VillageCareMAX celebrates opening of first community center in Flushing

Photos by Jenna Bagcal/QNS

A nonprofit organization that offers Managed Long-Term Care (MLTC) opened its first storefront in Flushing.

VillageCareMAX, part of the VillageCare organization, celebrated the grand opening of its community center at 41-80 Main St. on July 18.

VillageCare leadership along with leaders from the Chinese American Independent Practice Association (CAIPA), Councilman Peter Koo and Community Board 7 District Manager Marilyn McAndrews commemorated the center’s opening with a ceremonial lion dance symbolizing good fortune and longevity.

According to the nonprofit, those seeking health care insurance will now be able to visit the VillageCareMAX storefront to receive detailed information and enrollment assistance from a live Medicare representative, free of charge.

“This is an opportunity for us to serve the community [because] we have number of members that live in this community,” said Emma DeVito, VillageCare president and CEO. “We’re gonna be focused primarily on the Medicare products for people that come in who have questions. They bring in their mail. They don’t understand what was sent to them by Medicare. So we really want to make sure that we can provide that service. And individuals that are interested in enrolling in our products, we would want to provide them with information so that they could make an informed decision.”

More than 13,000 members in the VillageCareMAX network will have these services available to them. DeVito added that for elderly members, the in-person interactions are more effective than communicating online or by phone.

“I think in particular, with the elderly, a lot of times they may not have the opportunity to do things online and it could be a little bit difficult for them. I also think there’s nothing like the face-to-face because you really are connecting with people. So I think this gives them and us an opportunity to interact and make that connection,” DeVito said.

In 1977, a group of community volunteers founded VillageCare in an effort to rescue a for-profit nursing home from closing. VillageCareMAX began operating in July 2012 and is one of the largest and fastest-growing MLTC plans in New York City.

To learn more about VillageCareMAX, visit villagecaremax.org.