Syracuse Community Health Center has focused on serving the community since opening

SYRACUSE, NY (WSYR-TV) – In March 2020, just weeks after the coronavirus pandemic began, Syracuse Community Health Center was the only place in the area to get tested.

“The line was often wrapped around our building,” said Mark Hall, president and CEO of the Syracuse Community Health Center. “We were seeing up to 300 people a day. We again provided over 55,000 tests to 40,000 people, which goes hand in hand with our vision and mission to serve the community.

Community. It is in the name of the center and has continued to be its goal from the start. It was first known as the Syracuse Neighborhood Health Center before becoming the Syracuse Community Health Center. It is now designated as a Federal Qualified Health Center (FQHC).

“In the ’60s, the FQHCs were started in response to all the social unrest that was going on,” Hall explained. “So it was really a way to provide jobs primarily to the black community.”

It is located at South Salina and East Taylor streets, bordering the south side of Syracuse. Many neighbors here and in other areas of the city live at or below the federal poverty level. Although not a free clinic, the Syracuse Community Health Center is the perfect place to serve the uninsured.

“There needs to be an agency like this that sees people for who they are and the importance of who they are and that they deserve to be cared for and loved,” Hall said.

Hall points out that this health center does not only serve people living in poverty. They see a range of patients of all socioeconomic statuses. He says the patients here are predominantly African American, Hispanic and from the refugee population. And this is reflected in the suppliers. While this helps patients make the people caring for them look like them, the emphasis is on the relationship established in the exam room.

“We want people who believe in our mission. We want vendors who have a propensity to serve people,” Hall said.

Providers offer a number of services to people who use the Syracuse Community Health Center.

The center has a pediatric service. They also provide eye care, podiatry, adult medicine, OB-GYN, radiology, emergency care, and COVID testing.

For Hall, continuing the mission of the health center is not only important because he is its president and CEO. For him, it’s personal.

“I know what, not just what this health center means to the community, to these neighborhoods. I knew what that meant to me. I came here to receive vaccines or vaccinations to go to school before the start of the school year.

Mark Hall, President and CEO of Syracuse Community Health Center

“I know what, not just what this health center means to the community, to these neighborhoods,” Hall explained. “I knew what that meant to me. I came here to receive vaccines or vaccinations to go to school before the start of the school year.

He grew up a few blocks away on South State Street in what was once the Mulberry Square housing project. It was demolished in the 90s.

“We used to come and get glasses of water on the way to the basketball court, so it’s really personal in that sense, and I know the value that brings,” Hall said.

Hall hopes to continue this for the next generation. Soon the center will move across the street to a brand new facility at 930 South Salina Street.

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