Expanding Access to Primary Care in Buffalo’s Underserved East Side
Special Projects Fund
October 11, 2017
Buffalo is among the poorest large cities in the nation, with many of its residents facing a multitude of health challenges and barriers to primary care and community supports.
Currently, four of the poorest ZIP codes in Buffalo’s East Side do not have adequate access to primary care, with an estimated individual-to-primary care physician ratio greatly exceeding that required to qualify as a Primary Care Health Provider Shortage Area. Jericho Road Community Health Center, a federally qualified health center (FQHC), provides primary care services to more than 12,000 patients in the Buffalo region. To fill the gaps in service caused by closures of other East Side clinics, Jericho Road completed a 10-year strategic plan that outlined the development of a new community health center on Buffalo’s East Side to provide health care and wraparound services for underserved and low-income residents. In 2017, NYSHealth awarded Jericho Road Ministries a grant to expand the FQHC and provide primary care services to additional underserved residents of Buffalo’s East Side.
With NYSHealth funding, Jericho Road operated a medical pod to begin clinical operations and service coordination until the new center was fully operational, as well as used funds for start-up costs in years one and two before it reached full financial sustainability. Once fully operational, the new community health center provided a full array of primary care and other medical services directly and through referral arrangements. Numerous nonclinical services—such as a diabetes education and support program; in-house translation for more than 25 languages and dialects; medical case management; and employment, financial, and English as a second language education—were also offered to patients at the new center.