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Greater Harlem Coalition Logo

December 20, 2023



And GHC Helped Shape The Services It Offers

Harlem, NY (December 12, 2023) – After five years of persistent community engagement, the Greater Harlem Coalition (GHC) has secured a significant victory in its fight for community centered healthcare access in Harlem. Mount Sinai, a major healthcare provider with a controversial presence in the neighborhood due to it's participation in the structural oversaturation of addiction treatment programs, unveiled its new Harlem Health Center on West 124th Street this week.  For GHC, this center's resident-focused programming is an enormous change from the original vision. 

The initial plan, which sparked the GHC's opposition, centered around a heavy focus on addiction treatment services. Residents were understandably alarmed by the prospect of further saturating an already overburdened block with facilities dedicated to this specific area. With three existing opioid treatment programs and numerous homeless shelters on the same street, Harlem felt that Mount Sinai was using Harlem as a dumping ground for addiction treatment needs.

The GHC refused to stand by. For 5 years, we conducted a tireless campaign including:

  • Written communication: Letters to Mount Sinai officials, postcards to trustees, and online petitions.
  • Direct engagement: Meetings with Mount Sinai leadership, town halls with medical staff, and public protests.
  • Community education: Walking tours of the affected blocks to raise awareness of the issue and its implications.

The dedication and persistence of GHC and our members eventually paid off. Mount Sinai, acknowledging the community's concerns, agreed to shift this new center's focus away from addiction treatment. The most impactful change, as the GHC sees it, was the decision to not locate the C.A.R.E.S. special school for addicted youth within the Harlem Health Center. This move, widely considered insensitive to the existing struggles of the neighborhood, was a major victory for the community's vision of a thriving Harlem.

For too long, Harlem has been redlined by addiction treatment providers.  This victory shows that when our community speaks with one voice, we can create real change. 

The Greater Harlem Coalition thanks Mount Sinai for listening and for ultimately choosing to partner with Harlem residents in shaping the health center's programming.

Remarks by Evan Flatow, MD

Mount Sinai-Harlem Health Center Ribbon Cutting

December 12, 2023

Good afternoon, esteemed guests, dedicated staff, and valued members of our Harlem community.

It is with great joy and a profound sense of purpose that we are gathering today to officially open Mount Sinai-Harlem Health Center. This momentous occasion represents not only the inauguration of a state-of-the-art outpatient facility, but also a further expression of the Mount Sinai Health System’s unwavering commitment to the well-being of the Harlem community.

The Mount Sinai-Harlem Health Center, a remarkable $80 million investment, stands as a testament to our ongoing mission to provide inclusive, equitable, and high-quality care to all. Spanning 12 stories and 85,000 square feet, this facility will serve as a hub for primary care, medical and surgical specialty services, mental health care, dentistry, imaging, and pharmacy services.

In an era where accessibility and comprehensive care are paramount, Mount Sinai-Harlem Health Center will play a pivotal role in ensuring that community members, our neighbors, receive the care they deserve. From primary care to specialties including cardiology and orthopedics, the Center is poised to be a destination for integrated health care.

I am especially proud to announce that the Institute for Advanced Medicine practices from The Mount Sinai Hospital and Mount Sinai Morningside, known here as the Jack Martin Fund Center, find its new home within these walls. The Jack Martin Fund Center is dedicated to underserved communities and patients with specialized needs, and it will continue to provide compassionate care and vital services.

In addition, the Diversity and Innovation Hub, nestled within our Center, will champion inclusivity and technological innovation to address health disparities in our community.

As we take this monumental step, let us acknowledge the collaborative efforts that have made Mount Sinai-Harlem Health Center a reality. 

"The open dialogue with the Greater Harlem Coalition, elected officials, local leaders, and providers has been instrumental in shaping this facility to meet the unique needs of our community."

Looking ahead, the Center will continue to evolve and adapt, ensuring it remains a pillar of health and wellness for generations to come. In 2024, a multispecialty practice will open on the first floor, offering a wide spectrum of services including care for digestive and kidney issues, eye care, orthopedics, and podiatry.

The journey to this day has been one of collaboration, dedication, and a shared vision for a healthier Harlem. Mount Sinai is not merely a health care provider, it is a steadfast partner in the community’s well-being.

I invite you all to explore the Mount Sinai-Harlem Health Center. There will be tours once this ceremony concludes.

Thank you, and may the Mount Sinai-Harlem Health Center serve as a sanctuary of health where compassion meets cutting-edge technology and a source of healing and hope for all.

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Thank you to all the residents and neighbors of Harlem who worked so hard to encourage Mount Sinai to acknowledge its contribution to the current oversaturation of Harlem and East Harlem, and to reimagine their new Harlem Health Center as a resident-focused health facility

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What Drug/s Are Present At Death?

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The presence of a drug at death does not mean that that drug was the cause of death.  It does, however, point to the complexity of the illegal drug supply - one in which many (if not most) drugs are not pure, but rather combinations of narcotics in varying and sometimes deadly forms.

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