Health Care

The Harlem United community AIDS Center offers people living with HIV/AIDS comprehensive, cutting edge primary and specialty medical care. Everyone receives the same HIV-sensitive, quality care, regardless of their ability to pay. We accept a variety of insurance plans and if you’re uninsured and have limited financial means, our staff will help determine your eligibility for a variety of medical care and drug assistance programs and help you complete the appropriate applications.

The facility is staffed by HIV/AIDS specialists, including board-certified physicians, social services case managers, and a nutritionist. In addition to medical care, the Center’s HIV/AIDS services include case management, mental health counseling, complementary therapies such as art therapy and nutritional counseling.

Primary Care Accepted Insurance:

  • Aetna
  • ADAP
  • Affinity Health Plan
  • Amida Care (Vita Care)
  • Beacon Health Strategies, LLC. (For all Behavioral Health under
  • Affinity and Amida Care)
  • Community Plan (AmeriChoice by UHC)
  • Fidelis Care of NY
  • HealthCare Partners
  • Health First
  • HP/AMERIGROUP (formally Health Plus)
  • Medicaid
  • Medicare Part A
  • Metro Plus
  • Oxford by UHC
  • United Behavioral Health by United Health Care (the facility is credentialed as of 6/28/2013)
  • United Health Care
  • ValueOptions, Behavioral Health, “Managing entity for GHI/HIP & VNSNY”
  • VNSNY/ Select Health (formally known as Select Health)
  • Wellcare of New York (for Behavioral Health & HIV-under PA. Ziemba only)

Dental Accepted Insurance:

  • Aetna Dental HMO & PPO
  • Careington Dental (for HIP VIP/Prime & MetLife’s PDPPLUS)
  • DentaQuest (under Affinity, as of 4/1/2014, Fidelis & Health First)
  • HealthPlex (under Amida Care, HP/Amerigroup, HIP, Metro Plus, VNSNY/Select Health & Wellcare)
  • UHC-Dental (under Community Plan & UHC)

Primary Care Pending Insurance:

  • Medicare Part B
  • VNSNY under Medicare
  • ADHC/MLTC Accepted Insurances:
  • HP/Amerigroup
  • Fidelis
  • GuildNet/GuildNet Gold
  • Independence Care System
  • Health First
  • HIP
  • Metro Plus
  • Village Care Max FIDA
  • VNSNY
  • ADHC/MLTC Pending Insurances:
  • UHC Wellcare
  • VNSNY under Medicare

Participating Insurance under the Health Exchange:

  • Affinity Health Plan
  • Beacon Health Strategies
  • DentaQuest
  • Fidelis of NY
  • Health First
  • HP/Amerigroup
  • HealthPlex
  • Metro Plus
  • Wellcare

In this interview with Brooke Wyatt, Harlem United’s former Hepatis C Program Coordinator, she answers important questions  for Harlem United’s staff, clients and our greater community.

hepcpic2

What is Harlem United doing about Hepatitis C?

Our services are expanding by the minute. Harlem United’s current HCV program offers patient navigation and tailored holistic care to help our clients become more reliable and knowledgeable in managing their HCV as well as HIV.  By joining the HCV program, a patient can be seen by our infectious disease specialist, Dr. Vera Antonios, to begin creating their optimized treatment plan.

The program also aims to:

  1. Provide clients with knowledge about Hepatitis C infection, including: self care education, dispelling misconceptions & providing information about prevention & treatment options
  2. Provide a supportive environment for clients: Create opportunity for dialogue, create open venue for expression of needs and create opportunity for follow up
  3. Promote Prevention: Alert clients to different risk factors associated with HCV

Know someone who may be interested in Harlem United’s Hepatitis C Co-Infection program?

Please invite them to join us every Friday at 2:00pm for education and support @ ADHC West, 3rd Floor Conference Room. For more information, please direct questions to Brooke Wyatt, the program Coordinator, at (212) 803-2850 ext. 2458 or stop by her desk on the 2nd floor of 306 Lenox.

Check us out on NY1!

HepCpic1

Q & A About Hep C

People often mention Hepatitis B, but what exactly is Hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C (HCV) is a viral disease that harms the liver, which is located in the upper right side of the belly. The virus causes inflammation of the liver and is the most chronic of liver diseases causing 8,000 to 13, 000 deaths per year among people who have developed advanced cirrhosis (scarring) of the liver. HCV is spread by contact with blood which includes but is not limited to: intravenous drug use, risky sexual behaviors, infected needles for tattooing and/ piercings, as well as sharing toothbrushes, razors and other objects that might be contaminated with blood.

What symptoms are associated with Hepatitis C?

