By Andrea Karshan
While hospitals continuing to struggle across the borough, the federal government appears to be moving towards full-service health clinics as alternatives.
Such is the case of Health Care Choices (HCC), Inc. which will cut the ribbon on their new facility, HCC-ENY, in East New York next month thanks to a $650,000 annual federal grant, which in turn is part of $9.7 million in awards that the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is allocating for similar clinics throughout the state.
“Health centers now provide primary care to one in fourteen people living in the United States,” said HRSA Acting Administrator Jim Macrae. “These awards mean that more communities than ever can count on a health center to help meet the increasing demand for primary care.”
The health clinic site is located at 179 Jamaica Avenue, and is HCC’s third site statewide and second in Brooklyn. The other borough location is at 6209 16th Avenue in Bensonhurst and offers comprehensive medical, dental and mental health care. All HCC centers offer a sliding-fee to those who do not have health insurance.
HCC-ENY will provide integrated, co-located, medical and mental health services to adults, teens, and young children in East New York. When operating at full capacity, HCC-ENY will serve 2,150 patients.
As with the 2 existing sites, this new access point will offer same-day appointment by phone or walk-in and advanced appointments. It will be open weekend and evening hours as an alternative to emergency rooms. The goal is to provide the community with a medical home that provides medical and specialty care to meet the needs of the population and become a regular place of care.
Additionally, HCC-ENY will put a special focus on care for the homeless, elderly, immigrant, special needs, low-income and the uninsured. This year the Community Health Center also began providing pediatric care at both its Brooklyn and Queens sites. In addition, these Health Centers offer on-site services in many of the area shelters. Services at HCC-ENY will be appropriate for all ages, so all family members will be able to receive their care at one health center.
HCC-ENY provides complete healthcare at one location. For example, a patient can visit the center with foot pain, see a doctor and express a mental issue and then be referred to a psychiatrist on site. This keeps patients from having to go from clinic to clinic for services. They can get services for a range of diagnoses at the center.
HCC CEO Maria Siebel expressed gratitude to HRSA for the grant which brings with it the opportunity to expand access to medical care for adults and children in the community, regardless of their ability to pay.
“HCC applies an integrated treatment approach to caring for individuals who previously had not had success with the traditional healthcare system due to a range of diagnoses and a lack of engagement,” said Siebel.
HCC plans to invite Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and other Brooklyn officials to the ribbon cutting event on July 19.