Earlier this month, North Brooklyn residents received good news: ParCare Health and Medical Center was approved for Article 28. For the community, it means an additional option for primary care, specialized care, and mental health needs.
On August 4th, the Public Health and Health Planning Council of New York State voted to approve the article. Now, the center can accept Medicaid, Medicare, and receive state assistance. COO Sara Stern and CEO Gary Schlesinger credited local elected officials, activists, and the state committee for the victory. “We’re very excited that the state did their due diligence and found the efforts that we put in were not in vain. And the patients prevailed.”
With the funding and assistance, ParCare is opening a new pediatric center next to its current location this fall, which will have a dedicated pediatric ward. Schlesinger said this is because the Chasidic, Latino, and African American populations in the area have growing family needs.
In addition to the physical expansion, ParCare will start performing procedures such as colonoscopies and endoscopies. Two new social workers and a neurologist are joining the team on September 1st, and they’re adding psychiatry to their mental health services. Stern said that eventually they’ll provide urgent care and “24-hour round the clock medicine so that we don’t overload ERs unnecessarily. Our goal is to be the place that’s going to fill that void for many years. We’re not stopping here. We want to grow and we hope that the state and federal government will see us as a pilot program. [They’ll] see that we can take care of needs locally and avoid ERs.”
Schlesinger and Stern were especially grateful to Councilmember Letitia James, who they said rooted for the approval in Albany. James said, “It is important for ParCare to participate in Medicare and Medicaid, as well as receive state assistance at a state-sponsored enhanced rate. Considering that most of this medical center’s patients are in minority groups, and many are uninsured, state assistance is critical to ensure healthy communities in Williamsburg, Bed-Stuy, and throughout Brooklyn. I wholeheartedly support approval of Article 28 for ParCare.”
Another big supporter for the passage of the proposal was District Leader Lincoln Restler. He said, “Gary and Sara are knowledgeable, dedicated, and compassionate leaders boldly addressing the myriad health crises affecting North and Central Brooklyn. We are exceptionally fortunate to have ParCare providing high quality, affordable and convenient health services in our community for the long-term.”
It is clear from the recent Article 28 approval that ParCare’s growth is only beginning. Stern said she hopes to replicate this accomplishment in other areas of New York, including upstate. “Once we realize that our work here has been successful, we are absolutely going to look at expanding to other areas and repeating the good work in other underserved areas. Even with our expansion, there are still unmet needs.”