MetroPlus Health calls Queens home with opening of new flagship storefront in Flushing

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The ribbon is cut at the new Flushing location.
Photo by Dean Moses

An opening for the ages.

MetroPlus Health looks to play a major role in the COVID-19 recovery process with a new, flagship Queens location.

It was cause for celebration on Wednesday morning as a slew of elected officials and famous faces arrived at 136-13 Roosevelt Avenue to mark the opening of MetroPlus Health in Flushing. With the pandemic remaining a threat due to the Delta variant, the affair was designed to allow a community particularly hard-hit over the last year to take a much-needed respite while also reminding those in need they have access to affordable and even free healthcare coverage.

A dragon dancer greets the crowd. Photo by Dean Moses
Feeding the dragons. Photo by Dean Moses

The insurance provider also prides itself on caring for the community through preventative healthcare measures and supplementing services by ensuring that there are also those on-site to aid with SNAP benefits and temporary housing assistance. However, if MetroPlus plans on being part of the area, they say they must also care for the neighboring businesses as well as residents.  

“Everything inside was secured by local Flushing small-businesses. I am super proud of that, and I think that was a really smart thing in terms of aiding the recovery of small businesses throughout Flushing. The best way to do that is to actually be patrons, and so our dim sum and the dancing lions—every single aspect of this event has been done in partnership with the Flushing Bid and a variety of small-business to make sure this is a celebration not just for MetroPlus, but for the Flushing Community as a whole,” Chief Brand officer Lesleigh Irish-Underwood.

The grand opening began with a ribbon-cutting by President & CEO of MetroPlus Health Dr. Talya Schwartz, Congresswoman Grace Meng, Councilman Peter Koo, and several representatives from local elected officials who christened the ground with shining scissors as traditional lion dancers majestically cantered to the sound of drumbeats.

Dr. Schwartz greets guests. Photo by Dean Moses

Following the opening ceremony, the attending politicians expressed their gratitude for MetroPlus Health continuing to serve those who need them most and through that thanks presented Schwartz with citations and certificates. Guests were treated to locally prepared dishes as renowned Disk Jockey and MetroPlus member DJ Whutever entertained with his spinning skillset. Yet despite all of the fun and pageantry, Dr. Schwartz told amNewYork Metro that it is important to remember why they are there.    

“We are here to serve New Yorkers, particularly vulnerable New Yorkers and there are a lot for Asian New Yorkers who were disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, physically, emotionally, and financially. It is important for us to be here, to make sure that those New Yorkers have access to healthcare, have access to coverage, and don’t have medical care only when there is an emergency but actually take preventative measures before there is an emergency. It is important we serve needs that also impact their health such as housing and food insecurity and eviction protection,” Schwartz said.

Councilman Peter Koo enjoys local Dim Sum. Photo by Dean Moses
DJ Whutever provided the sounds. Photo by Dean Moses
Fresh beverages were served. Photo by Dean Moses