Ribbon Cutting to Commemorate Neighborhood Health Centers Newest Site in Blasdell NY

Western New York community leaders in health, local elected officials and surrounding community members joined Neighborhood Health Center staff, board members, patients and stakeholders for a ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the official opening of the new 38,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art medical facility in Blasdell. The new medical center will significantly expand quality health services to the residents of the Blasdell, Lackawanna and South Buffalo communities. The Neighborhood Health Center expansion to Blasdell was secured in part of a New Access Point (NAP) grant of $650,000 from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The Blasdell site joins three other Neighborhood Health Center locations: Neighborhood Health Center Mattina (located on Niagara Street in Buffalo’s Westside); Neighborhood Health Center Northwest (located in Buffalo’s Black Rock/Riverside community); and Neighborhood Health Center Southtowns (located in Hamburg, NY).

The former Jubilee Supermarket has been fully converted into a medical facility that currently offers internal and family medicine, laboratory services, pediatric/adolescent care, obstetrics and gynecology (OB/GYN), dental health, behavioral health, nutritional services and podiatry services. Endocrinology health services will be provided in early September and an in-house pharmacy is also slated to open in mid-November. Additional store front retail space for other health-related organizations including a laboratory draw site and radiology center are planned to open at the site in the near future.

“We are honored and excited to open our doors and provide much needed primary care to the residents of the Blasdell, Lackawanna and surrounding communities,” said Joanne Haefner, Chief Executive Officer for Neighborhood Health Center. “For 30 years we have provided comprehensive and compassionate primary care services in adult care, dental care, pediatric care and women’s health to all in Western New York, regardless of an individual’s insurance status or ability to pay.”

Neighborhood Health Center, formerly the Northwest Buffalo Community Health Care Center, has had a presence in the region’s healthcare system since 1987 and has grown to become the oldest and largest Federally Qualified Health Center in Western New York. Currently with over 220 employees, of which include more than 60 medical, dental, pharmacy and social work providers, Neighborhood Health Center provided approximately 75,000 visits to more than 20,000 unique patients in 2016.

Today’s ribbon cutting ceremony is just one of three Neighborhood Health Center events taking place in honor of National Health Center Week, a national campaign from August 13 – 19, 2017 that celebrates the nation’s Community Health Centers and their more than 50 year history of providing high-quality affordable healthcare to communities across the country.

Nationally, Community Health Centers serve more than 25 million Americans, a number that continues to grow along with the demand for affordable primary care. They have compiled a significant record of success that includes: producing $24 billion in annual health system savings; reducing unnecessary hospitalizations and unnecessary visits to the emergency room; treating patients for a fraction of the average cost of one emergency room visit; maintaining patient satisfaction levels of nearly 100 percent; and serving more than one in six Medicaid beneficiaries for less than two percent of the national Medicaid budget.

“Community Health Centers like Neighborhood Health Center, not only prevent illness and foster wellness in our communities, they produce innovative solutions to the most pressing healthcare issues in their communities,” said Dr. Gale Burstein, Erie County Commissioner of Health. “Neighborhood Health Center’s ability to reach beyond the walls of conventional medicine to address the factors that may cause sickness, such as lack of nutrition, mental health issues including substance abuse and homelessness further distinguishes them from your typical medical/doctor’s office.”

As a primary care safety net provider, Neighborhood Health Center’s comprehensive, patient-focused and community-based care is a central component to investments in a system that has delivered both increased access to healthcare and wellness for both its patients and communities served. In addition to providing quality care to the most vulnerable in the community, Neighborhood Health Center has also saved the healthcare system more than $1,200 for every patient that walks through the organization’s doors and contributes more than $20 million to the local economy on an annual basis.

Neighborhood Health Center incorporates quality first in all of its services and implements proven best practices to maintain excellence in clinical delivery. The Health Center consistently meets or exceeds state averages in key outcomes of care for patients with diabetes, cardiovascular disease, asthma, hypertension, obesity, tobacco use, depression and cervical cancer screenings.

“Every day, Neighborhood Health Center provides high quality comprehensive healthcare services to the residents of Western New York and as we celebrate National Health Center Week, we also celebrate this movement that creates a holistic approach and integrated system of care,” said Joanne Haefner.

Neighborhood Health Center continues to celebrate National Health Center Week with a number of public events with free health screenings, interactive activities for all ages, information from various community agencies and a raffle giveaway of 80 backpacks with new school supplies. The National Health Center Week celebration began with a healthcare for the homeless and public housing health fair at the Health Center’s Mattina location (300 Niagara Street, Buffalo, NY 14201) on Tuesday, August 15, 2017. A public open house and tour of the new Blasdell site (4233 Lake Avenue, Blasdell, NY 14219) will be offered today (Wednesday, August 16, 2017) from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and a children’s focused health fair at the Health Center’s Northwest location (155 Lawn Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14207) will take place on Thursday, August 17, 2017 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Among the public officials attending today’s ribbon cutting were: Erie County Department of Health Commissioner, Dr. Gale Burstein, Erie County Legislator Lynne Dixon (D-9), Tom Haag of U.S. Representative Chris Collins’ office and New York State Senator Timothy Kennedy (63rd District).

Neighborhood Health Center at Blasdell is open weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Evening appointments are available on Mondays until 8:00 p.m. Appointments can be made by calling the Blasdell Office at (716) 332-3070.