Several Indian-American, South Asian organizations to assist NYC healthcare outreach

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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks during a news conference at Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx borough of New York City, New York, U.S., January 8, 2019. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

NEW YORK— Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Sept. 2, 2020, the launch of NYC Care in Manhattan and Queens ahead of the schedule he had announced earlier about guaranteeing  health care access for all New Yorkers citywide, regardless of immigration status or ability to pay.

Since its launch in August 2019 in the Bronx, and expansion to Brooklyn and Staten Island in January 2020, nearly 30,000 New Yorkers have enrolled and obtained access to high-quality health care across the city, a press release from the Mayor’s office said.

For implementing the expansion of NYC Care into Manhattan and Queens, the  Mayor is enlisting the help of a number of social service organizations, including several Indian-American and South Asian for outreach purposes.

“Our mission to bring affordable, quality healthcare to every New Yorker has never felt more urgent,” Mayor de Blasio is quoted saying in the press release, adding, “With NYC Care now available citywide, we are delivering on this promise and setting a nationwide model of what it means to provide low-cost, affordable health care.”

To expand NYC Care membership in neighborhoods most affected by COVID-19, the City will collaborate with 19 community-based organizations (CBOs) to enroll uninsured New Yorkers in the program. Among the 19 listed in the press release are  South Asian Council for Social Services (SACSS);The Tibetan Community of New York & New Jersey; United Sikhs; Bangladeshi American Community Development & Youth Services (BACDYS), and others which were founded by community leaders of Indian origin such as Make the Road to New York,

Outreach will be conducted in several languages as needed in outreach.

The organizations were selected through a request for proposal process in July. These community based organizations will conduct outreach with a focus on Jackson Heights, North Corona, Flushing, Murray Hill, Whitestone, Elmhurst and South Corona in Queens and Washington Heights, Inwood, Marble, Hamilton Heights, Manhattanville, West Harlem, Chinatown & Lower East Side in Manhattan, the press release said.

Sudha Acharya, executive director of South Asian Council for Social Services said having this health insurance is the most important thing at this time, and “NYC Care will provide much needed access to medical services our communities need, especially to individuals and families who are under-insured and to those who have limited access to healthcare due to their immigration status.”

“United Sikhs is excited to bring NYC Care, a health care access program that guarantees low-cost and no-cost services to New Yorkers, who do not qualify for or cannot afford health insurance,” said Associate Director of United Sikhs Guneet Kaur. “We are grateful to MOIA and NYC Health + Hospitals for giving us this opportunity. This will help towards our mission of serving the underprivileged in Queens.

Some of the other organizations named are Alliance for Positive Change, China Manpower Project, Haitian Americans United, Korean Community Services, and Mexican Coalition, and Voces Latinas.

The City said it will also spearhead a public awareness campaign in key languages, including Spanish, Chinese, Urdu, Bengali, and French, in key neighborhoods in Manhattan and Queens and near all NYC Health + Hospital facilities, including three subway station and bus shelter ad dominations, neighborhood locations, and LinkNYC terminals, and numerous marketing strategies.

New NYC Care members will receive a primary care appointment within two weeks, the City promises. All NYC Care members also receive a membership card, access to language interpretation services, expanded pharmacy hours within the NYC Health + Hospitals system, and a 24/7 customer assistance line where they can ask questions aboutoci NYC Care and speak to an on-call clinician for all of their needs, including prescription refills.

Those who are eligible and want to enroll in the program should call 646-NYC-CARE.

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