Special Projects Fund

Grantee Name

William F. Ryan Community Health Center, Inc.

Funding Area

Special Projects Fund

Publication Date

July 2013

Grant Amount


Grant Date:

May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012

The William F. Ryan Community Health Center (Ryan Center) operates in some of New York City’s most vulnerable neighborhoods, serving medically underserved patients in Northern Manhattan-Upper West Side, Central Harlem, Washington Heights, the Lower East Side, and Chelsea/Clinton.

Many of these communities have a shortage of primary care providers, which results in emergency room visits for non-emergency and treatable primary care conditions. These types of visits account for 39% of overall emergency room visits in New York City, according to the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation.  While community health centers (CHCs) can serve as a crucial source of care and other safety-net services to underserved communities, many primary care doctors are not familiar with and do not have experience working in a CHC environment.

In 2011, the New York Health Foundation (NYHealth) awarded the Ryan Center a grant to fund the relocation of St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center’s (SLRHC) Internal Medicine Program to the Ryan Center. By serving as a teaching and primary care rotation site, the Ryan Center would play host to dozens of medical residents, further increasing their exposure to community-based care. In addition, thousands of patients would have increased access to affordable, comprehensive care.

Outcomes and Lessons Learned

  • Implemented the medical residency program in July 2011 with the anticipated number of preceptors and residents;
  • Implemented day-to-day activities involving two teams of three to four medical residents under the supervision of one medical preceptor per team;
  • Trained residents and preceptors on the Ryan Center’s EHR system; policies and procedures; quality assurance/improvement efforts; scheduling systems; and other relevant logistical and clinical procedures; and
  • Completed 5,644 patient encounters from July 1, 2011 to April 30, 2012, an 11% increase from the previous year. Though this number falls short of the original goal of 8,000 new patient encounters, the Ryan Center projected achieving that number in the second year of the program.