More than 100 Bronx residents attended Unique People Services’ 7th Annual Health Fair held on July 21, 2016. The nonprofit agency, celebrating its 25th anniversary, provided free mobile health services, including HIV, diabetes and blood pressure screenings, mammograms and dental services, as well as mental health, domestic violence and substance abuse counseling.
For the event, Unique People Services (UPS) partnered with St. Barnabas Hospital, Boom Health, Community Health Care, American Mobile Dental, Brightpoint, VIP and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Representatives from the New York City Department of Health, Healthfirst and BAA were also on hand to educate the community about smoking cessation programs and Medicaid Managed Care. Both the FDNY and community affairs officers of the NYPD were also on hand to provide vital safety information and resources.
The health fair was attended by New York State Senator Gustavo Rivera (D, WF), who personally greeted visitors and took time out to hear their opinions and enjoy the activities. Senator Rivera is a major proponent of #Not62, a collaborative effort led by Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz to foster positive health outcomes for Bronx residents by 2020. The campaign was launched in response to a 2014 Robert Wood Johnson County Health Ranking Report that ranked Bronx last among all 62 counties in New York State. #Not62 is a follow up to the 2011 Bronx CAN (Changing Attitudes Now) Health Initiative, a borough-wide call-to-action to promote healthier lifestyles in Bronx.
Funding for UPS’ 2016 Health Fair was made possible by the Office of New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, and helped to provide free food and activities for guests to enjoy. “Unique People Services is front and center when it comes to providing access to high quality care, and their annual health fair is a shining example of that,” Speaker Mark-Viverito said. “We’re proud to join together with UPS and all our fellow advocates in the fight for a healthier Bronx community.”
Assemblyman Michael Blake was instrumental in helping Unique People Services secure a street permit to close the block, allowing the fair to accommodate more visitors. (Previous events were limited to the grounds of UPS’ Haven Apartments residence). Staff members from the Assemblyman’s office were on site distributing brochures and other community information.
Commenting on the fair, Mr. Blake said, “We’re thrilled to have broadened the reach of this important event, enabling Unique People Services to impact more lives and build a healthier Bronx.”
Yvette Brissett-Andre, Executive Director, UPS, expressed gratitude to the array of supporters who contributed to the event’s success. “My thanks to Senator Rivera, Community Board 6, the 48th Precinct, New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Assemblyman Michael Blake and my incredible staff for helping to deliver what has become a vital resource in the community. With our shared vision and deep commitment, we can help change behaviors and improve the health of Bronx residents for years to come.”
About Unique People Services
Founded in 1991, Unique People Services, Inc. (UPS) is a New York-based nonprofit 501(c)3 that provides supportive housing and medical case management services to individuals and families living with mental health challenges, developmental disabilities and HIV/AIDS. Now celebrating its 25th Anniversary, UPS operates 24 supportive housing programs in Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and Westchester County.
More than 500 New Yorkers call UPS’ home, living in well-appointed residences where they receive meals and support services to help them achieve the highest possible levels of independent living and community inclusion. The transitional, long-term and permanent housing UPS provides has also become a safe haven for many formerly homeless individuals.
With the opening of Lynn’s Place in 2017, the agency will be embarking on a new affordable housing initiative, helping to transform the lives of low-income singles and families in Bronx, while furthering the agency’s mission of Understanding People, Providing Homes, and Serving Communities.
About Haven Apartments
UPS opened Haven Apartments in 1997 to provide residential and support services to individuals facing moderate to severe mental health challenges. Services are delivered in a Community Residence Single Room Occupancy (CRSRO) setting, and are comprised of mental health assessments, skills training, substance abuse counseling and medication monitoring.
Through the continued guidance and compassionate care of UPS staff, residents achieve greater stability, independence and community inclusion, enabling them to secure permanent housing and lead fulfilling lives. Many individuals have experienced less hospitalization and vast improvements in their behavioral health as a result of UPS’ exemplary care delivery.
Haven staff maintain a strong relationship with community health providers and partner with them to present UPS’ annual health fair each summer, increasing access to care for hundreds of Bronx residents.
For more information about UPS, Haven Apartments and other agency programs, please visit here.