H+H opens Pride Health Center at Metropolitan Hospital

Congressmember Adriano Espaillat cuts the ribbon at NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan on April 12.
Congressmember Adriano Espaillat cuts the ribbon at NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan on April 12.

NYC Health + Hospitals on April 12 announced the opening of a Pride Health Center at Metropolitan Hospital in East Harlem, where LGBTQ patients will be able to receive affirming, culturally competent care in a dedicated space. H+H now maintains seven LGBTQ-specific health hubs  across the city at different locations.

At the new health center, located at 1901 First Avenue, patients will have access to a wide range of options for care, including gender-affirming hormone therapy and top surgery, adult and youth care, HIVSTD testing, PrEP, HIV care services, OB/GYN, and primary and preventative care. Social work and psychiatric support will also be available, according to H+H.

The new center is arriving about a decade after Metropolitan Hospital first started offering LGBTQ-oriented care for patients. In 2016 the hospital introduced dedicated health services for trans patients — and it is currently the only hospital in the New York City municipal hospital system that offers gender-affirming surgeries. More than 150 top surgeries have been performed there.

“Seeing a health care provider can be daunting for people in the LGBTQ community because of a lack of respect and understanding,” out gay NYC Health + Hospitals president and CEO Mitchell Katz said in a written statement.” Accessing high-quality, comprehensive health care is a basic human right and you shouldn’t be denied that because of who you love or how you identify. NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan in 2014 was the first municipal hospital to open a health center dedicated to the LGBTQ+ community and it continues to set the standard for this type of care.”

Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine, who joined officials for a special ribbon-cutting ceremony to welcome the new center to the community, said the new center “is especially meaningful at a time when more than half of American states have banned or put in jeopardy queer-affirming care.”

“By investing in Pride Centers at our public hospitals, the city is supporting and championing every New Yorker’s right to access queer-affirming health care,” Levine said. “New Yorkers and those beyond our city will know that their health and lives are valued here.”

Congressmember Adriano Espaillat, whose district encompasses parts of the Bronx and Manhattan — including Harlem — echoed Levine’s words as he invoked the national wave of laws restricting trans healthcare rights for young people and adults.

“As we watch LGTBQ+ rights come under attack all across our nation, New York City is proud to be a champion and ally to our LGTBQ+ community,” said Espaillat. who expressed confidence that the center would ensure LGBTQ patients are treated with dignity and respect.

Speaker Adrienne Adams said in a written statement that the new center represents an advancement in the city’s quest to improve health equity.

“Culturally-competent healthcare, especially for historically underserved communities, can make significant differences in health outcomes,” Adams said. “The Center bridges a necessary gap, and I look forward to how it will meet the needs of our LGBTQIA+ and TGNC New Yorkers.”

H+H’s other Pride Health Centers are located at Bellevue at 462 First Avenue in Manhattan; Gotham Health, Gouverneur at 227 Madison Street in Manhattan; Gotham Health, Judson at 34 Spring St. in Manhattan; Jacobi Hospital at 1400 Pelham Parkway South in the Bronx; and Woodhull Hopsital at 760 Broadway in Brooklyn. In 2021, a gender-affirming integrated services practice at H+H Lincoln.

Learn more about the Pride Health Centers and H+H’s LGBTQ services at nychealthandhospitals.org.