Urban Health Plan, Inc., (UHP) is a federally qualified community health center licensed as a diagnostic and treatment center under Article 28 of the New York State Public Health Law and accredited by the Joint Commission. UHP is in its 40th year of providing comprehensive and affordable primary and specialty health care services to the Hunts Point, Mott Haven and Morrisania sections of the Bronx. Its facilities include its main site, eight satellites, ten school health programs, three part-time facilities, and three administrative/program sites that house its WIC program, as well as other grant funded programs.
UHP began in 1974 as an evolution of a group practice with the mission of providing basic and specialty medical care, comparable to those found in local hospital outpatient clinics, to the community's predominantly Hispanic and poor residents. It is the brainchild of Dr. Richard Izquierdo, a life-long resident of the South Bronx and a pediatrician/family practitioner. Concerned by his community's declining health status, and unable to meet the demand for primary medical service in his burgeoning private practice, Dr. Izquierdo sought to expand his practice into an HMO-style practice that offered care in a consistent, cost-effective and managed manner. Because of the lack of primary care services in the area, many residents had grown accustomed to waiting out long lines in local hospital emergency rooms for routine medical care or for the treatment of acute medical conditions, which could have been prevented if diagnosed earlier. Dr. Izquierdo opened the San Juan Health Center in 1967. Seven years later, UHP, a private, non-profit corporation licensed by the Department of Health, was established to broaden the scope of the work started by the San Juan Health Center.
UHP is designated NYS Preferred Primary Care Provider, Prenatal Care Assistance Provider, an HIV Primary Care Provider, and a WIC provider. Over the years, UHP has formed alliances with several community-based organizations to provide health care services in alternate delivery sites. These sites consist of local schools, an adult day treatment program, a Boys and Girls Club, and homeless shelters.
The agency is affiliated with Bronx-Lebanon Hospital, Lincoln Medical & Mental Health Center, Our Lady of Mercy Hospital, and Jacobi Medical Center.
UHP has been actively involved with the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Bureau of Primary Health Care Health Care Disparities Collaboratives and has received national recognition for its performance improvement work. Its work with the asthmatic population in the South Bronx has greatly contributed to the reduction in pediatric hospitalizations related to asthma as reported by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. The Joint Commission highlighted UHP as a "Spotlight on Success" for this work. UHP has recently initiated the "UHP Institute for the Advancement of Community Health" as the cornerstone for all of its performance improvement and safety initiatives. Through these efforts, we have developed an outstanding Health Education Department developed a program of community health workers who serve as adjuncts to the care that is provided within their facilities.