February 11, 2022
Video available at: https://youtu.be/xKSmJnqkniA
Third of Three, COVID-19 Centers of Excellence Provide Comprehensive Short- and Long-Term Care to Support Recovering COVID-19 Patients
Mayor Adams, New York City Test & Trace Corps Also Announce At-Home Testing Kits Will Be Available at Community Sites Across All Five Boroughs
NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams and NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health today opened the third of three COVID-19 Centers of Excellence — all three in communities of color hit hardest by the pandemic. The new community health clinic located in Bushwick, Brooklyn will support recovering COVID-19 patients beginning the week of February 14, 2022, and will provide comprehensive ambulatory services to the community. Mayor Adams also announced that 14 landmark city cultural sites and 27 branches of The New York Public Library, Queens Public Library, and Brooklyn Public Library will receive at-home COVID-19 test kits to provide to New Yorkers free of charge. Weekly walk-up distributions will begin next week, and a list of locations and hours will be available and updated daily on Test & Trace’s testing page.
“The opening of this third COVID-19 Center of Excellence is amazing news for New York City’s comeback,” said Mayor Adams. “It was in these neighborhoods that this pandemic hit New Yorkers the hardest and I’m proud that as we recover, the neighborhoods hit the hardest will have access to world-class health care and support.”
“We are so excited to open our third COVID-19 Center of Excellence in a community that has suffered so much during this pandemic,” said President and CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals Mitchell Katz, MD. “As we continue to learn more about the long-lasting health impacts of this pandemic, we’re being proactive to create medical homes for New Yorkers. This site will not only provide critical health support to those still recovering from COVID-19, but will also provide new opportunities for this community to access high-quality, ongoing primary care.”
“Our third COVID-19 Center of Excellence is another example of NYC Health + Hospitals fulfilling its commitment to beating back this pandemic and supporting New Yorkers’ health, especially in our hardest hit communities,” said Senior Vice President for Ambulatory Care at NYC Health + Hospitals and Executive Director of the NYC Test & Trace Corps Dr. Ted Long. “We have been with New Yorkers every step of this pandemic, from wide-spread community testing, intensive care, quarantine support, and even vaccinating them in the comfort of their home. This new site is the future, dedicated to the long-term impacts of this virus, to help all of us recover from the pandemic.”
“Working under the emergency construction rules in place for the pandemic, DDC was able to build three COVID-19 Centers of Excellence for the public hospital system in record time; several years faster than we could have under the usual lowest bidder contracting rules,” said New York City Department of Design and Construction (DDC) Commissioner Thomas Foley. “We are exploring ways we can work the same way for most projects in order to maximize taxpayer value. Thank you to the staff at DDC and H+H for their dedication and hard work and thank you to Mayor Adams for his support for communities in need.”
The new COVID-19 Center of Excellence site, located at 815 Broadway in Bushwick, Brooklyn, is designed to meet the unique needs of patients recovering from COVID-19, including specialized services like pulmonary and cardiology care, radiology and diagnostic services, and mental health services. The community health clinic will also include primary care and pediatrics, specialty medicine, behavioral health, dental and oral health needs, and state-of-the art digital imaging to provide comprehensive care to adult and pediatric patients.
The site will also offer comprehensive primary care health services for Brooklyn residents, including cancer screenings, dental and vision care, diabetes management, podiatry, adult medicine, pediatrics, and much more. The three COVID-19 Centers of Excellence were opened in communities of color that have been hardest-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, including Bushwick, Jackson Heights, and Tremont.
“I’m proud that we are able to offer comprehensive, high-quality care to our community, especially those that have suffered the effects of COVID-19,” said NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health CEO Michelle Lewis. “This new, state-of-the art community Center of Excellence demonstrates that we’ll be here to support the health care needs of our patients and fellow New Yorkers for the duration of their recovery and beyond.”
Patients can be referred to the Brooklyn COVID-19 Center of Excellence after a hospital visit or through their primary care provider to receive short- and long-term care to address their recovery from COVID-19. Positive COVID-19 test results, antibody or not, are not required to receive care at this site.
COVID-19 has had a disproportionate impact on communities of color, with Black and Latino New Yorkers dying at approximately twice the rate of their white counterparts when adjusted for age. According to the latest NYC.GOV data, one of every three residents in Bushwick has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
“Health care has always been a vital component to improving the quality of life for people worldwide,” said New York State Assemblymember Maritza Davila. “The COVID-19 pandemic has brought us to the realization of how imperative it is to take comprehensive measures and prepare for public-health crisis, such as the one we are experiencing today. With that said, the opening of the third COVID-19 Center of Excellence facility will further meet the needs of patients recovering from COVID-19, both short-term and long-term, while also providing dental, vision, and primary care services — the need is very high. Although the pandemic has subsided, we still have work to do. As we continue to monitor and deal with this issue, ensuring these clinics are in our backyard is the first step to the betterment of health and safety for all.”
“It is with a true sense of joy and appreciation that I welcome the opening of the COVID-19 Center of Excellence in Brooklyn, and specifically, within the district I proudly represented previously,” said Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso. “This community health clinic will not only help address historical health disparities prevalent in communities of color, but also support the residents of Bushwick for the duration of the pandemic. We’re immensely grateful for NYC Health + Hospitals’ work during the pandemic — from saving severely ill patients’ lives to ensuring access to testing, vaccines, boosters, and more."
“The COVID-19 pandemic has truly exacerbated health disparities in communities of color and highlighted the need to invest in both our hospital infrastructure and community-based health centers,” said New York City Councilmember Mercedes Narcisse. “Having the new COVID-19 Center of Excellence in communities hardest hit by the pandemic will allow for a supportive and effective setting for patients and their families who are dealing with long term COVID and a myriad of health issues. As a nurse and chair of the Committee on Hospitals, I am ecstatic to have this center in Brooklyn, and I look forward to working together to continue the efforts to ensure the most vulnerable communities have equitable access to high-quality, ongoing primary care.”
NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health opened the COVID-19 Centers of Excellence in the Tremont section of the Bronx in November 2020 and in the Jackson Heights section of Queens in February of 2021.
New Yorkers can visit NYC Health + Hospitals’ COVID Centers of Excellence online to learn more, or call 844-NYC-4NYC to make an appointment.