FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 9, 2021
Contact: Erin Verrier [email protected]; 917-636-0884
Abad Sanchez first stepped into the Community Healthcare Network (CHN) Mobile Youth Access Program (YAP) in Jackson Heights, Queens, in fall 2019. Like other immigrants in the neighborhood, Abad struggled to access affordable health care services. He was surprised to learn that YAP offered not only primary care, social services, HIV and STI testing and treatment, and PEP/PrEP services – but all services were available regardless of his immigration status or ability to pay.
YAP services are representative of CHN’s overall mission – to provide affordable, culturally sensitive, and comprehensive community-based primary care, reproductive health, nutrition, behavioral health, and social services for New Yorkers who may otherwise have little or no access to critical health care. The mobile YAP unit is part of CHN’s Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) network, which includes 14 sites across New York City and serves over 80,000 residents per year.
In May 2020, CHN’s YAP Manager Harvey Diaz brought Abad on board as a Community Educator. Due to COVID-19, CHN had to adjust operations and scheduling to accommodate patients both face-to-face and via telehealth and telephonic care. Under the leadership of CHN’s Vice President of Infectious Diseases and LBGTQ+ Programs and Services, Dr. Freddy Molano, CHN established its own community-based vaccine pop-up sites in February 2021, in partnership with community- and faith-based organizations. These sites were designed for individuals considered “hard-to-reach” and communities, mostly Black and Latinx, showing the lowest rates of COVID-19 vaccination. Queens immigrant communities needed to feel safe with vaccine providers, so YAP staff called patients one-on-one. As a YAP patient himself, Abad had patients’ trust and could refer them to CHN pop-up sites for the vaccine. As of July 2021, CHN has vaccinated over 75 YAP patients and over 1,300 individuals at its vaccine sites in Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx. Nearly 68% vaccine recipients are Black and/or Latinx.
About Community Healthcare Network
Community Healthcare Network, otherwise known as CHN, is a federally qualified health center (FQHC) that provides critical access to primary care, dental, nutrition, behavioral health, and social services for 80,000 individuals annually in New York City. Across its 14 health centers, CHN cares for individuals of all ages, regardless of ability to pay.