HHC Harlem Hospital Center today celebrated the opening of its newly renovated and expanded dental clinic. The $6.3 million project brings increased patient capacity along with new dentistry and imaging equipment to a clinic that last year handled over 21,000 patient visits.
The new Dr. James E. McIntosh Dental Services at Harlem Hospital Center has also been relocated to the Samuel L. Kountz Pavilion, Mezzanine Level, at 136th Street and Fifth Avenue.
Dr. Ram Raju, President and CEO of the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC), was joined at the clinic’s opening by Denise C. Soares, Senior Vice President of Generations+/Northern Manhattan Health Network and Executive Director of HHC Harlem Hospital Center; Congressman Charles B. Rangel; Councilmember Inez E. Dickens; Mrs. Gwen Elliott-McIntosh, widow of Dr. James E. McIntosh; Ebonè Carrington, Chief Operating Officer of HHC Harlem Hospital Center and daughter of Dr. McIntosh; and Dr. James R. King, Director of the Department of Dentistry.
“There is no health without oral health,” said HHC President Dr. Ram Raju. “The new Dr. James E. McIntosh Dental Services at Harlem Hospital Center offers patients a greatly improved experience, which makes it more likely that they will see their caregiver for regular checkups. Dental hygiene is often overlooked as part of effective primary care but poor oral health has been shown to contribute to other conditions such as stroke and heart disease. We are happy to make this investment in the long-term health of the Harlem community.”
The new clinic was designed as a patient-centered model where a dental care team works around the patient, providing x-ray and other services in one location. The new clinic has 23 treatment areas, expanding its capacity by about 1,000 patient visits per year. Each treatment area now has an individual x-ray unit, replacing the shared units in the former clinic, which opened in 1984. The new clinic also has two Panorex x-ray systems, one more than the former clinic, which can image all of a patient’s teeth and surrounding bones at one time. The clinic is capable of treating pediatric, adult, geriatric, wheelchair bound, and hearing and visually impaired patients.
With the completion of the expansion and renovation project, the Department of Dentistry has also been named in honor of Dr. James E. McIntosh, former Chair of the department, for his 40-year career as a dentist, humanitarian and tireless community advocate. Dr. McIntosh first joined HHC Harlem in 1984.
Dr. James R. King, Director of Dentistry, said, “Our goal is to continue to build upon the legacy of Dr. McIntosh. His considerable passion for dentistry, the well-being of all patients and the village of Harlem, is a philosophy that we continue to live by and believe in. Dr. McIntosh was a mentor and friend, as well as a trailblazer at Harlem Hospital Center, and for that we are eternally grateful.”
HHC Harlem COO Ebonè Carrington expressed her family’s gratitude. “My father’s two loves were his family and his work at Harlem Hospital Center,” she said. “It is an honor to have this new clinic dedicated to his legacy.”
Councilmember Inez E. Dickens provided a $1.8 million budget allocation to fund equipment for the newly renovated dental suite. Denise C. Soares, SVP of Generations+/Northern Manhattan Health Network/Executive Director of HHC Harlem Hospital Center, said, “The relationship between Councilwoman Dickens and Harlem Hospital Center is one that is precious and invaluable. Her concern for patient care and for Harlem residents is undeniable. We truly appreciate her continued efforts and support.”
“I am truly honored to be recognized by Ms. Soares and the entire Harlem Hospital Center dental staff,” said Councilmember Dickens. “The Harlem community is my first love, and I have the utmost assurance that the patients who visit this dental suite are being given the precise tools to maintain their dental health. A smile is a healing tool and I am pleased to know that my contribution can assist in maintaining beautiful smiles in Harlem.”
Dr. James R. King’s vision for a state-of-the-art dental clinic empowered him to spearhead this effort and work tirelessly with the hospital’s executive leadership and community organizations, such as The Friends of Harlem Hospital, a fundraising group committed to assisting initiatives at the hospital, which donated $325,000 to the project. Mr. Corwin Breeden, president of the organization, recognized Dr. King’s efforts to bring a new dental clinic to the community.
“Community relationships play a dynamic role in supporting initiatives for better health care,” said Mr. Breeden. “The Friends of Harlem Hospital Center believes in Dr. King and the entire Department of Dentistry. We are continually amazed at his innovative thinking and look forward to seeing continued progress.”
To expand the vision of the new Dr. James E. McIntosh Dental Services at Harlem Hospital Center, the department also coined the phrase “Smile Harlem Hospital Center,” which is seen on all office materials and will soon be seen on white lab coats worn by physicians.
“‘Smile Harlem Hospital Center’ will be our way to continuously engage and teach patients and community at large, the importance of great dental care and hygiene. There is nothing more illuminating than a healthy smile,” said Dr. King.
Patients seeking more information or to make an appointment at the new Dr. James E. McIntosh Dental Services at Harlem Hospital Center should call (212) 939-2887.
In 2014, HHC Harlem opened a new and expanded $19 million Emergency Department, representing the final part of the hospital’s $325 million modernization project that also included the 2012 opening of the Mural Pavilion.
For more information, visit http://www.nyc.gov/html/hhc/harlem/html/home/home.shtml or call (212) 939-1000.