Special Projects Fund

Project Title

Preserving and Expanding Primary Care Access in Brooklyn

Grant Amount


Priority Area

Special Projects Fund

Date Awarded

September 17, 2009








The Brownsville Multi-Service Family Health Center (BMS), established by Brownsville Community Development Corporation (BCDC), serves residents of central Brooklyn with high rates of poverty and chronic diseases.

From 2003 to 2007, three local hospitals, one federally qualified health center (FQHC), and more than sixteen community satellite clinics in Brooklyn closed. Facing the prospect of closing its primary care clinics, Long Island College Hospital (LICH), which is located in the Brooklyn Heights/Cobble Hill section of Brooklyn, engaged BMS about transferring its primary care clinics to the auspice of BMS. BMS, a community-based FQHC, hoped to use its favorable Medicaid reimbursement rates and lower professional liability insurance costs to ensure that the primary care clinics operated more cost-effectively and achieved financial sustainability. In 2009, the New York Health Foundation (NYHealth) awarded BCDC a grant to assist in the quick and seamless transfer of LICH’s primary care clinics to the jurisdiction of BMS.

An increasingly large number of Central Brooklyn residents in pursuit of enhanced quality of care commute to LICH and other hospitals out of their immediate neighborhoods. This acquisition allowed BMS to consolidate primary care services, operate the facilities at full capacity, and add additional primary care services. Additionally, the designation of the LICH clinics as federally qualified health centers within the BMS Network enabled them to receive higher reimbursement rates and achieve sustainability. BMS has a track record of operating—at full capacity—several federally qualified health centers clinics in Central Brooklyn and East New York.