Charles Wang health center opens second site in Flushing

By Madina Toure

The Charles B. Wang Community Health Center has opened its second Flushing site, with expanded services for older adults in the community.

The new site, a 9,000-square-foot facility, located at 137-43 45th Ave., is part of a complex that includes the Selfhelp Senior Housing building. The center signed a 10-year lease on the site in May 2014.

The new two-floor building will house facilities that provide clinical services, including pediatrics, mental health services and health education in both English and Chinese.

The center will also offer cancer and hepatitis B screenings, immunizations and smoking cessation programs. There will also be computers that patients can use to access their own health records.

The center also has three sites in lower Manhattan and a Flushing site at 136-26 37th Ave.

“The opening of 45th Avenue is another milestone in the health center’s continuous efforts to expand primary care services in Queens, which is now the county of residence for more than 50 percent of Asians who live in New York,” Jane Eng, the center’s chief executive officer, said at the ribbon-cutting ceremony held at the site June 23.

Eng said the center has also acquired property on 40th Road and College Point Boulevard in Flushing and expects to build a facility there within the next few years.

Last year, the center served more than 50,000 patients and had more than 250,000 patient visits, according to Ken Chin, chairman of the center’s board of directors.

“We were looking for space and today, that dream has come to fruition and this marks a market expansion in our ability to serve the community,” Chin said.

Evelyn Wolff, Selfhelp’s vice president of real estate development, said the organization is happy that the center chose their facility.

“When we first started working on this building, which was about six years ago, we were not sure what we were going to do with this space,” Wolff said. “We had thought about maybe moving some of our office folks out here and then we realized that really the best use of this wonderful space that’s being developed for a community facility would be a health type of facility.”

Established in 1971, the health center provides affordable primary care to underserved residents in Manhattan’s Chinatown and Flushing. The centers are open seven days a week and serve patients regardless of their ability to pay.

State Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Flushing) said his family goes to Charles Wang often.

“I bring that story up because I go to Charles Wang frequently and I see even at 9 a.m. how people are lined up to go up to the facility and it’s completely packed,” Kim said. “Every floor you stop (on), there’s so any people on each floor.”

Kim said he was able to secure some funding in Albany for some of the expansions but said he looks forward to working with his colleagues to secure even more funding in the future.

State Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Flushing) said she is familiar with the center’s buildings as well as Selfhelp.

“I am a new member of the Senate health committee so anything we can do to make things easier for you, we want to do that,” Stavisky said.

State Assemblywoman Nily Rozic (D-Fresh Meadows) congratulated the team.

“It’s a really big day for all of you and even more special that we get to celebrate the 45th anniversary of this organization on 45th Avenue,” Rozic said. “That’s a really incredible feat.”

Reach reporter Madina Toure by e-mail at mtoure@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4566.