The Institute for Community Living(ICL) and Community Healthcare Network(CHN), joined by Councilmember Rafael Espinal and community leaders, celebrated the opening of the East New York Health Hub, a 40,000-square-foot health and community center on the border of East New York and Brownsville.
The $30 million health hub will take a uniquely holistic approach to tackle the community’s health disparities by providing services addressing both physical and mental health, as well as socio-economic issues affecting well-being like housing, jobs and access to healthy food.
“Physical and mental health are inextricably linked, yet efforts to provide an integrated approach to care in this country continue to be limited,” said David Woodlock, president and CEO of ICL. “The center takes a whole-person approach, looking at how early life events and the social determinants of health—like economic instability, housing issues, crime and institutional racism—affect health. It is only when we consider all of these factors that we can begin to work with communities to help get people better.”
According to a report by LISC New York and Hester Street Collaborative, residents of East New York and Brownsville have among the city’s poorest health outcomes and the least access to care. The report found that Brownsville has the second highest rate of psychiatric hospitalizations in the city, East New York has the 10th highest; 10 percent of residents in both communities have a history of depression.
Brownsville also has the highest rate of premature mortality — death before age 65 — with 367 deaths per 100,000 residents, while East New York has the 9th highest with 279 deaths. Residents in these neighborhoods suffer disproportionally from diabetes, high cholesterol and obesity.
To address both the socio-economic and clinical determinants of health outcomes, the East New York Hub will provide primary and mental health care, care coordination, housing services, nutritional support, job placement, youth and parent advocacy.
“The seriously mentally ill die 20 to 25 years earlier than the rest of us. Why? Because they don’t get the health care that ICL’s Hub can provide,” said Dr. Ann Marie Sullivan, NYS Office of Mental Health commissioner. “We need to use this as a model so that people realize that integrated care is where the rubber meets the road and everything comes together.”
Beginning Monday, November 5, the East New York Health Hub will be open Mondays through Fridays, 8:00am – 9:00pm, and Saturdays from 8:30pm – 5:00pm. Walk-ins are welcome, but to make an appointment call (718) 495-6700.