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Queens COVID-19 Center of Excellence to treat recovering patients opens in Jackson Heights – QNS.com

Queens COVID-19 Center of Excellence to treat recovering patients opens in Jackson Heights

Mayor Bill de Blasio cuts the ribbon to open a new COVID-19 Center of Excellence in Jackson Heights on Feb. 24. (Photo courtesy of Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)

A COVID-19 Center of Excellence, a community health clinic that will provide comprehensive short- and long-term care for recovering COVID patients, is opening in Jackson Heights on March 1.

The new facility, located at 37-50 72nd St., is designed to meet the unique needs of patients recovering from COVID-19, including specialized services like pulmonary and cardiology care, radiology and diagnostic services, as well as mental health services.

The 26,000-square-foot community health clinic will house 20 exam rooms and a digital imaging suite. It will also offer comprehensive primary care health services for Queens residents, including cancer screenings, dental and vision care, diabetes management, podiatry, adult medicine, pediatrics and much more.

On Feb. 24, Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYC Health+Hospitals/Gotham Health announced the opening with a celebratory ribbon cutting. At the health clinic, he was joined by state Senator Jessica Ramos, Senior Vice President for Ambulatory Care at NYC Health + Hospitals Ted Long and Make the Road New York Senior Community Health Worker Carmen Garcia.

In his remarks, de Blasio said the city needs to change where their resources go every day, as people of color “bore the brunt” while billionaires got richer during the ongoing pandemic.

“We have to redistribute resources to the communities hardest hit, and not just in the middle of the crisis, but after the worst is over — that does not mean the crisis doesn’t continue to live in the community, in people’s homes and people’s families. And this is what we’ve learned about COVID,” said de Blasio during the opening. “We all know we’ll be feeling the economic effect for years, but what about the health effect itself? What about the fact that we now know COVID doesn’t just walk away, leave your body? For some people, it lingers in very painful, challenging ways. That’s why we have these centers of excellence. To do the work, to do the research, to work with the community, to identify the trends, to provide the support, to not leave people behind.”

COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted communities of color, with Black and Latin New Yorkers dying at around twice the rate of their white counterparts when adjusted for age.

In sections of Jackson Heights, about 37 percent of people who have been tested for COVID-19 have been positive for the virus, according to NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene data.

Ramos, who represents Jackson Heights and Elmhurst in Senate District 13, said that although her district was at the heart of the epicenter at the height of pandemic, they are still at the heart of the epicenter of a “different pandemic: an eviction pandemic, a food insecurity pandemic.”

Director of H+H Test and Trace Corps Ted Long, state Senator Jessica Ramos and Mayor Bill de Blasio at Queens’ COVID-19 Center of Excellence on Feb. 24. (Photo courtesy of Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)

Ramos called on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to release the city’s “fair share” of vaccines in order to push forward the city’s recovery.

“The city is doing its job of opening centers where we’ve been hardest hit,” Ramos said, adding that it’s still not enough.

“We need the vaccines so that we’re at full capacity, vaccinating our seniors and every single essential worker as all of us New Yorkers start becoming eligible — this is the only way we can fight this virus. But this clinic today is about forward-thinking, and that’s exactly what we need to be doing,” she said. “We need to get to figure out what the long-term effects of this virus will be on the human body and on communities just like ours.”

The Jackson Heights health clinic is the second of three that has opened, following de Blasio and the Taskforce on Racial Inclusion & Equity’s announcement that the new facilities would open in Bushwick, Jackson Heights and Tremont — neighborhoods with majority communities of color that have been hardest-hit by the pandemic.

Patients can be referred to the Queens COVID-19 Center of Excellence after a hospital visit or through their primary care provider to receive short- and long-term care and address their recovery from COVID-19. The clinic will not require positive COVID-19 test results, antibody or not, for individuals to receive care at this site.

The Queens COVID-19 Center of Excellence — also referred to as NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Roosevelt — will be open six days a week: on Mondays from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Tuesdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Wednesdays from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health opened the COVID-19 Center of Excellence in the Tremont section of the Bronx in November 2020, which has since seen more than 600 unique patients with hundreds of specialty care referrals.

The Brooklyn Center of Excellence is scheduled to open in March 2021.

To learn more about the centers, visit www.nychealthandhospitals.org/covid-19-center-of-excellence or call 844-692-4692 to make an appointment.

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