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$12 Million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Grant Awarded to Urban Health Plan, Inc. (UHP)

Award Will Create New Construction and Permanent Jobs in the South Bronx and Create Access to Primary and Specialty Services for an Additional 12,000 Residents

NEW YORK, Dec. 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Urban Health Plan today was awarded a $12,000,000 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) grant to support a new addition to its main site at 1065 Southern Boulevard. The award was announced by President Barack Obama as part of his plan to support major construction and renovation projects at 85 community health centers nationwide.

The new 53,000 square foot building will allow UHP to increase the number of residents who receive primary and specialty health care in the Bronx; increase the number of providers and support staff; improve the health status/quality of life of residents; bring construction jobs to the South Bronx; help to reduce the unemployment rate; and support the revitalization of the area. It will more than double the number of exam rooms (from 55 to 169), expand dental operatories from four to 20 and increase the number of patients treated by 29,663.

"We have been busting at the seams for some time," said Paloma Hernandez, President and Chief Executive Officer of Urban Health Plan. "Even though we are open for 76 hours, seven days per week, we are still unable to care for all the people who need quality primary and specialty services. This award makes it possible for us to provide more care while at the same time improving the economic status of the South Bronx," she added.

"This grant to Urban Health Plan to support its expansion is the perfect example of a well-conceived and well-executed economic stimulus. In the short-term, this funding will create jobs in a community struggling with high unemployment. Over the long-term, this project will strengthen the health care infrastructure of our borough and contribute to the overall wellness of Bronx residents," said Congressman Jose E. Serrano, who represents the congressional district that UHP serves.

In addition to increased health care services, the project will also have substantial economic impact. An economic impact study commissioned by Urban Health Plan and conducted by EConsult of Philadelphia, projects that within Bronx County, upfront construction is expected to result in a one-time impact of almost $40 million in total expenditures supporting over 132 jobs and over $4.5 million in earnings, as well as almost $21.5 million in one-time contribution to Gross State Product (GSP). Ongoing operations are expected to result in an annual impact of almost $19 million in total expenditures supporting over 100 jobs.

Within New York State, upfront construction is expected to result in a one-time impact of almost $55 million in total expenditures supporting over 420 jobs. Ongoing operations are expected to result in an annual impact of almost $27 million in total expenditures supporting over 220 jobs.

The new Recovery Act funds are the latest in a series of grants awarded to community health centers, which deliver preventive and primary care services at more than 7,500 service delivery sites around the country to patients regardless of their ability to pay. Health centers serve more than 17 million patients, about 40 percent of whom have no health insurance.

About Urban Health Plan:

Urban Health Plan (UHP) is a network of federally qualified community health centers based in the South Bronx and Queens. Its mission is to improve the health status of underserved communities. In 2008, UHP served 31,000 patients through 171,000 patient visits at four clinic sites, five school-based clinics, and four off-sites. It has served the Hunts Point, Mott Haven and other surrounding communities of the Bronx since 1974.

As a federally qualified health center, UHP plays a vital role in providing health services to poor and medically underserved populations who often have difficulty accessing quality health care.

Over the years, UHP has developed many health improvement initiatives including a nationally acclaimed asthma management program, programs in childhood obesity prevention, nutrition, HIV/AIDS care, and mental health services. UHP is one of the first community health centers in New York who fully uses electronic medical records and is currently using iris recognition technology to identify patients.

In 2006 UHP received the National Exemplary Award from the United States Environmental Protection Agency for its efforts to reduce asthma rates in Hunts Point. It has been named one of the top twenty-five Hispanic not-for-profits in the country by Hispanic Business Magazine for the past three years. In the summer of 2009 UHP was named one of the top twenty community health centers in the country; received the Davies Award for Excellence from the Health Information Management Systems Society for its excellence in the use of electronic health records and; was awarded Level 3 recognition as a Physician Practice Connections - Patient-Centered Medical Home (PPC-PCMH) from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). Level 3 recognition is the highest awarded by the NCQA.

More information on UHP can be found at

Contact: Robin West
(718) 589-1687 x 2802; Cell: 347-203-8489

SOURCE Urban Health Plan, Inc.

SOURCE Urban Health Plan, Inc.
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
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