our communities need well-developed primary and preventive care to improve the community’s health status and avoid hospitalization when appropriate. The Governor, North General’s Board and management, DASNY and the Department of Health address this with the important partnership with the FQHC and the exploration of redevelopment options.”
For more information about the Institute for Family Health, visit www.institute2000.org.