Girl Planting seeds

Deirdre Imus Goes Green In East Harlem


Like a Breath of Fresh Air... ... Pictured left to right are:
Katey Harris, patient of 30 years of Boriken; Melissa Mark-Viverito,
NYC Council Member, 8th Council District; Deirdre Imus, President and
Founder, The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center; Ellie Sanchez,
Chief Executive Officer of East Harlem Council for Human Services, Inc.;
Karen Walker-Bryce, Boriken Board Member; and Raymond Ferreira,
Boriken Board Chairman.


Hackensack, N.J., May 1, 2007 – Timed with World Asthma Day, The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center™ and the East Harlem Council for Human Services, Inc./Boriken Neighborhood Health Center (EHCHS) announced today they are collaborating to create the first “Green” primary health care facility in New York City.

East Harlem has the highest rate of childhood asthma in the City and in the U.S, according to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Boriken Neighborhood Health Center is a program of EHCHS, which has been providing primary health care services for more than 30 years to the underserved population of East Harlem. Boriken has realized that the best way to provide real comprehensive health care in an area in which the incidence of asthma is so great is by going Green all the way with their new building.

“We want to be the example for the next generation of New Yorkers of how health care should be delivered this century. We want to be the future now. That is why we reached out to Deirdre Imus, the ‘Queen of Green,’ said Mrs. Ellie Sanchez, Chief Executive Officer of EHCHS.

Among the new services to be provided at the East Harlem facility are asthma treatment services, a 24-hour urgent care facility, and child care services for parents who would not otherwise access health care assistance due to a lack of easily accessible child care.

Last year, the Environmental Protection Agency recognized the Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center with a Quality Award for its work in developing one of the first environmentally responsible and sustainable healthcare facilities in the country. Green features at the Sarkis and Siran Gabrellian Women’s and Children’s Pavilion include recycled steel construction, recycled cotton insulation equivalent to 117,000 pairs of denim jeans, and organic vegetarian menu options.

Reviving Hope

Seven years ago, EHCHS (Boriken Neighborhood Heath Center) bought a five-story building from the state of New York for $500,000. The building needs an estimated $12 million in rehabilitation and renovation. To date, the project has raised $2 million.

 “It is disheartening that in such a great city not enough people are concerned about health care and only a limited few are proactive about health care for minorities and the poor,” said Ellie Sanchez,. “It takes someone of the stature of Mrs. Imus to make a difference,” Mrs. Sanchez said.

The Boriken Neighborhood Health Center is already setting a “green” example by adopting the award-winning Greening the Cleaning® program, from the Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center, which eliminates to the greatest extent possible all cleaning agents containing hazardous ingredients and replaces them with naturally-derived ingredients with the lowest level of toxicity.  

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