Primary Care

Grantee Name

Charles B. Wang Community Health Center

Funding Area

Primary Care

Publication Date

September 2017

Grant Amount


Grant Date:

January 2016 – December 2016

New York City is home to nearly 1.2 million Asian Americans, representing more than 13% of the City’s total population.

Many Asian Americans experience health and health care disparities at a greater rate compared with the general population, including higher rates of chronic diseases and lower access to primary care services. Numerous factors contribute to this problem, such as language barriers and immigration issues. Founded in 1971, the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center (Charles B. Wang CHC) is a nonprofit federally qualified health center that operates service sites in Lower Manhattan and in Flushing, Queens. The majority of its 49,000 patients are low-income, uninsured, or under-insured Asian Americans with limited access to basic health care. As a result of a growing South Asian population in Queens, Charles B. Wang CHC’s Flushing site reached capacity. In 2015, NYHealth awarded Charles B. Wang CHC a grant to support the opening of a second clinic to serve the Queens community.

Outcomes and Lessons Learned

  • Launched a marketing and recruitment campaign to recruit culturally and linguistically diverse providers and support staff for the new site;
  • Recruited 8 new, culturally competent staff to operate the new site, who served 1,048 patients (5,235 visits) in 2016, of which more than 800 patients were new and the remainder were overflow from the original clinic.
  • Expanded service hours from six days per week to seven days per week in 2017; and
  • Received approval for and launched a refugee medical screening program at the new site.

The biggest challenge of launching this new site was recruiting suitably bilingual, bicultural primary care physicians and staff. To address this shortage, Charles B. Wang CHC adopted multiple recruitment strategies, including advertising on traditional and digital marketing sources; conducting recruitment fairs at residency training programs; recruiting family practice residents; enhancing its online job application portal; and offering staff incentives for successful referrals.

As the program scales up and demand increases, Charles B. Wang CHC will offer refugee screening and immunization services at its other CHC sites, facilitating outreach to more diverse populations in the Queens area as a result.

Co-Funding and Additional Funds Leveraged: N/A