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Photos courtesy of The Floating Hospital
Rochelle Slatz, Family Nurse Practitioner at The Floating Hospital Astoria Health Clinic and her patient, Sasha Thomas.

One of Queens’ most historic medical providers has expanded by opening a new location in Astoria.

Located at 8-13 Astoria Blvd., residents of western Queens will now be able to access The Floating Hospital’s services available to tens of thousands of patients every year through its main clinic in Long Island City.

“Our new Astoria Health Center is convenient for both new residents moving into nearby housing developments, as well as long-time residents in public housing, such as Astoria Houses,” says Rochelle Slatz, Family Nurse Practitioner for the Astoria location of The Floating Hospital.

This new location of The Floating Hospital offers many services. As a primary care provider, the Floating Hospital offers wellness and physical exams, sick visits, immunizations, and screenings and treatment for chronic issues such as asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure, respiratory infections and sexually transmitted diseases.

“Our main Long Island City Health Center offers additional specialty services, such as dental, podiatry and cardiology,” says Slatz. “Any patient who comes to our Astoria location can use these services.” The Floating Hospital provides free transportation between the two clinics through its Good Health Shuttle transportation system.

“We’re also a historic charity health care organization. We provide a lot of services that go above and beyond the basic care found at many hospitals and health centers,” says Steve Whalen, Director of Outreach and Communications. “Case managers are on staff and can help schedule appointments for any member of the family to see a doctor, dentist or therapist. We’ll go the extra mile to coordinate services for our patients and remove barriers to healthcare.”

However, The Floating Hospital is not just about treating your specific symptoms – they want to make sure that you understand your health and the underlying conditions that can lead to other issues.

“Our doctors and health educators take the time to explain healthcare issues to our patients and how they can take of themselves to live a healthy life,” says Whalen. “They’ll cover topics such as nutrition, hygiene, exercise as well as topics like bullying and dating for younger patients. We’re not just here to give you a prescription, we want our patients to be happy and healthy.”

So why make the move to Astoria?

“The residents of Astoria Houses asked for a clinic close to home, similar to our Queensbridge Health Clinic,” says Whalen. “When we opened Queensbridge Health Center in 2012, the community response was phenomenal. Our community has a unique combination of long-term residents who have been here for generations, as well as an influx of new residents moving into new developments—they all need access to a local doctor.”

The Floating Hospital Astoria Health Clinic is open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Walk-ins are welcome, but to make an appointment, call 718-545-0934.

Founded in 1866, The Floating Hospital started as one of the first “fresh-air” hospitals with its ships giving patients an escape from the city’s congestion. Onboard, patients were treated with fresh air and basic medical treatment all while enjoying a relaxing boat ride up the Hudson River. The Floating Hospital was one of the first, and is now one of the last, charity care hospitals in New York City. It was created by a group of New Yorkers who believed that all children and families should have the right to access good healthcare. Today, The Floating Hospital serves the Northwest Queens communities from 3 different locations; two in Long Island City and one in Astoria. The Floating Hospital is also New York City’s largest healthcare provider to families living in homeless shelters and domestic violence safe houses.

For more information about The Floating Hospital or to find their other locations, visit their website at thefloatinghospital.org.

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