GHC Protest At Mt. Sinai Meeting With Political Leaders, Mentioned In “The City “ – 092719
By Rachel Holliday Smith
On West 124th Street, Mount Sinai Hospital has been planning for
more than a year to open a new health facility.
In its current form, the Mt. Sinai outpatient clinic, set for a
late-2021 opening, would include primary and specialty care as well as mental
health treatment for children, teens and adults.
On the block Mt. Sinai is eyeing, there are multiple methadone
clinics, a sliding-scale health center and at least two homeless shelters.
The Greater Harlem Coalition was founded last year to fight the
Mount Sinai facility and bring attention to the concentration of social and
health services in East and Central Harlem as a problem.
The protesters’ message was clear: the neighborhood is already
doing more than its fair share, and they shouldn’t have to shoulder more
a map of the density of mental health programs the
group compiled from state and city health data, Harlem is shaded dark gray.
Their analysis found Harlem has just 5% of New York City’s population but 15%
of its mental health programs.
Data from the state’s Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse
Services (OASAS) obtained by the coalition through a Freedom of Information Law
request shows that while 6.9% of people in New York City OASAS-certified
treatment programs for opioid addiction are Harlem residents, nearly a fifth
(19.1%) of opioid treatment programs are located there as well.
Shawn Hill, a co-founder of the Coalition told the crowd, “Every
time you feel overburdened, every time you feel that it’s too much — you are
absolutely correct. And we have the data to back that up,”
Addiction facilities must providing waiting areas indoors to support the clients they serve.
New York State has many rules about substance abuse facilities and the services they provide. They also have rules about the physical setup of the facilities that address the issue of “hanging out” before treatment.
in the section: § 404.10 Environment, providers are supposed to provide: (ii) An adequately furnished waiting area shall be available to those waitingfor services and shall be supervised to control access to the facility. There should be sufficient separation and supervision of various treatment groups (e.g.children) to ensure safety
The Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) recently sent us a letter in response to our concerns about the proposed facility for mental health and substance abuse services on West 124th Street, between Lenox Ave and Adam Clayton Powell Ave.
We encourage our supporters to read the letter attached and help us to find ways to decrease the number that are concentrated in Harlem. These concentration of services include substance abuse facilities, homeless shelters and halfway houses, and mental health facilities.
Greater Harlem Coalition supports the need for easy access of all of these services to New Yorkers, but feel it is time to share these services and distribute them evenly across the city and state.