July 27, 2016
By Peter Murdock
New York, NY – A newly opened urgent care center located just down the block from City Hall and across the street from Foley Square at 52 Duane Street has the potential of making life a whole lot easier for tens of thousands of municipal workers interested in safeguarding their good health.
Part of one of the largest physician practices in New York, the AdvantageCare Physicians Express center that debuted on Duane Street last week, is a high-tech worksite wellness facility designed to better incorporate healthcare into the regular workday of thousands of municipal workers.
EmblemHealth President and CEO Karen Ignagni calls it, “care when you need it, when you want it, and where you want it.”
“Often people go and seek what they call urgent care because they have an issue that’s just come up and they need something done about it — and that’s exactly the idea of this center,” Ignagni says. “If you are at your desk and you need your allergy shots; you have diabetes and you need to be regularly monitored; you need to have your blood taken; you need a prescription — that’s urgent to you because you need it. And we want to make it easy for people to get that done during the day as opposed to waiting until they go home and it’s late at night, or they have to run around on the weekends when they’d prefer being with their family.”
The 500 doctors in the ACP system treat about 10,000 patients daily at 36 centers located throughout the five boroughs.
Harry Nespoli, head of the Municipal Labor Committee and the Uniformed Sanitationmen's Association, lauded the new AdvantageCare Physicians Express Center on Duane Street as a boon for the City of New York’s 350,000 municipal workers.
“Years ago, [healthcare] used to be under HIP, and some of the facilities and the locations where our members were going kind of got worn down,” he says. “And what Emblem is doing here is a great thing. It’s a win-win for everybody. It’s a win for my members. It’s brand new, it has new technology. It’s also a win for the City of New York. There’s definitely savings here. We have our members that are in this area that will use this rather than going to emergency rooms.”
According to Ignagni, the Duane Street facility, as it was envisioned about nine months ago, will also be able to do some rather complex procedures that extend beyond baseline personal health maintenance.
“If [workers] see a funny looking mole and they want to come over and have it looked at, we have tele-medicine so that it can be looked at by some of the best dermatologists in the city,” the CEO says. “If they feel they are having chest pains, they can come and get a consult immediately.”
For EmblemHealth, this latest venture with AdvantageCare Physicians represents a continuing commitment to working people that started three-quarters of a century ago.
“Our entire health plan caters to working people,” Ignagni says. “We were born more than 75 years ago. Mayor [Fiorello] LaGuardia had a dream about bringing health care to city workers. We stepped up, we have fulfilled that vision. And for 75 years, our plan EmblemHealth has been providing healthcare to city workers. What we hadn’t been doing is actually offering a place were people can go that was virtually right next to the workplace.”
Providing flu shots and diagnosing potential problems is one thing, but the AdvantageCare Physicians Express at 52 Duane Street is also being proactive.
For instance, Ignagni says the newly-opened worksite wellness center — which will utilize electronic record keeping so that patients can access their vital records wherever they go — will also conduct special programs specifically designed to promote continued good health.
“Our commitment and the commitment of our health plan and AdvantageCare physicians, is to actually help city workers maintain their health,” Ignagni says. “We’re going to be running meditation classes to help with stress. We know that a number of workers have and feel stress. So, we want to help with that. Plus, we want to help with diabetes management, asthma management, and all of the chronic conditions that people have.”
Click here to find out more about the AdvantageCare Physicians Express worksite wellness center at 52 Duane Street.