A new community-based health clinic opened in Red Hook this week, aiming to provide extra care for a community that has long lacked adequate healthcare resources.
The Red Hook Family Health Center at NYU Langone is a sprawling 4,500-square-foot facility that offers medical and dental services including primary care, women’s healthcare, and pediatrics.
It’s the first new FHC center in over a decade, and is situated in a community that largely felt forsaken by Brooklyn healthcare providers. Red Hook is home to the city’s largest public housing complex, Red Hook Houses, and has a high population of people insured by Medicare, who have limited healthcare options.
“The health center’s mission is to improve access to health care, and to reduce disparities,” said Larry K. McReynolds, Director of the Family Center at NYU Langone. “Red Hook had no providers, it was socially isolated, with terrible mass transit. So even people that wanted to be engaged in care couldn’t access it.”
McReynolds, who previously served as the executive director of the Family Health Center when it was based at Lutheran Medical Center, is optimistic about the center’s ability to care for the Red Hook community.
“We bring excellence to all neighborhoods regardless of the ability to pay or whatever [a person’s] personal situation is,” he said. “It’s so important to me that, yes, we’re bringing excellent primary care but when and if needed, you’re also getting access to excellence in specialty care and hospital care.”
On Tuesday, The Red Hook Family Center welcomed community members to tour the facility, chat with doctors, and voice any questions they had about the care that the center offers.
Over the course of the seven years that it took to open the Center, NYU Langone and FHC utilized focus groups to ensure that the community’s interests were heard. This data was then used to make decisions about what kind of care would be provided at the Center that more accurately represented the diverse needs expressed by their prospective patients.
A 2018 survey by Langone and a number of community partners found that the biggest health concerns among Red Hook residents were asthma, diabetes, depression and anxiety, and substance abuse.
Locals were also particularly concerned about access to fresh, healthy food and the need for job training opportunities. In addition to its health and dental services, the Red Hook FHC will offer support services that can connect patients to food and job training resources.
“The community felt heard, and then to see what they were identifying as their need come true. They were very, very happy and gratified. And now really, it’s up to us in the community to activate people,” said McReynolds.
The Red Hook Family Health Center is now open at 168 Van Brunt St. in Red Hook. For more information, visit the clinic’s website or call (917) 736-9900.