Whitney Young Health and Equinox, two major Capital Region health and human service organizations, hope to partner this year to provide more resources in underserved communities.
Quentin Holy was diagnosed with diabetes, which requires consistent medical visits to keep him moving.
“You may start to notice that you’ve been putting it off for awhile because it seems like such a hump to get there,” said Holy, who, like many who live downtown, mostly gets around on foot.
The Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA) doesn’t offer a quick route to his doctor's office, either, and he said the hassle of scheduling a medical taxi often doesn’t seem worth it.
What You Need To Know
- Whitney Young Health and Equinox have agreed to form an official affiliation
- They expect approval from state and federal agencies in 2022
- A new primary doctor’s office would open on Central Avenue in Albany
He admits access often keeps him from understanding and addressing his health.
“I already feel like I have something that, you know, is going to have me not well, and then on top of that, pills scare you, different side effects, things from pills, then you’re not gonna take pills,” said Holy.
Just two blocks from where he lives, Holy is hopeful a solution could be located at 526 Central Avenue in Albany. Expected to open this year, the new location for Whitney Young Health will be the first to provide primary care in Albany’s downtown business district.
It isn’t a coincidence that Equinox has a new location next door. The two longstanding health and human service organizations are planning to team up.
Kathy Fletcher for Equinox and Dave Shippee for Whitney Young have worked a couple of years to make the affiliation happen.
“There’s a long history of both organizations working a lot together, and it’s because the people they each serve often have picked something off the menu of either organization that they needed from time to time,” said Shipee.
Whitney Young focuses on providing health care to low-income patients. Equinox offers resources for those experiencing homelessness, chemical dependency and domestic violence.
“Managing through the health care system can be difficult,” said Fletcher. “What we’re trying to do is have a continuum of care. We’re making it easier for the patient to get the services that they need.”
Combining their services and staffs, they hope to get a more complete picture of each patient and what they need. Ultimately, they hope it leads to a healthier community.
“I think at the end of the day do a much better job addressing social deterrents of health opportunities that we can take advantage of here and do some meaningful change on,” said Shipee.
With a more holistic approach to health and access to it so close to home, Holy believes his neighborhood will feel more comfortable getting the help it needs.
“People are going to almost be like a second home coming up here,” said Holy. “There’s going to be a lot of rapport that gets built very quickly.”
Approval from several federal and state regulatory entities is required before the two organizations can officially integrate, but the CEOs anticipate that happening within the year and once it does, they say new initiatives and plans for community outreach will be announced.