Federally Qualified Health Center Will Provide Medical and Behavioral Healthcare to Patients, Regardless of Their Ability to Pay, and Interprofessional Education Opportunities to Dental Students

Entrance of NYU College of Dentistry

Metro Community Health Centers, Inc. (MCHC) is partnering with NYU College of Dentistry to open a new federally qualified health center. The center will offer primary and specialty medical care as well as behavioral health services to primarily low-income and underserved patients, including medically and behaviorally complex patients.

The health center, which opens October 1, is located on the first floor of NYU College of Dentistry at 345 East 24th Street (at First Avenue) and will be operated by MCHC. MCHC currently operates five federally qualified health centers located throughout New York City as a sub-recipient of Sunset Park Health Council. The new health center at NYU College of Dentistry will be the first in Manhattan.  Like NYU College of Dentistry, the new MCHC clinic will accept Medicaid coverage.

“Locating our new health center at NYU College of Dentistry provides us with an opportunity to implement collaborative practice models that aim to better identify disease precursors and underlying conditions in order to improve overall health and well-being,” said Rita Bilello, DDS, chief executive officer of Metro Community Health Centers, Inc., and a graduate of NYU College of Dentistry.

MCHC is recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance as a Level 3 Patient-Centered Medical Home and specializes in supporting patients with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  This specialization complements the care provided at NYU Dentistry’s new Oral Health Center for People with Disabilities, a treatment center dedicated to providing dental care for people with disabilities across the lifespan.

“Metro Community Health Centers’ new facility at NYU College of Dentistry will benefit many New Yorkers, but particularly our patients,” said Charles N. Bertolami, DDS, DMedSc, the Herman Robert Fox Dean of the NYU College of Dentistry. “The center will reduce barriers for NYU dental patients in accessing medical and behavioral health care, as our students and staff can help to ensure smooth transitions from our dental clinics to these critical services.”

Having dental care and medical care under one roof is uncommon but logical, given that oral health and physical health are fundamentally intertwined. Poor oral health has been linked to increased risk for heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic diseases. Systemic diseases such as hypertension and diabetes also increase the risk for periodontal disease.

“There is a significant need to coordinate care between dental and general healthcare providers in order to most effectively prevent disease and support overall wellness. This collaboration between NYU College of Dentistry and Metro Community Health Centers responds to the need to better align dental and medical treatment,” said Bilello.

In addition to expanding access to coordinated services to patients, the health center provides a unique interprofessional education opportunity for NYU dental students that integrates dental and medical care. Two of MCHC’s centers already have training programs for NYU dental students, and the new health center will provide an additional training opportunity where students currently learn and care for patients.

About NYU College of Dentistry
Founded in 1865, New York University College of Dentistry (NYU Dentistry) is the third oldest and the largest dental school in the US, educating 9 percent of the nation’s dentists. NYU Dentistry has a significant global reach with a highly diverse student body. Visit http://dental.nyu.edu for more.

About Metro Community Health Centers, Inc.
Metro Community Health Centers, Inc., specialize in providing comprehensive care to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. MCHC’s mission is to deliver high quality medical, specialty and behavioral health services to patients of all ages and abilities in culturally sensitive environments regardless of health insurance status or ability to pay and without discrimination. Visit https://mchcnyc.org for more information.

To contact Metro Community Health Centers, please call: 855-MCHCNYC (855-624-2692)

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Rachel Harrison
Rachel Harrison
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