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Ribbon cut on $2 million in renovations at Morris Heights Health Center

By Patrick Rocchio

Bronx Times

Morris Heights Health Center celebrated the completion of $2 million in renovations that should help in its delivery of community-based health care.

The community-based health center had a lot to celebrate at a ceremony on Thursday, August 11.

Councilman Fernando Cabrera was on hand to cut the ribbon.

The renovations were funded by $1.5 million in NYC Council Bronx delegation money and over $500,000 from Cabrera in capital improvement funding, according to the councilman.

Gabriel Vonleh, MHHC president, said that Cabrera was instrumental in securing funding from the city council, and said the councilman had come to the aid of the medical center when MHHC asked for help.

“What they have done is to change the entire look and feel of the atrium and some of our exam rooms, and Vonleh. “They have brought positive success to this community, bringing (MHHC) to the level of any high end medical center.”

In the ceremony celebrating the occasion, Cabrera said that MHHC was a beacon of hope in the community.

“It (now) looks like a very welcoming, inviting family health center right here on Burnside,” said the councilman.

He added: “These upgrades greatly improve the quality of care provided to this community.”

Among the improvements to MHHC was second and third floor upgrades to all patient exam rooms, renovations to an atrium, as well as new ceiling tiles, flooring and sinks.

They also include a new waiting area and fire alarm system, as well as improved air conditioning and ventilation, energy efficient lighting and asbestos abatement.

The celebration of the upgrades coincided with National Health Center Week, which was recognized at several points in the program.

As part of the week dedicated to recognizing the contributions of community based healthcare providers, Senator Gustavo Rivera presented a proclamation celebrating MHHC as part of the weeklong celebration.

The senator said that MHHC is a long-standing community center that is federally qualified to provide health care, and that the organization is “engrained in the community.”

“The difference between (MHHC) and other types of organizations like hospitals, for example, is that they are based in the community, they are operated by people in the community, (and) they understand community issues,” said Rivera, adding that people can get affordable and quality health care at MHHC.

Orlando Roboredo gave MHHC a proclamation from the mayor’s office. Roboredo is Americorps program manager for the Community Health Care Association of New York State.

MHHC’s LEAP Awards were presented to employees who exemplify the community health center movement.

Award winners were Merril Alexander, Jonelle Chang, Tommy Chen, Justine Flores, Heidi Kolman, Kay-Ann Lawrence, Kimberly Lopez, Dr. N’Gadie Kamara-Taylor, Johnny Urena and Amy Xu.

Reach Reporter Patrick Rocchio at (718) 260?4597. E-mail him at procchio@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @patrickfrocchio.

Source: Bronx Times Reporter