The Community Award recognizes the lower Manhattan facility for consistently delivering affirming care to LGBTQ New Yorkers
By: Maya Devereaux
Lenox Health Greenwich Village (LHGV) has been honored with The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center (The Center)’s Community Award at the organization’s annual gala fundraiser, Center Dinner, which was held virtually this April.
The award recognizes LHGV’s doctors, nurses and all frontline workers for their commitment to delivering affirming care to the LGBTQ community as well as their dedication to the West Village community throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
LHGV’s longstanding partnership with The Center, its next-door neighbor on West 13th Street, has been a critical component of its dedication to offering equitable and compassionate care to populations that are marginalized because of their gender or sexual orientation. In recent years they have worked together to develop transgender health training for clinical staff members to foster a more inclusive environment that’s free of judgment and biases.
The Center has also helped LHGV improve its HIV prevention programs by providing guidance on how to enhance the current policies and procedures for prescribing medication. Likewise, LHGV has provided training services to The Center’s staff on how to administer Narcan, a medication used to counter the effects of opioid overdose.
“This humbling honor serves as a steadfast reminder that we are here for one reason – to take care of the communities we serve,” said Alex Hellinger, DPT, executive director of LHGV. “As residents of West 13th Street, we’re connected literally, but more importantly, symbolically. We’re so glad to have The Center’s support, especially throughout the challenging year that 2020 has been.”
LHGV is a sponsor for The Center’s annual fundraisers, including Cycle for the Cause–launched in 1995 in response to the AIDS epidemic. The downtown health care complex also works closely with its neighbor to provide educational programs that empower staff of both facilities to better help LGBTQ people lead fulfilling lives.
“It’s our pleasure to honor the doctors, nurses, and all frontline caregivers at Lenox Health Greenwich Village,” said Glennda Testone, executive director of The Center. “We are fortunate to have been able to work so closely with them over the years, to ensure that LGBTQ New Yorkers can receive the affirming care they deserve. This year, we especially want to thank these individuals. They stepped up for our community during a time of extreme need, and we will never forget their bravery and compassion.”
Responding to the COVID-19 Crisis
From treating patients who present at the emergency department, and testing community members in its patient service center to now vaccinating New Yorkers with the COVID-19 vaccine, LHGV’s employees have been at the forefront of the pandemic response.
At the height of the city’s COVID-19 surge, LHGV’s ambulatory surgery center was converted into a COVID unit in order to increase bed capacity for the health system. One year later, LHGV underwent another transformation, this time to construct:
- A fully operational vaccination center equipped with an efficient check-in system
- A 70-seat socially-distanced waiting area for patients
- 20 nurses’ stations for vaccine administration
LHGV first opened its doors in 2014 paving the way for a new model of community-based care that focuses on the needs of the local population. Anchored by Manhattan’s first free-standing emergency room, the state-of-the-art medical pavilion features an ambulatory surgery center, a comprehensive diagnostic imaging suite, a telepsychiatry hub and a growing number of physician practices.
Since its establishment, the downtown health care complex has formed a multitude of relationships with organizations that are vital to the West Village community, including the New York City AIDS Memorial and NYC Pridefest.
LHGV is also consistently recognized as a leader in LGBTQ healthcare equality by the Human Rights Campaign’s annual Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) for its inclusive and equitable care of the LGBTQ community.