Special Projects Fund

Project Title

Yonkers Health Access Project

Grant Amount


Priority Area

Special Projects Fund

Date Awarded

April 24, 2009


Hudson Valley






Yonkers, the fourth largest city in New York State, has been federally designated as a Medically Underserved Area.

The city lacks an adequate primary care infrastructure and access to care for its most disenfranchised residents, resulting in the use of the outpatient clinics of St. John’s Riverside and St. Joseph’s Medical Center as safety nets for low-income individuals. In 2009, as the worsening economic crisis threatened the capacity of these clinics to sustain its services, St. John’s Riverside and Hudson River HealthCare (HRHCare) decided to transition St. John’s two Valentine Lane Family Practice centers to HRHCare’s network of federally qualified health centers (FQHCs). That same year, NYHealth awarded a grant to HRHCare to assist in the transition from Valentine Lane Family Practice centers to HRHCare sites.

Yonkers—the largest city in Westchester County and the fourth largest city in New York State—is faced with the potential loss of primary care services. The vast majority of Yonkers’ low-income individuals lack any health insurance, third party coverage, or resources to pay for increasingly expensive health care. In addition, there is a dearth of physicians willing to accept uninsured or Medicaid patients, and even fewer who offer a sliding fee scale.

HRHCare will take over and operate the Valentine Lane centers as an addition to its FQHC network. This acquisition will allow HRHCare to purchase the sites, consolidate primary care services, operate the facilities at full capacity, and add services such as translation and care management. HRHCare has a track record of acquiring other hospital-operated ambulatory care centers in both urban and rural settings and restructuring them as FQHCs to meet the needs of underserved communities. Designation of the Valentine Lane sites as FQHCs will enable them to receive higher reimbursement rates and achieve sustainability.