MetroPlusHealth, known as “the city’s healthcare plan,” commemorated its Founders Day and 37 years of service on June 15 with a storefront takeover.
In 1985, the founders of MetroPlusHealth were frustrated with the inequities within the healthcare system. After witnessing numerous New Yorkers’ inability to afford quality health care at Metropolitan hospital in Harlem, they transformed this harsh realization into action and developed the MetroPlusHealth plan, a wholly-owned subsidiary of NYC Health + Hospitals that provides affordable and quality healthcare to over 600,000 New Yorkers.
“There were a lot of people who just could not get health coverage, let alone quality health coverage, so they decided to do a demonstration project and see if Health + Hospitals can start offering health coverage, not just health care, but health coverage,” President & Chief Executive Officer Dr. Talya Schwartz told amNewYork Metro.
In honor of the founders and the path they carved to affordable health care, MetroPlusHealth celebrated the anniversary by holding a special luncheon that not only honored the original pioneers but also all of their current employees.
Taking place at 50 Water St., the day looked to promote the provider’s new storefront appearance with a party-esque ambiance, food, and a photo booth. However, it wasn’t just about fun and games. According to Doctor Schwartz, the time likewise looked to cement their mission–serving New Yorkers.
“We launched this day to frankly, just celebrate our mission and the fact that we’ve been here serving New Yorkers for 37 years but also thanking our staff and our employees who really come to work with us because they’re passionate about what we do. They really care,” Dr. Schwartz said.
MetroPlusHealth has evolved over the years, while keeping its core goal to provide quality health care, it has expanded to offer prenatal care, vaccinations, preventive health measures, mental health care, and treats those with chronic health conditions.
“We launched a Housing Task Force that is helping New Yorkers to get housed mostly focusing on New Yorkers who are struggling with chronic mental disease, addiction, etc., and helping them to get supportive housing,” Dr. Schwartz added.
Additionally, MetroPlusHealth was approved to launch medically tailored meals, which means that part of their insurance product offers certain vulnerable members three meals a day, seven days a week for as long as they need it. This idea stemmed from an initiative the health organization participated in during the pandemic, where they distributed meals to members who needed it.