Special Projects Fund

Project Title

Thelma C. Davidson Adair Community Health Center Acquisition

Grant Amount


Priority Area

Special Projects Fund

Date Awarded

October 14, 2009







In 2009, Columbia University announced its intent to close the Thelma C. Davidson Adair Community Health Center (Thelma Adair), located in the medically underserved community of Central Harlem.

Allowing Thelma Adair to close would have created a significant gap in health care capacity—current patients would lose their medical home and unmet community health needs would only have increased in this medically underserved area. The William F. Ryan Community Health Center (Ryan) is part of the Ryan Network—a group of Manhattan-based community health centers that was founded to provide community health care in the most underserved neighborhoods of New York City. Ryan was in a unique position to take over Thelma Adair. The center was located in Ryan’s catchment area, and Ryan had a strong reputation for managing community-based health centers. In December 2009, NYHealth awarded a grant to Ryan to help ensure the smooth transition of Thelma Adair into its operations.

This acquisition allowed Ryan to consolidate primary care services, operate the facility at full capacity, and add additional primary care services. The designation of Thelma Adair as an FQHC within the Ryan Network enabled it to receive higher reimbursement rates and achieve sustainability. Ryan has a proven track record of acquiring other hospital-operated ambulatory care centers in urban settings and restructuring them as FQHCs to meet the needs of underserved communities.