This is what makes diagnosing or recognizing Hepatitis C in your own body, difficult! There are some symptoms associated with the onset of HCV such as feeling tired or weak, lack of hunger, nausea, muscle or joint aches. This is known as “acute Hepatitis C” in which most people show very few, if any symptoms. Once the virus continues to multiply in the blood, it becomes “chronic”, implying that the liver is scarred and infection will be prolonged through life if not treated or cleared on its own. (Its kind of mind boggling how something that affects our community in such a negative way could actually be cleared by the body naturally in some!)

Although few people show symptoms for cirrhosis, when they do it can appear as: swelling in the belly and legs, fluid buildup in the lungs, easily bruising or bleeding, trouble taking full breathes, constantly feeling full in the belly, yellowing of the eyes or skin (jaundice) and confusion.

I want to know my status! What test should I ask my doctor for?

There are a series of tests that can be performed for diagnosing as well as confirmatory purposes. The most common test is the “rapid test”. This involves a quick pricking of the finger that tells whether or not the virus antibody is in your system. If the screening test returns positive or inconclusive, further testing is performed to confirm the virus is present. A test called the HCV RNA measures the amount of virus circulating in the system (Viral load) and the Genotype testing determines exactly what type of HCV a person may have.

Wait, so how many different types of Genotypes are there?

Most people don’t know that there are FIVE types of viral Hepatitis (A through E) let alone different genotypes for HCV. Genotype 1 is most common in the U.S. with genotypes 2 and 3 to follow. Genotype 4 is the least common in the U.S.

Are there any other tests that can tell you more about the virus?

Yes, there are two actually. They are the Liver biopsy and fibrosure. The biopsy is a small outpatient procedure where a small sample of liver tissue is microscopically examined and the fibrosure is simply an ultrasound that shows the extensiveness of liver scarring.

How can it be treated?

Well that’s the great news. Whereas most people know the previous treatment cascade to be quite grueling, there are new medications that are truly changing the face of HCV. Previously, co-infected individuals had to take a three- part- treatment. This included the combination of pegylated interferon ( a shot self-administered once a week) ribavirin (once a day pill) and a protease inhibitor (boceprevir or telaprevir) for approximately 48 weeks! That’s a long time, not to mention the side effects such as anemia, rashes, severe flu-like symptoms, low levels of red/white blood cells, depression, and fatigue. But now, the treatment process has improved significantly!

Two new medications, simeprevir and sofosbuvir are being offered by Jansen and Gilead, respectively. These medications have showed suppressed viral load in as early as 4 weeks, and treatment can be as short as 12 weeks for some co-infected individuals, with significantly reduced side effects across the board!

 

Harlem United provides comprehensive, quality Primary Care & Dental services through mobile health vehicles to our most vulnerable populations at sites in Brooklyn and the South Bronx. Our patients often have multiple diagnoses such as HIV, mental illness, substance use and chronic illnesses such as Hepatitis C and Hypertension. Our team strives to provide sensitive, compassionate, integrated care in a professional atmosphere at the sites listed above. This particularly assists clients who have difficulty traveling to our Harlem clinics.

Harlem United Mobile Health Unit

Monday: MEDICAL: 22ND Street & Surf Ave, Coney Island // DENTAL: East Tremont Ave & 3rd Ave, Bronx
Wednesday: MEDICAL: Jerome Ave and East Tremont Ave, Bronx // DENTAL: 22ND Street & Surf Ave, Coney Island
Thursday: MEDICAL: Classon Ave and Fulton Street, Bed Sty, Brooklyn // DENTAL: Jerome Ave and East Tremont Ave, Bronx
Friday: MEDICAL: New Bronx site, TBA // DENTAL: Classon Ave and Fulton Street, Bed Sty, Brooklyn

For further assistance or more information, please contact Emma Roberts at (212) 803-2850 x2386 or (646) 387 9522 or eroberts@harlemunited.org

Eligibility Criteria:

  • HIV positive or negative, 18 years and over
  • Homeless or unstably housed
  • Undocumented Insured or non-insured
  • Some Medicaid managed care plans not accepted.
  • Clients and/or staff should call to inquire.
  • Assistance is provided regardless of a client’s ability to pay.
  • The staff can assist clients in obtaining eligibility if entitled.

