240352 Design excellence in the service of public health: How the City of New York is transforming their historic free public health centers to increase HIV/STD screening, education and treatment in medically underserved neighborhoods

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 9:30 AM

Stephen Yablon, AIA, LEED AP , Stephen Yablon Architect, New York, NY
Suzanne Nutt, MPH , Stephen Yablon Architect, New York, NY
The City of New York has recently adopted Take Care New York, its first ever comprehensive public health policy to reduce the incidence of disease and health disparities citywide. One of the ten Take Care New York goals is to stop the spread of HIV through increased screening and education. A key strategy for achieving this goal is the transformation of the city's numerous historic WPA-era neighborhood health clinics into “lighthouses to the community”, welcoming and reassuring state-of-the-art STD clinic facilities that will enable the city to more effectively encourage community use of the free testing and counseling services, particularly in medically under served areas. This presentation will discuss how the architect, selected through Mayor Bloomberg's innovative Design Excellence Initiative, worked with administrative and clinical staff of the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to transform free public clinics, that were originally designed to address the urban health challenges of TB, syphilis and infant mortality, into engaging, welcoming and highly efficient state-of-the-art STD screening and treatment facilities. The presentation will focus on the key challenges and lessons learned on how the design and organization of spaces, the circulation plan, and materials, finishes and furnishings can be used to create reassuring and welcoming non-institutional environments that uniquely engage the communities that they serve. The presentation will also discuss how the city is standardizing the design and controlling the cost of future clinic renovations through their newly adopted “Guidelines for the Design and Construction of Ambulatory Clinics”.

Learning Areas:
Chronic disease management and prevention
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Other professions or practice related to public health
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
Provision of health care to the public

Learning Objectives:
The presentation will describe the key challenges and lessons learned regarding the renovation of older health care facilities to create welcoming and reassuring free public Sexually Transmitted Disease Clinics that will encourage community use in medically under served urban neighborhoods, and, as a result, achieve ambitious increases in HIV screening.

Keywords: STD, Urban Health Care

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I was the Principal in charge of the design of new public health clinics for the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

See more of: Stigma, Education & HIV/AIDS
See more of: HIV/AIDS