The Mayor Bill de Blasio administration, through NYC Health + Hospitals/Correctional Health, announced plans Thursday to open a third Outposted Therapeutic Housing Unit, located at NYC Health + Hospitals/North Central Bronx, to improve access to care for patients whose clinical conditions require specialty and subspecialty services. The new unit is expected to include approximately 120 beds.
In November 2019, the administration announced plans to open an Outposted Therapeutic Housing Unit at NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue and at NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull. The Bellevue Unit, which will include about 114 beds, has a planned completion date of December 2022, and the Woodhull unit, which includes about 160 beds, has a planned completion date of 2023. The units build on the administration’s efforts to reform the city’s criminal justice system, including the building of modern borough-based facilities and the closing of Rikers Island.
“Expanding this unique, groundbreaking program will provide opportunities for high-quality care to more people in custody,” the mayor said. “Correctional Health Services has done extraordinary work to keep vulnerable populations safe and healthy, and I’m proud to offer this innovative service to more people than ever.”
Correctional Health Services (CHS) will determine the admission to and discharge from the Outposted Therapeutic Housing units according to patients’ clinical needs, and the Department of Correction will provide security. The units will serve CHS patients who do not require inpatient admission but would benefit from close, regular access to the specialty and subspecialty care available in the hospitals.
“Outposted Therapeutic Housing Units are a pioneering approach to meeting the health care needs of people in custody, while making significant investments in Health + Hospitals facilities,” said Dr. Mitchell Katz, president and CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals. “I’m proud that the expertise and resources of the system can be leveraged to the benefit of even more of the City’s most vulnerable populations.”
Since becoming the direct provider of health care for people incarcerated in New York City, CHS implemented innovations including the establishment of more jail-based therapeutic housing units for patients with serious mental illness, substance use disorders, and/or complex medical needs. CHS has also improved the continuity of care for patients recently released from custody by creating Point of Reentry and Transition primary care practices at NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue and NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County to care for justice-involved individuals.
NYC Health + Hospitals/North Central Bronx will benefit from an infusion of funds that will renovate and repurpose hospital space in order to create the Outposted Therapeutic Housing Unit. These new therapeutic units will increase revenue for the hospital and will generate economic activity in the surrounding community.
“I’m proud that North Central Bronx will be a partner in this innovative model,” said Christopher Mastromano, CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals/North Central Bronx. “North Central Bronx provides the highest-quality specialty and subspecialty services and we look forward to extending that care to CHS patients with complex clinical needs.”