Rep. Maloney Announces $920k Federal Grant For The Floating Hospital’s Community Health Center Serving Western Queens Public Housing Residents

Oct 26, 2012
Press Release

Long Island City, NY - At a ribbon-cutting ceremony today, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-Queens & Manhattan) announced a $920,833 federal grant for The Floating Hospital’s new Community Health Center that celebrated its official opening at Queensbridge Houses today.

The federal funding for the clinic, the only Federally Qualified Community Health Center to be located on New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) property, was made possible by the landmark Affordable Care Act, which also provides a dedicated funding stream to support The Floating Hospital’s Queensbridge Community Health Center for an additional three years. The Floating Hospital (TFH) is also the only New  York City health care provider with a Federally Qualified Health Designation for Public Housing.

Joining Congresswoman Maloney at today’s announcement and ceremony were Queens Borough President Helen Marshall; NYS Assembly Member Catherine Nolan; NYC Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer; Sean Granahan, Esq., President & General Counsel of TFH; tenant leaders and residents of Queensbridge Houses; and patients and prospective of TFH’s new Queensbridge Community Health Center.

“This is a very special day - not just because Queensbridge residents will have access to first rate health care by The Floating Hospital right in their own backyard – but because this health clinic is the first of its kind at a NYCHA development,” said Congresswoman Maloney. “This is the largest grant of its kind being given in Region 2, which includes all of New York State – and it's entirely fitting that it's funding a clinic at Queensbridge Houses, the largest public housing development in the nation. Community Health Centers like this are benefitting from a dedicated funding stream created by the Affordable Care Act, which I was proud to support,” she said.

“The Floating Hospital’s Community Health Care Center at Queensbridge will provide hundreds of local residents with basic preventive health care, wellness visits, disease management, prenatal care and basic care when they get sick. Today, we're announcing the first installment of $920,833, representing 17 months of funding. We’re also announcing that the clinic will benefit from annual federal grants of $650,000  through 2016, and the likelihood of even more funding down the road,” said Congresswoman Maloney.

Leading the ribbon-cutting ceremony at The Floating Hospital’s Community Health Center at Queensbridge Houses today was TFH President & General Counsel Sean Granahan. “The Floating Hospital has long been fortunate to have a women's rights champion like Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney as a friend. Today, with her help, as well as the dogged efforts of Jimmy Van Bramer and Cathy Nolan, TFH opens another chapter in its efforts to reach New York City's underserved and most vulnerable populations. We are very grateful for their efforts in helping those who need it most,” he said.

Queens Borough President Helen Marshall said, “I thank Congresswoman Maloney for securing this funding, under the federal Affordable Care Act. The dollars she has brought home to Long Island City will allow the Floating Hospital's Community Health Center to continue its mission to provide primary health care services in a medically-underserved community. This unique center, located on Housing Authority property, is a valuable resource that will help serve the medical needs of thousands of tenants and their families.”

“The Floating Hospital must be congratulated for its dedication to the health and well-being of western Queens.  The Floating Hospital clinic at Queensbridge will be a life-saver,” said Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan. “I commend Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney for securing much needed federal funds to improve the clinic. These federal funds, together with a $200,000 capital grant which I secured for the clinic through the Assembly's Community Capital Assistance Program, will support very necessary renovations.  These capital improvements will go a long way to improving the quality of life for all residents in Queensbridge, Ravenswood and Astoria Houses.”

“Access to quality health care is an absolute necessity for the children, families and seniors of Queensbridge. Bringing the Floating Hospital into the heart of this community is a huge win and will make Queensbridge healthier,” said Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer. “For over a century the Floating Hospital has provided quality care to those who need it most. I am proud to have played a part in bringing this institution into new and accessible space.”

Although they were unable to attend the news conference, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and State Senator Michael Gianaris submitted written statements about today’s opening.

“The Floating Hospital’s Community Health Center will provide public housing residents in Western Queens with vital health care services,” said City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn. “I applaud Congress Member Maloney, the Health Resources and Services Administration and my colleagues in the City and State for their dedicated efforts to help New Yorkers stay healthy.”

Senator Michael Gianaris said, “As we continue to face difficult decisions caused by tight budgets, the announcement of more than $900,000 for The Floating Hospital is vital to ensuring the health of residents living in underserved communities. The fact that we are able to provide such a large allocation for local healthcare services shows the Affordable Care Act works. I thank Congresswoman Maloney for her leadership in securing this funding and look forward to seeing it put to use.”


Background:

Federally Qualified Community Health Centers (CHCs) have a proven track record of providing high quality care. Patients treated at CHCs have fewer low birthweight babies, higher rates of prenatal care, and better control over diabetes and hypertension.

The federal funding for TFH Queensbridge CHC is made possible because of the significant expansion in funding for community health centers under the Affordable Care Act, which provides $11 billion dollars over five years to establish a CHC Fund. The grant announced by Congresswoman Maloney today is the largest grant from the U.S. Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) in Region 2, which includes all of New York State, and reflects the federal agency’s confidence in TFH’s track record and effectiveness as a healthcare provider.

Approximately $600,000 in capital funding to renovate TFH’s Queensbridge CHC was provided by a grant from New York State secured by Assembly Member Catherine Nolan and by generous donations from the Ira W. DeCamp Foundation, the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, JP Morgan Chase and the Hyde & Watson Foundation.

The Floating Hospital has served vulnerable families in New York City since 1866. Today, TFH provides quality, comprehensive and compassionate primary health, dental and mental health care to over 20,000 individuals annually. The patient populations served by TFH include residents of Northwest Queens communities; public housing residents; and those living in Homeless Family Shelters or Domestic Violence Safe Houses. TFH operates in Long Island City as well as in shelters throughout the five boroughs of New York City. TFH is an Article 28 Diagnostic and Treatment Center and a licensed Article 31 Outpatient Mental Health Clinic.  TFH gained recognition as a level 3 Patient Centered Medical Home in 2012. As a charity hospital, half of TFH’s visits are provided to those with no insurance and with no means to pay. TFH is the only FQHC in New York City to hold all three urban designations from HRSA as a Community, Public Housing and Homeless Health Center. TFH anticipates that it will provide over 1500 health visits to 400 patients in the first year in the clinic at Queensbridge Houses. The facility at Queensbridge Houses will operate with a full-time physician, medical assistants, and support staff.  Patients who need dental care or cardiology visits will be offered transportation in one of TFH's vans to ensure that their needs are met. Initially, it will be open three days, expanding to five days a week once sufficient patient volume is achieved.