Stevenson Family Health Center on path to recovery

Assemblyman Sepulveda (3rd from l) met with officials from the Institute for Family Health to announce $250,000 in state funding for the Institute’s Stevenson Family Health Center’s major renovation and expansion.
Photo by Bob Kappstatter

Soundview’s ‘pillar of the healthcare community’ clinic is on the path to recovery.

On Thursday, September 8, Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda and Senator Ruben Diaz, Sr. met with Institute for Family Health and Stevenson Family Health Center officials to announce major funding for the Soundview-based health center’s renovations and expansion.

Both Sepulveda and Diaz are providing $250,000 in state funding for equipment, furniture, computers and telephones at the 731 White Plains Road clinic.

Following the 2012 closure of the over 30-year-old Soundview Health Care Network Soundview, that was run by disgraced former senator Pedro Espada, Soundview, Parkchester and West Farms residents were at a loss for affordable health care services until the Institute for Family Health intervened.

The private non-profit secured the clinic’s lease, started serving displaced patients and began extensive renovations and expansion.

The new Stevenson Family Health Center opened on August 14, 2012 and initially provided 33,000 annual medical, behavioral health and dental visits in the 9,000 usable square feet of the 36,000 square foot center.

Once completed, the facility will include 30 medical exam rooms; seven behavioral health counseling offices; a group room; seven dental operatories; a renovated mental health suite, lobby and common areas and a new immediate first floor care suite.

“This center is so important to the community which is really geographically isolated,” noted Dr. Alba Pumarol, SFHC medical director. “I believe the new rooms, with the new furnishings and equipment, make a real difference in how patients feel.”

“The renovated center will accommodate many more patients than before,” expressed Dr. Eric Gayle, Institute for Family Health regional medical director. “Patients of all ages can receive primary medical care, dental care and behavioral health care here regardless of their ability to pay.”

According to Assemblyman Sepulveda, additional funding is needed to fully renovate the mental health suite’s walls and floor and to purchase equipment.

“This facility is a pillar of the healthcare community in the area and for people with low-income, it’s a godsend,” said the assemblyman.

He added the clinic’s average patients earn about $30,000 a year.

Sepulveda said approximately 75% of the clinic’s renovative work has been completed.

“I join with my legislative colleague in praising the wide variety of health care services the Stevenson Family Health Center provides to the constituents of my district,” said Senator Diaz.

Institute officials estimate by 2018 the center will handle over 46,000 visits annually.

SFHC primarily serves Soundview, Parkchester and West Farms which are designated as medically underserved areas and health professional shortage areas.

The clinic offers primary care and mental health services Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and opens at 10 a.m. on the first, second and third Thursday of the month.

Dental care is offered Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursdays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information and to schedule an appointment, contact SFHC at (718) 589-8775 or visit www.institute.org.

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