HHC has announced a three-year, $15 million plan to expand access to medical care for low-income and uninsured residents of Staten Island, including the growing population of undocumented immigrants.
The plan includes $850,000 for a new mobile medical service van, $300,000 to expand breast cancer screening through Women’s Outreach Network, $4.8 million to support two expansion sites for the independently-run Community Health Center of Richmond, and $6.5 million for a new adult and pediatric primary and specialty care health center at 155 Vanderbilt Avenue.
“HHC’s expansion plan is consistent with the pledge made over the last year to increase primary and targeted specialty care services to the low income and uninsured residents of Staten Island,” said HHC President Alan D. Aviles. “HHC appreciates the input and advocacy of the many community organizations and elected officials, especially the leadership of New York State Senator Andrew Lanza, in helping to craft this plan and fulfill our mission on Staten Island.”
Increased access to public healthcare in Staten Island took off two years ago when HHC invested $1.8 million to create the innovative Staten Island Health Access program (SIHA), to bridge the health care needs of North Shore residents until the new Community Health Center of Richmond was established and its service capacity expanded.
An additional $2 million will extend the program through June 30, 2008. SIHA supports doctors’ visits, diagnostic and lab services, and prescription drugs, including breast and colon cancer screenings. More than 2,800 uninsured Staten Islanders have taken advantage of the SIHA program and more than 500 individuals have been assisted with obtaining government-sponsored health insurance since it began in December 2005.
HHC is not a newcomer to Staten Island. The new initiatives build on $10 million in recent investments made by HHC, including the establishment and support of the Community Health Center of Richmond. HHC spends nearly $40 million annually to operate the Sea View Hospital Rehabilitation Center and Home, which has been providing long term care and rehabilitation services to the island’s seniors for nearly 40 years. HHC also runs the Mariner’s Harbor and Stapleton Child Health Centers to provide care to Staten Island’s youngest residents. The Mariner's Harbor clinic has been recently relocated and renovated with $400,000 of City Council funds championed by Councilmember Michael McMahon.