September 23, 2021
BROOKLYN, NEW YORK – EmblemHealth, one of the nation’s largest nonprofit health insurers, was joined Saturday (10/2/2021) in Brownsville, Brooklyn by elected leaders, community organizations, and medical professionals to host its first in a series of citywide Healthier Futures Wellness Expos.
Several hundred Brooklynites attended the event, which provided COVID-19 vaccinations in addition to dozens of other medical screenings, including breast cancer, diabetes, and HIV screenings, a job fair, free haircuts and manicures, live entertainment, free food, and other activities.
“At EmblemHealth, we believe in communities and in the people, who make them vibrant places to live. Our Healthier Futures Wellness Expo allowed us to partner with them to help keep Brooklyn healthy, safe, and flourishing,” said Beth Leonard, Chief Corporate Affairs
Officer at EmblemHealth. “After more than a year, where many people put their health concerns on the backburner, these expos provide support for our communities on a face-to-face level. We were in Brooklyn to remind everyone that their health is important because they are important.”
As the pandemic severely impacted people’s accessibility to routine and essential health care resources in the community, EmblemHealth launched its series of expos this month in Brooklyn to help eliminate barriers to care by bringing healthcare access deeper into New York City neighborhoods. This Brooklyn event, and the ones to follow, deliver on EmblemHealth’s mission to create healthier futures for the communities it serves and will bring the “doctor’s office directly to the people.”
Nate Coney, Vice President for Wellness Partnerships at Medly, said, “In working with EmblemHealth to help expand pharmacy access to their members, I’ve seen firsthand the company’s commitment to democratizing healthcare. This exposition helps bring preventative care, like vaccines and medical screenings, directly into underserved communities – which often face access barriers like pharmacy deserts – to eliminate healthcare disparities.”
Experts also warn that this Flu season will be worse than last year due to increased travel and continued COVID vaccination reluctance, among other factors. To help prevent Flu and COVID surges, the Healthier Futures expos allow people to get checked and vaccinated on site.
“Vaccination hesitancy is not the only contributing factor for the low vaccination rates in underserved communities, which often consist of people of color. Lack of access to vaccines and structural barriers are also impacting the rates of vaccination within these communities,” said Charlene Gayle, Executive Director of the New York State Association of Black Puerto Rican Hispanic and Asian Legislators Inc. “Residents within these communities also suspended regular Doctor visits and healthcare treatment they need. The Association is happy to once again work with EmblemHealth to reach individuals who work on the front lines and or live-in underserved communities in New York City who need access to vaccinations, dietary information, healthy foods, and medical treatment so that they can manage their health more effectively while we are still in the throes of the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
EmblemHealth’s Neighborhood Care centers in Brooklyn (Crown Heights and East New York locations) are also free healthcare resource hubs where members of the community can easily walk in and or contact these offices to get help and information from many assistance programs, including help with food, physical fitness classes, community programs, and a host of other care resources.
Due to the pandemic, many medical professionals are seeing the harmful effects of delayed care across the spectrum of health care needs. A recent Harvard study showed that one in five Americans reported that they or a household member delayed receiving medical care or was unable to get care due to the crisis. The numbers are even greater in underserved communities and in communities of color. Throughout October, EmblemHealth and its community partners will host Healthier Futures Wellness Expos in select NYC neighborhoods.
For more information, visit emblemhealth.com/about/neighborhood-care/neighborhood-care-events/health-wellness-expo