Calling it a very good day, and a very positive day, Mayor Bill de Blasio came to Long Island City Wednesday to help The New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council and the Hotel Association of NYC break ground on a new $75 million state-of-the-art Queens Health Center.
The new 90,000-square-foot, single-payer health center will provide no-cost care to more than 90,000 union represented hotel workers, retirees and their families from across the city.
“All New Yorkers should be able to access affordable, quality health care,” de Blasio said. “Providing quality healthcare services for working people is at the heart of my mission as mayor of our city, and I commend HTC and HANYC on its continued commitment to providing their employees and their families with exceptional care.”
The new facility — located at 43-06 38th St., just south of the Sunnyside Yards — will house a full range of medical and hospitalization care in one location, including health, dental, physical rehab services, vaccine and immunization rooms, a pharmacy for prescription drug needs, preventative care and wellness programs, X-rays, mammograms, lab reports, substance abuse treatment, anesthesia and surgical care.
“This is what a modern delivery system should look like,” New York Hotel & Motel Trades Council President Peter Ward said. “With all costs covered, all services accessible under one roof and a uniquely collaborative partnership between labor and management, this model could revolutionize the way our nation approaches healthcare.”
The facility is designed so that regardless of their health needs, patients can be conveniently accommodated in one quick visit and able to pick up their prescriptions on-site at the end of the appointment.
“Today’s groundbreaking sends a loud and clear message: everyone deserves access to affordable, quality healthcare,” Comptroller Scott Stringer said. “A healthy workforce is a strong workforce. New York City is a union town and we will always fight for the dignity, respect, and well-being for our working families.”
All services will be free of charge to union represented workers, retirees and their families, with almost all prescription drugs covered under the plan and only some brand-name drugs requiring a minimal co-pay that will be waived in cases of long-term treatment. The facility will be located adjacent to the current health center to ensure there is no disruption of services and is expected to be completed by 2021.
“This building will be an asset to our community,” Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said. “We have been happy with the current health care center in Long Island City that HTC owns and operates today, and I look forward to welcoming them to this bigger and better home in my district.”
Aside from technical advancement, the health center at its core is patient focused with doctors, nurses and dentists who speak 45 different languages, removing barriers to comprehensive primary and preventative care. The healthcare model sets the national standard for others to follow in seeking to deliver the best quality care at the lowest possible cost.
“This new Queens facility will be conveniently located for our borough’s residents, workers and their families, and will offer top medical care to the members of the Hotel Trades Council, the driving force behind the success of our city’s booming tourism industry,” Acting Queens Borough President Sharon Lee said. “These health facilities are a prime example of how quality and affordable health care can and should be delivered, because if it is good for families it’s good for Queens.”