COVID-19 Centers of Excellence Offer Recovery, One-Stop Primary Care Services to Hardest-Hit NY Neighborhoods

The second of three COVID-19 Centers of Excellence has recently opened in New York City. Perkins Eastman is the architect and designer of the three, first-of-their-kind facilities. Gilbane Building Company is the construction manager. The project team also includes NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health and the NYC Department of Design and Construction.

The new community health clinic in Jackson Heights, Queens joins a similar facility that opened in November 2020 in the Tremont neighborhood of the Bronx. The third site, in Bushwick, Brooklyn, is scheduled to open Spring 2021.

The three facilities were designed to meet the unique needs of patients recovering, both in the short and long term, from COVID-19, including specialized services like pulmonary and cardiology care, radiology and diagnostic services and mental health services. As comprehensive health centers, the community clinics also offer high-quality primary care for additional health conditions, including cancer screenings, dental and vision care, diabetes management, podiatry, adult medicine, pediatrics and more.

The COVID-19 Centers of Excellence were designed under emergency construction rules allowed during the pandemic, with the endorsement and expedited schedule of the city. For instance, the Bronx center was designed and constructed in less than six months and the Queens center in nine months. This was an incredibly aggressive design, engineering and construction process, with many moving pieces including the evolving complexity of COVID-19 health impacts, infection control and protection measures.

It was critical to the success of these centers that they be located conveniently within their respective neighborhoods, which are among the hardest hit in New York City and were the epicenter of the pandemic a year ago. While this follows a larger trend to bring ambulatory services into communities, the Centers of Excellence additionally address the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on minority and underprivileged communities. The ongoing health support provided to these three neighborhoods through these centers aims not only to reduce impacts from COVID-19, but also to address issues of inequity, healthcare advocacy and education and access to appropriate primary and long-term care.

Photos: Andrew Rugge/Perkins Eastman.

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Posted April 14, 2021

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