Services Include:

  • Comprehensive primary care & dental services
  • HIV specialist care
  • Women’s health care coordination
  • Adherence Counseling
  • Prevention with positives
  • Counseling with Medical Providers
  • Health Education
  • Hypertensive Care
  • Diabetes management
  • Referrals to outside specialty services
  • Medicaid and Managed care enrollment with facilitated enrollers

Inside the Medical Unit

Dental Services:

  • Diagnostic X-rays and exams
  • Preventive care (cleanings and oral hygiene instruction)
  • Emergency care (treatment of acute pain and swelling)
  • Restorations (fillings)
  • Endodontics (root canals utilizing newest techniques)
  • Prosthodontics (fixed and removable dentures)
  • Periodontics (gum treatment)
  • Oral surgery (extractions)
  • Referrals to outside specialists for complex surgical procedures

Inside the Dental Unit

Locations:

  • El Faro (East Side) 179 E. 116th Street, 2nd Floor, between Lexington & 3rd Avenues

Willis Green Jr. Health Center: Mon, Tues, Thurs, and Fri, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm; Wednesday, 9:00 am-6:00 pm
El Faro Health Center: Mon, Wed, & Fri, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm; Tues and Thurs, 9:00 am-6:00 pm; Wed 9:00 am-7:00 pm
Mobile Primary Care Program: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, 8:00 am to 4:00 pm

For more information on Health Centers, please contact Ama Armah at (212) 987-3707 x2036 or aarmah@harlemunited.org
For more information on our Mobile Primary Care program, please contact Emma at (646)387-9522 or eroberts@harlemunited.org
If further assistance is needed, please contact Crystal Jordan at (212) 803-2850 x2844 or cjordan@harlemunited.org

Harlem United is deeply committed to providing comprehensive, quality primary care services to our most vulnerable populations. Our patients often have multiple diagnoses such as HIV, mental illness, substance use and chronic illnesses such as Hepatitis C and hypertension. For many patients, the effects of disease and illness are compounded by socio-economic factors including unstable housing and poverty. Our team strives to provide sensitive, compassionate, integrated care in a professional atmosphere to address our clients’ complex health needs. As a Federally Qualified Health Center, Harlem United has built on its historical commitment to PLWHA to serve a range of populations who face barriers to care including homelessness and lack of insurance. As a Level 3, NCQA Patient Centered Medical Home, Harlem United is fully equipped to provide the highest quality of coordinated, continuous, comprehensive, accessible care. All Harlem United clinics use state-of-the-art electronic medical records to ensure quality and safety of care, and the El Faro Health Center on East 116th Street is fully staffed with bilingual (English/Spanish) staff.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • HIV status does not affect eligibility; clients can be HIV+ or HIV- 18 years or older
    o Some Medicaid managed care plans not accepted. Clients and/or staff should call to inquire
    o Staff can assist clients in obtaining insurance if they are eligible
    o For clients who cannot obtain insurance, services are offered based on a sliding fee scale

Services Include:

  • Comprehensive primary care services
  • HIV specialty care
  • Hepatitis C and infectious disease specialty care including HCV/HIV co-infection care
  • Women’s health
  • Psychiatry
  • Psychotherapy
  • Care coordination
  • Directly Observed Therapy program (DOT)
  • Prevention with positives
  • Counseling with medical providers
  • Referrals to outside specialty services
  • Facilitated Medicaid enrollment
  • Hypertension care
  • Diabetes management

 


Willis Green Jr. Health Center (West Side) 123-125 W. 124th Street, 2nd Floor

Monday and Wednesday 9:00 am to 7:00 pm, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Alternating Saturdays 9:00 am to 5:00 pm (call regarding exact dates)
For more information, please contact Sharon Gould at (212) 531-1300 x2459 or sgould@harlemunited.org
For further assistance, please contact Andrew Felder at (212) 803-2850 x2426 or afelder@harlemunited.org

Our dental clinic was created in response to our clients’ need for quality dental care. (Good dental care is key to maintaining the health of people with HIV/AIDS.) Our clients requested a full-service dental clinic that was easy to access for historically underserved and special needs population. In August 2003, through a partnership with Columbia University, Harlem United opened a state-of-the-art dental facility which offers a variety of comprehensive services.

Eligibility Criteria:

Clients must have Medicaid or ADAP, can be HIV+ or HIV-, 18 years or older Some Medicaid managed care plans are not accepted. Clients and/or staff should call to inquire Assistance is provided regardless of a client’s ability to pay. The staff can assist clients in obtaining eligibility if
entitled.

Services Provided:

  • Diagnostic X-rays and exams
  • Preventive care (cleanings and oral hygiene instruction)
  • Emergency care (treatment of acute pain and swelling)
  • Restorations (fillings)
  • Endodontics (root canals utilizing newest techniques)
  • Prosthodontics (fixed and removable dentures)
  • Periodontics (gum treatment)
  • Oral surgery (extractions)
  • Referrals to outside specialists for complex surgical procedures

 

 

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