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New Location at 3297 Bailey Ave. increases access to care for communities of color; Community Access Services announces new Executive Director
BUFFALO, NY – A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held from 3-6 p.m. on Wednesday, October 24 at 3297 Bailey Avenue to celebrate the opening of Community Access Services’ (CAS) new location. CAS is an affiliate of Evergreen Health. Evergreen’s Testing services will also be offered in the building. The new location will decrease barriers to care for people in the surrounding neighborhoods and help address the high rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) that have been identified in this area of the City of Buffalo.
“We know that there are people who really need our services and we want them to know we are here for them,” said Ekua Mends-Aidoo, Equity and Inclusion Officer, Evergreen Health. “Evergreen’s and CAS’ commitment to communities of color includes building upon and strengthening partnerships with other community and health-focused organizations that have services in these zip codes.”
Coinciding with the ribbon cutting, CAS has announced the appointment of Kimberly Brown as its new Executive Director. Brown, the former Sr. Director of Wellness and Nutrition at Evergreen, will lead the organization’s efforts to improve health outcomes and build upon the groundwork that has been laid by her predecessors. She brings more than 14 years of community-related work to CAS.
Community Access Services has been providing programs to address HIV and other chronic conditions that challenge the welfare of communities of color in Buffalo for many years and the new site is the next phase in the organization’s commitment to make a difference and let them know they deserve access to quality health care services.
“I am very excited to join the CAS team and look forward to building upon the great work that has already been accomplished,” said Brown.“There is still so much that we need to do in terms of fighting stigma and providing better access to care to those who need it. We look forward to working collaboratively with community partners to achieve our goals.”
The Erie County Department of Health’s Erie County New York Community Health Assessment 2017-2019 states that Erie County has some of the highest rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea in the State. The assessment found that almost half of all Erie County gonorrhea cases are located in a small geographic area. One of the zip codes in this small geographic area is 14215, which is also the zip code of the new site for Community Access Services and Evergreen’s Testing services.
There will be 28 employees at the Bailey Ave. location – 23 at CAS and five in Evergreen’s Testing services. The 14,206 square foot building includes four exam rooms, multiple testing rooms, three community group rooms, a large patient waiting area and gender inclusive restrooms. The building is ADA accessible and has onsite parking. The project was 90 percent intentional spend. Evergreen is leasing the space from Horizon Health Services.
The ribbon cutting is open to the public, community partners and elected officials. Attendees can tour the new space, meet the teams and learn about the programs and services being offered. Remarks from Evergreen and CAS leadership and elected officials will begin at 4 p.m.
Evergreen Health fosters healthy communities by providing medical, supportive and behavioral services to individuals and families in Western New York – especially those who are living with chronic illness or who are underserved by the healthcare system.
Community Access Services is a not-for-profit organization committed to addressing the epidemic of HIV and other chronic conditions that challenge the welfare of communities of color. Its services include HIV and Hepatitis C testing and counseling, pregnancy testing, navigation services, one-on-one meetings and group programming.