WHITNEY YOUNG HEALTH: CELEBRATING 50 YEARS
For half a century, Whitney Young Health has provided access to consistent quality medical, dental, and behavioral health care without regard to income.
A month after WYH opened, the Health Center had provided care to 139 families, 74 of which were from low-income areas around the facility.
Ground was broken for a new, larger facility, and in June 1974, Whitney Young Health moved to its current location at Lark and Arbor Drives in Albany.
July 19, 1971:
Whitney Young Health (WYH) first opened its doors at its original location at the corner of Ten Broeck Street and Livingston Avenue in Albany's Arbor Hill.
At the beginning of 1973, WYH served about 2,700 patients.
By the end of that year, approximately 7,500 patient visits were registered.
Whitney Young Health added Methadone Maintenance and Women, Infants and Children (WIC) to its scope of services provided.
To expand patient services, the Health Center applied for and received funding to initiate Prenatal Care Assistance and Alcohol Day Rehabilitation Treatment.
WYH expanded its services to Rensselaer County with the opening of our Troy Health Center, located at 6 102nd Street.
Seton Health's Dental practice joined WYH's Troy Health Center
Our services expanded again with the opening of our Watervliet Health Center, located at 1804 2nd Avenue.
Our Albany Dental Practice moved to a state-of-the-art expanded location at 900 Lark Drive, across the street from its previous location at the Albany Health Center.
2018 - Fall:
Our School Based Health Center expanded services to the Watervliet City School District, providing primary care and preventative services to elementary, middle, and high school students.
Our Troy Health Center relocated to 849 2nd Avenue, at Riverside Plaza in Troy (Lansingburgh).
2020 - COVID-19 Precautions:
Many preventative measures were put in place at all WYH facilities, including mandatory masking, patient temperature and symptom screenings, and plexiglass barriers.
Virtual appointments via telemedicine were used when patients could not come to our health centers.
The School Based Health Center opened a new location at Albany High School which will expand the population eligible to be treated by the SBHC not only to AHS students, but also to any student in the City School District of Albany, including those attending charter schools.
WYH became a Federal Ryan White grantee to better serve HIV-positive patients.
We opened school-based health centers (SBHC) in three City School District of Albany elementary schools: Philip Schuyler Achievement Academy, Giffen Memorial School and Sheridan Preparatory Academy.
We introduced Whitney on Wheels (WOW), a mobile health unit that brings primary care services directly to patients in schools and community settings.
We celebrated the renovation, reopening, and naming of our facility at 10 DeWitt Street in Albany. The building, now known as the Harry & Jeannette Weinberg Treatment Center, is home to our substance use disorder programs and a primary care office.
2018 - Winter:
The Behavioral Health suite moved into the space vacated by Dental. The renovated space features conference rooms, psychiatrist's offices, and rooms for group therapy and space for Clinicians and Care Coordinators to have confidential meetings with patients.
Whitney on Wheels has expanded from two service locations to over a dozen, including Equinox, Inc, Hope 7 Community Center, and Hospitality House.
WOW typically serves over 400 children and adults annually.
In April 2020, WYH partnered with the Albany County DOH to provide community COVID-19 testing sites, bringing our Whitney on Wheels mobile unit to underserved areas where many of our patients live.
Our team tested over 4,000 people for COVID-19 in 2020.
When the COVID-19 vaccine became available, WYH began clinics starting with our staff and community partners such as teachers at SBHC schools, then moving on to WYH patients who met eligibility requirements. Vaccine clinics opened to the general public shortly thereafter, with clinic sites in underserved areas.
The near future holds exciting new developments for Whitney Young Health, including:
The Food as Medicine program in conjunction with the Food Pantries for the Capital District which will work with WYH patients with chronic health conditions to provide access to healthy, nutritious foods tailored to the patients specific health needs.
The opening of a Urgent Care/Primary Care office at the newly constructed mixed-use Swinburne Building on Central Avenue in Albany
The introduction of a second, larger Whitney on Wheels mobile health unit which will be handicapped-accessible and offer dental services.
We are proud of our growth, change and innovation over the past 50 years, and Whitney Young Health will continue to build on our legacy of caring in the next half-century and beyond.