New Health Center Proposed for Lower Northeast

Efforts that could lead to the biggest expansion in Philadelphia’s city health centers in a half-century took a key step forward Thursday with the release of a report showing that the need for medical services far outstrips availability in and around the Lower Northeast.

The report, a neighborhood case study by health economics experts at the University of Pennsylvania and other institutions, found what it called “unmet need” for primary care services in the Northeast as a whole. It placed particular urgency on three zip codes — 19111, 19120 and 19124 — that have experienced major demographic shifts in the past decade.

It recommended that a new clinic — either a city-run health center or a community center managed by nurses or physicians — be developed somewhere near where they intersect.

Some funds for a new center should be available under provisions of the federal health-care overhaul, the authors said at a news conference, but community support would be critical for moving forward.

The report will be presented for discussion at a community meeting at Friends Hospital, 4641 Roosevelt Blvd., on Oct. 4 at 5:30 p.m.

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