Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Northeast Philly will soon have two new health centers

The Health Department made the announcement last week, which will go a long way in bringing more health access to an area of the city with the least.


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The Philadelphia Department of Health recently announced that two new City-run health centers will soon be available in Northeast Philadelphia. 

The first Health Center will be located at the Frankford Transportation Center, which is a massive hub for the entire Frankford community. 

This Frankford Health Center is planned as a full-service center with primary care services for adults and children, women’s health services, a lab, a pharmacy, and much more.

“It will provide high quality, compassionate, culturally sensitive care in the language of each patient,” said Managing Director Tumar Alexander. 

While the location of the second Health Center serving the lower Northeast has yet to be announced, opening two new health centers will go a long way toward transforming that area of the city.

Health Department research has identified the Northeast as a primary care desert, which is defined as an area where the primary care provider to population ratio is greater than 1:3,500.

“These projects are part of the City’s commitment to its residents,” added Alexander. “We know that for far too long, residents of this part of the city have struggled to get access to primary care. Today, we are taking the first step to change that reality.”

The opening of two new health centers will go a long way toward reducing the dearth of primary care options in the community and also help reduce the lengthy waiting time for appointments at nearby Health Center 10.

A 2018 report by the Health Department highlighted gaps in primary care access in different neighborhoods in Philadelphia and found that the Northeast has the lowest rate of community health center access in the city. 

Waiting times at City Health Centers have demonstrated a further lack of access with delays the greatest at Health Center 10 in the Northeast. 

“As the former clinical director of Health Center #10 at Cottman and Bustleton, I have seen just how desperate the need for access is in that part of the city,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Cheryl Bettigole. 

“For too long, many residents of the lower Northeast have been unable to access care in a timely way,” she added. 

The Northeast has been seeing changes for much of the past decade. 

Recent U.S. Census data of the Northeast shows that in the last decade, the area has seen the biggest rises in poverty, the largest growth in the share of Black, Hispanic and Asian residents, and the highest increase in the share of foreign-born residents in the city.

“We cannot continue to allow the kind of waste of human potential that happens when people are shut out of access to healthcare, as happens too often in our city despite its world class medical facilities,” said Bettigole. “Particularly for immigrants, our healthcare system can be an impenetrable wall rather than a source of help.”

The Health Department recognizes the importance of increase access and is seeking to ensure residents of all backgrounds and social classes can have access to high quality, affordable care.

The City has also launched a primary care finder website to help residents identify the primary care provider nearest to them. 


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