New York, NY, September 9, 2013
The Lower East Side Harm Reduction Center (LESHRC) is proud to announce a collaboration with Ryan-NENA Community Health Center on a new project led by LESHRC Director of Behavioral Health and Medical Services, Ajani Benjamin. On Thursday, September 5, 2013 LESHRC hosted the first visit from the Ryan Network Mobile Health Care Unit; it was a great success with five participants accessing heath care services from the unit and more scheduled to do so in weeks to come.
LESHRC will be hosting visits from the Ryan Network Mobile Health Unit every Thursday from 10 AM to 3 PM at the storefront at 25 Allen Street. LESHRC participants will be able to access primary medical care from the mobile health unit which will include medical checkups, STI testing, wound and abscess care, diabetes management, high blood pressure management, cholesterol management, and urgent care. All services will be available in English and Spanish. Moreover, any participants who register with the Ryan Network mobile medical unit will then be able to access medical care at any of the five Ryan Centers in New York City. This is an excellent opportunity for LESHRC to provide participants with linkage to care. In addition to this, the Lower East Side Harm Reduction Center will be happy to provide harm reduction psychotherapy and other harm reduction services for any Ryan-NENA clients who are active drug users.
Ryan-NENA stated that it is delighted to partner with LESHRC to provide comprehensive medical care, treatment including prescriptions, and support services to LESHRC consumers. As more and more components of the Affordable Care Act are being implemented, this collaboration is part of ensuring that all have access to the best medical care and treatment in the Lower East Side community. The mission of the William F. Ryan Community Health Network, in the words of the late Congressman William F. Ryan, is "Health Care is a Right not a Privilege". This collaboration allows both organizations to move toward accomplishing that mission.
Ajani Benjamin commented, "The launch of this collaboration with the Ryan-NENA Community Health Center for the provision of much needed medical services is a boon not only for People Who Inject Drugs (PWID) but also to local community members who benefit from increased access to sensitive and culturally competent medical care. I’m very hopeful for future collaborations between the Lower East Side Harm Reduction Center and Ryan-NENA."