Dr. Edward Fishkin, Woodhull’s chief medical office, Assemblymember Maritza Davila, First Lady Chirlane McCray, Gregory Calliste, CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals/ Woodhull, and patient Dovear Calhoun cut the ribbon to celebrate North Brooklyn’s first LGBTQ-focused health center. | ED REED/ MAYOR’S OFFICE
North Brooklyn and city leaders were on hand December 20 to snip a rainbow-colored ribbon celebrating the opening of the borough’s first NYC Health + Hospitals facility dedicated to treating the LGBTQ community. The opening of Pride Health Center at Bedford-Stuyvesant’s Woodhull Hospital is an inclusive step toward making sure no patients fall through the cracks in getting the treatment they need, according to the area’s city councilmember.
“In a region as vibrant and diverse as Brooklyn, public institutions must ensure they are able to address a wide range of culturally-specific needs,” said Councilmember Robert Cornegy. “The addition of a dedicated LGBTQ health center further demonstrates the hospital’s continued commitment to being at the forefront of addressing this area’s health care needs in a comprehensive way.”
Doctors at the center inside the public hospital at 760 Broadway, at Flushing Avenue, are specially trained in serving LGBTQ patients, including primary care, obstetrics and gynecology, hormone therapy, behavioral health, and HIV and other sexually-transmitted-infection prevention, testing, and treatment.
Woodhull facility on Broadway is NYC Health + Hospitals’ second specialized unit
Clients can currently visit the gay-friendly clinic on Mondays from 4 to 8 pm, but hospital officials expect to expand its operating hours as patient volume grows. And doctors at Woodhull are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week to serve LGBTQ patients.
The Pride Health Center is the second LGBTQ-specialized clinic in the city’s public hospital system — the first, at Metropolitan Hospital on First Avenue in East Harlem, opened in 2014 — but it is not the only health facility that will be serving Brooklyn’s queer community.
The Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, which has served the LGBTQ community for decades in Chelsea and in the past several years has also run a clinic in the South Bronx, expects to break ground early this year on a facility in Downtown Brooklyn on Flatbush Avenue. The Callen-Lorde clinic is expected to open in mid-2019.
Since 2015, the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center at Clarkson and New York Avenues in East Flatbush has also provided specialized treatment to LGBTQ patients.
First Lady Chirlane McCray, who in September announced the NYC Unity Project aimed at developing a strategy to deliver comprehensive services to LGBTQ youth citywide and was on hand at the Woodhull ribbon-cutting, emphasized the significant role the city’s public health system plays in serving queer health needs.
“At a time when health care services are under attack, the Pride Health Center at NYC Health + Hospitals/ Woodhull in Brooklyn will be a safe haven for countless LGBTQ New Yorkers,” said McCray. “NYC Health + Hospitals is leading the way to secure freedom and equality for the city’s LGBTQ community with affordable, culturally competent mental and physical health care.”
Assemblywoman Maritza Davila of Bushwick praised the new Woodhull initiative, saying, “As we move forward into the 21st century, it is imperative that we strive to build an inclusive society that respects and embraces individuals of all walks of life.”