It was an exciting day for Urban Health Plan, Inc. as the new Adolescent Health and Wellness Center opened it’s doors this morning to welcome their patients to the new state of the art medical and youth development facility. The center is equipped with the most modern of primary care equipment including EMR (electronic medical records), IRIS Scanners, and on-site specialty laboratory processes. As an integral part of the Adolescent Health & Wellness Center my duties include education, outreach, teaching, and building strong and intelligent teens. I work primarialy in the clinic and have constant communications with teens on just about everything. Teens come to me with questions about sex and contraceptives and even questions about college and how to write a resume. This center has focused primarily on providing cutting-edge, world-class adolescent care that incorporates all aspects of primary adolescent medicine and fully-functional youth development and pregnancy prevention programs.
As stated by prominent pediatric physician, Dr. Mohammed, at this mornings meet & greet, “Urban Health Plan is known for its ability to grow…” And that is exactly what the adolescent department has done thus far and will continue to do…grow. The Adolescent clinic has outgrown their small space in the second floor of the main site at 1065 Southern Blvd and has moved on to acquire a more larger, sophisticated, and more teen-friendly center. This is a huge milestone, not only for the organization, but for adolescent medicine in the south bronx. The Adolescent Health and Wellness Center is known as the only adolescent health & wellness center that exists in the south bronx and will not only continue to impact this community, but become a best practice model for other adolescent programs seeking to incorporate adolescent health and development for future initiatives.
This new center was the vision or Urban Health Plan’s CEO, Paloma Hernandez who spearheaded this new collaborative with the help of other veteran service providers such as Dr. Bitterman, Eileen Leech, Patrick Fields, Dr. Mohammed, and Javiera Figueroa among others who’ve also played an important role in seeing this vision fly. Ms. Paloma Hernandez has created by far the most sustainable, effective, and culturally aware health care centers in the entire state of New York. Her passion and drive for community development has created a movement of care for many of those who at one point did not have a voice. Paloma stated, “Our goal is help these teens become fully functional adults in society.” And by far, her mission, vision, and values are credos that we live by everyday as providers. As an educator, my main focus is to educate through active learning, empowerment and individual behavior change. This brings the most satisfying feeling of them all; knowing that everyday you go to work to help the future of your community…the youth.
Once again, I want to congratulate Paloma and all of her wonderful senior management team and other collaborators for achieving such a wonderful accomplishment and for continuing their work in the South Bronx and Corona Queens. If you are interested in learning more about the organization please visit their website, Facebook, or follow them on twitter @urbanhealthplan.