Urban Health Plan hosts ‘Topping Out’ ceremony at Simpson Street expansion

The new Urban Health Plan Simpson Street expansion will be complete in 2013.

The latest Bronx health center is one step closer to being completed.

Construction began the first week of July, and now Urban Health Plan has officially completed the 5-story superstructure at 1054 Simpson Street.

UHP representatives, members of Gilbane Construction, local elected officials, and dozens of local residents gathered at the location on Wednesday, December 14 for the “Topping Out” celebration, a tradition in building construction.

Those who gathered helped raise an American flag atop the 54,000-square-foot health center to signify the end of the first construction phase.

Now, with an expected date of mid to late 2013, UHP is looking forward to the future of their fifth Bronx health center.

“The ‘Topping Out’ is a time to celebrate the work of the individuals who have worked on this project,” said Paloma Hernandez, president and CEO of UHP. “The Simpson Street Expansion Project will not only create access to health care for more than 20,000 individuals, but it will also serve as an economic engine for the south Bronx.”

With the superstructure complete, workers will now begin installing the exterior walls and curtain walls.

The Simpson Street addition, a $55 million investment will greatly increase what the other UHP locations already have to offer, tripling the number of medical exam rooms from 55 to 169, increase the number of dental operatories from four to 20, expand specialty services and special programs such as geriatric and HIV/AIDS, and expand its radiology services and provide mammography services.

The annual primary care visits to UHP facilities in the Bronx is around 223,000. With the addition of the Simpson expansion, UHP expected the number of visits to skyrocket to 400,000 by 2016.

Reach Vito Signorile via e-mail at vsignorile@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 742-3383.

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