Since 1981, Morris Heights Health Center (MHHC) has had a record of distinction as the major provider of health care to Morris Heights and the surrounding areas. MHHC serves more than 50,000 patients annually and provides a wide range of primary, specialty, dental, mental health, educational, and social services at eight locations. In addition, MHHC maintains school-based health facilities in twenty New York City Public Schools that provide health care for students. ACH Senior Vice President of Communications, Marketing & Membership Manager Dani Veira recently had the opportunity to do a site visit with MHHC Communication & PR Specialist India Dansby and team.

What does working at Morris Heights Health Center mean to you?

Working at MHHC means putting our patients at the center of everything we do. MHHC has been a pillar in the communities we serve for over 40 years, providing access to affordable quality health care services for everyone, including the medically, socially, and economically disadvantaged.

What one thing makes you most proud?

MHHC has always been proud to stand at the forefront of our local and medical communities. We pride ourselves on our committed clinical staff and clinical care and building strong relationships with community-based organizations to address the social risk factors of health that have plagued low income and underserved communities. At MHHC, we provide holistic care that focuses on treating the whole person, and not just their conditions and symptoms. We strive to promote healthy behaviors and lifestyles through strategic partnerships, programs, and community events. We are proud that we are the pillars of each community we serve.

 What keeps you up at night?

 One of the obstacles that we face every day at our health centers is trying to improve the quality of life for members of our community. At MHHC, we understand that the true health of a patient depends on high quality clinical care and taking care of the whole person, and the community they live in. There is a need to ensure that federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) can sustain the services, programs, and essential public resources our communities depend on. The Health Center Community Transformation Hub Act, if passed, will provide the necessary funding to allow us to take care of the whole person and the community they live in. The MHHC Maternal Health Center of Excellence was created to improve health equity in women’s health and eliminate racial disparities in maternal care for women of color. The opening of our Maternal Center of Excellence came at a crucial time as Mayor Eric Adams signed seven legislative bills in 2022 that aim to expand access to maternal care for all women in New York, promote education and transparency, and broaden the citywide doula programming. In New York City alone, Black women are eight times more likely to die from pregnancy-related issues than their white counterparts. Studies have shown that doula support leads to better labor and birthing outcomes. We hope to tackle these statistics and continue our mission to improving the quality of life for our patients through innovative programs and collaborations like our Maternal Center of Excellence.

You recently had the opportunity to host Congresswoman Yvette Clarke for a press event announcing her Health Center Community Transformation Hub Act. If this bill is passed, how will it impact the families you serve?

 If the Health Center Community Transformation Hub Act is passed, it will allow us to expand our services and fund initiatives that foster good health, equity, and socioeconomic growth for residents in the communities we serve. This would remove barriers to access and help us build healthier communities by addressing the unique and complex needs our patients have.

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