2012-02-24 / Community

Addabbo Expands To Red Hook

By Nicholas Briano

The community health network of the Joseph P. Addabbo Family Health Center announced this week they have agreed to purchase a primary care facility from New York Methodist Hospital in the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn.

The Rockaway based Joseph P. Addabbo Family Health Center has purchased South Brooklyn Health Center (SBHC) from New York Methodist Hospital (NYM). Addabbo plans to expand the services currently offered at the facility. Officials at Addabbo project volume to increase from 18,000 patient visits annually to 25,000 visits within three years.

The purchase was facilitated with $1.125 million in financing from the Primary Care Development Corporation (PCDC), a nonprofit organization certified by the U.S. Treasury as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). PCDC provides capital to build new facilities, expand practices, and upgrade outdated equipment. To date, PCDC’s programs have invested more than $360 million over 95 primary care capital projects in underserved communities across New York State.

Through referral agreements between New York Methodist and Addabbo, patients at the health center will continue to have ready access to the broad health services of the hospital as well, despite the change in management from Methodist to Addabbo.

“NYM has been providing top quality health care services to the community for more than 15 years. We look for the same commitment to quality from our partners,” Mark J. Mundy, president and CEO of New York Methodist, said in a statement. “When we were exploring ways to preserve and expand primary care services in Red Hook, having Addabbo operate the South Brooklyn Health Center made perfect sense.”

The move is a sort of homecoming for Addabbo’s leadership. Dr. Peter Nelson, CEO of the Joseph P. Addabbo Family Health Center, and Alfonso Yu Chan, MD, Addabbo’s Chief Medical Officer, both worked at SBHC more than 20 years ago. Addabbo has had positive experiences with rapid expansion of primary care facilities. It acquired the St. Dominic Health Center in Jamaica, Queens from the Caritas Health System in 2009. In one year of operation, visitors at that particular center increased by 400 percent.

“We are thrilled to be able to provide health care to Brooklyn’s Red Hook community after all of these years,” said Dr. Nelson in a statement. “The community has changed, but it still needs access to a full range of health services.

Together with the exemplary services offered by New York Methodist Hospital, that’s what we’re going to provide.”

“Health care in Brooklyn and around New York is rapidly changing, and providers have to forge new partnerships that put the community first. NYM and Addabbo came together to do just that,” said Ronda Kotelchuck, CEO of PCDC, which provides affordable financing and technical assistance to strengthen primary care capacity in underserved communities. “We are delighted we were able to provide resources to help preserve SBHC and expand vital community health services in Red Hook.”

The South Brooklyn Health Center in Red Hook was established in 1968 and has been operated by New York Methodist since 1997. The two-story, 12,000-square-foot medical office building was a former movie theater built in the early 1950s. SBHC has historically provided approximately 18,000 visits for 5,000 patients annually. Addabbo plans to increase visit volume by reconfiguring administrative offices into exam rooms and improving patient flow to reach their projected goals. Along with basic adult primary care services, pediatrics, and HIV/AIDS care currently being offered, Addabbo will provide OB/GYN, dental, podiatric, ophthalmologic and endocrinology services. They will also add 16 exam rooms, for a total of 26, and four dental operatories.

The Red Hook community is a federally designated “Primary Care Health Professional Shortage Area.” About 70 percent of SBHC patients are covered by Medicaid.

Joseph P. Addabbo Family Health Center was established in 1987 to provide comprehensive health care services to the poor, medically indigent and/or medically underserved population residing in southern Queens.

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