Anyone who has gone without medical insurance knows that to see a physician, dentist, or any other medical professional can be a costly experience. Often the uninsured/underinsured simply go without routine preventative care which can lead to life threatening events. The Community Healthcare Network provides medical services at the Helen B. Atkinson (HBA) Health Center, east of Lenox Ave. on 115th St., in Central Harlem. A wide range of services is offered at this center. Patients are able to receive Primary Care, HIV Care, Mental Health Care, Social Services, Health Education, Nutrition Services, Dental Care, Podiatry Services, Reproductive Health Care, and Services for Teens.
The Community Healthcare Network is a not-for-profit organization with several locations throughout New York City. The health centers allow patients to receive care regardless of immigration status, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, or ability to pay. The commitment to meet the National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health Care is apparent as you notice posters offering translation services in numerous languages. The Network also ensures that the staff reflects the diversity within the community.
Recently I had a chance to experience dental services at the HBA Health Center. I was able to see Dr. Sheree Morgan, DMD. She had a warm, jovial, and professional manner that put you at ease from the moment she asked the proverbial question, “When was your last dental visit?” At one time I did not have dental coverage so I sheepishly admitted that I was overdue for a check-up–no punitive remarks or glaring eyes as Dr. Morgan proceeded with the examination. I would also like to note that her assistant was very efficient. My x-rays were available before Dr. Morgan finished cleaning my teeth. During the procedure, I found out that Dr. Morgan had a previous career as a chemist. Patients at the HBA Health Center should feel confident that Dr. Morgan is not only competent in dentistry but also understands the chemical interactions of the medications used in her line of work.
I remember when I first moved to Harlem, empty lots, vacant store fronts, and limited housing appeared to be the norm. The long time residents sure seemed to know where the hot spots were but being the newbie, I resorted to a trial and error approach. Some ventures were delightful finds, others, not so great. Frequently, a business would open and then, disappear without warning. So whenever I found an establishment that lived beyond the one month mark I made a note and attempted to become a loyal customer.
One business that has maintained its existence is the MCMB Cleaners. From the first time I dropped off my dry cleaning to several years later, I have never been disappointed. My laundry has always been delivered as promised with good results. The staff has never lost or misplaced my order (which happened at another cleaner) and alterations were completed within a reasonable time frame.
Recently, I asked to have an alteration redone. Although the initial work was performed as requested, I changed my mind regarding the finished length of a garment. To my surprise the tailor, Alberto, did not charge me for the extra work. He stated that he wanted to make sure his customers were satisfied.
I have only had positive experiences with this business. Along with the excellent service, I am always greeted by a warm and friendly staff. The first person you encounter is Rolando. His pleasant nature and willingness to accommodate you is not dependent on how often you drop off your cleaning. Behind the sewing machine is Alberto, who makes a point to stop what ever he is working on and welcomes you with a big smile and “Hello.”
As the neighborhood expands newer businesses have opened their doors but I will continue to patronize MCMB Cleaners.
On my way to work today I had the pleasure of meeting (actually bumping into) Louis Mendes, a street photographer from Harlem best known for his speed graphic camera. Our paths crossed right on the northwest corner of 116th and Frederick Douglass Blvd. I quickly asked “are you taking pictures of people right in front of Harlem Tavern today?” He said “no, I am waiting for someone.” I said “you should take photos tonight, there will be tons of people here.” He said “we’ll see.”
Then Louis took a photo of me and then I asked “can I take a picture of you?” He agreed and said “I might be here later tonight.” I said “I hope so ’cause it’s going to be happening.”
By HarlemGal for HarlemCondoLife
A reader provided us with a nice photo this morning about Harlem Tavern! I believe the photo says it all-opening day at Harlem Tavern starts at 5 pm, July 1! See you there! And a big thanks to our reader!!! You know who you are! You are the BEST!