Institute for Family Health Opens Family Health Center of Harlem

On the afternoon of Monday, December 17th, the Institute for Family Health opened the Family Health Center of Harlem, a newly-renovated, 37,000 square foot health care facility located at 1824 Madison Avenue at 119th Street. The new center will provide approximately 80,000 visits annually to patients of all ages, including primary care, women’s health and prenatal care, mental health and dental care. The center also offers podiatry, cardiology, ophthalmology and HIV care. The site boasts 35 medical exam rooms, 14 dental operatories, a 13-room counseling center, program space for pregnant and postpartum nutrition assistance (WIC), and community rooms for health education classes and meetings.

The center utilizes a health care model that features electronic patient records which patients can access through a secure website, and self-check-in kiosks. As the facility’s senior practice administrator, Elizabeth Figueroa, noted in an article about the center’s opening, these technologies allow for a streamlined approach to care such that “once you arrive, everything revolves around the patient.” The article can be viewed here.

The renovated building will also serve as the home of the new Harlem Residency in Family Medicine. The residency is affiliated with the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, which was developed jointly by Mount Sinai and the Institute. Beginning in 2015, the residency will graduate 12 family physicians annually, many of whom are expected to continue to practice in Harlem and other New York City communities.

“As the newest site in our network of nearly 30 community health center facilities, the new Family Health Center of Harlem will enhance the community’s access to outpatient primary care health services, mental health services and dental services,” said Neil Calman, MD, president & CEO of the Institute for Family Health. “It will also provide superb training for family medicine residents as well as dentists and social work students.”

The Institute opened its Harlem practice in July 2010 in an effort to preserve the community’s access to critical primary health services following the abrupt closing of North General Hospital. Since that time, services have been provided at the former hospital building, at 1879 Madison Avenue. In collaboration with the New York State Department of Health, the Institute was able to acquire and renovate the hospital’s “Annex” building, at 1824 Madison Avenue, to serve as the permanent location for the Harlem practice. The building was custom-designed to the Institute’s specifications to support the agency’s innovative model of service delivery.

The center is now open weekdays until 10pm, as well as 8am to 8pm on Saturdays and Sundays.