Brightpoint Health provides integrated health care and social support to the sickest and poorest New Yorkers. Over 70% of the patients we serve in our health centers are homeless or unstably housed. Many have previously been incarcerated. All are challenged by health care disparities caused by poverty, discrimination and lack of access.
In addition to primary, and behavioral health care, dental services and integrated care management, Brightpoint Health provides services we believe are critical to improving the quality of life, and therefore the health, of our patients. Many of these programs are not fully funded by government sources or institutional grants. Some rely entirely on private donations.
Patients cannot focus on health care if their stomach is empty. Food is as critical a component of health and wellness as examinations, tests and medicine. Our patients, our fellow New Yorkers, often do not have regular access to food. As health care providers, we recognize that a meal can be the first step towards wellness.
No one should be hungry in New York or have to make choices between their health care appointments and getting to a soup kitchen or food pantry in time to get the food they need. Brightpoint Health is doing something about it.
At Brightpoint Health, nobody goes hungry. Everyone who has an appointment at a Brightpoint facility is served a complete, healthy breakfast and lunch. Earlier this year, when we expanded to evening hours at our centers, we also started to provide dinner service for patients. In 2014, Brightpoint spent over $1,000,000, of which only 60% was funded through government and grant funding, on food service. Sometimes an “additional” service can be the most essential of all.
Transportation can often be a barrier to accessing quality health care for New York’s poorest citizens. The $5.50 cost of subway or bus round trip equals morning coffee for many of us, but it is beyond the reach of many of our patients. Brightpoint Health, is not only the symbolic “road” to health and wellness for New Yorkers in need, we also get on the road to make sure they can get to the care they require to get and stay healthy by providing transportation to and from our health centers.
Brighpoint has a fleet of sixteen vans that pickup patients from shelters, supportive housing, inpatient drug rehabilitation facilities, and other locations on a daily basis. Last year, we provided over 31,000 trips. Other patients receive round trip Metro Cards when they come for appointments. Everyone who receives care at Brightpoint Health comes here, and returns, free.
Before you a patient can be diagnosed and treated, they have to be engaged in care. People suffering from homelessness, behavioral health issues and/or substance abuse often have no families or support systems, no one to encourage them towards health and wellness. Brightpoint’s outreach program is responding to this need by seeking out disconnected and disenfranchised people in need of care and providing them with vital services.
Brightpoint Health is expert at getting hard-to-reach patients into care. We are a leader in patient outreach and engagement because we understand how to overcome our patients’ barriers. Our outreach team works with over 500 referral sources including hospitals, shelters, substance abuse treatment programs, mental health providers, SROs, the criminal justice system, and social service organizations. Together we identify people in need of care and work to get them engaged with their health and working towards wellness goals. Learn more about Outreach >
Art therapy at Brightpoint Health allows clients to express emotion in a safe way. Using visual art and writing, clients gain insight into their thought and behavioral patterns and feelings. This recognition aids in the reduction of symptoms of depression, anxiety, and anger associated with behavioral health challenges
Art therapy integrates the fields of human development and the creative process with counseling and psychotherapy. It provides a less threatening, structured, non-verbal outlet for expression for those who have difficulty communicating. Art therapists are professionals trained in both art and therapy.
During art therapy groups, Clients help each other through positive feedback and mutual support. This helps them to better engage with the program and adhere to their overall treatment plans.
Traditional funding sources do not pay for art therapy. Brightpoint Health offers it because we have seen the results; the treatment breakthroughs it makes possible and the smiles it produces on clients’ faces.
For over 40 years the Alpha School has helped kids and families navigate some of life’s most difficult challenges. The Alpha School, which was acquired by Brightpoint Health in 2014, primarily serves the areas of Brownsville and East New York in Brooklyn, neighborhoods which are among the poorest and most plagued by crime and social problems in New York City. The Alpha School was established in 1970 to provide rehabilitation services to young people struggling with substance abuse and engaging in criminal activity. Then and now, the Alpha School encourages young people on a different path: to finish their education and become productive members of the community.
Today, the Alpha School serves people 17 years and older, who are currently experiencing challenges related to substance abuse or in a significant relationship with someone currently experiencing substance related problems. Alpha School services include an outpatient substance abuse treatment program and assistance with access to public benefits, vocational training, job placement and medical referrals.
The Alpha School also hosts workshops covering a range of topics, including gender-specific issues, substance abuse prevention and domestic violence. Access to education programs, including GED preparation, is also offered at the Alpha School. Learn more about Alpha School >
Brightpoint Health’s THRIVE program is aimed at young (13-29) men who have sex with men (MSM, not all identify as “gay”) in the Bronx and other low income communities of color. These are young men often do not have the benefit of a supportive family and community to help them in coming out and living a healthy, secure life. They are afraid in their communities where being gay is still stigmatized and where MSMs and transgender women are often viciously attacked just for being who they are.
THRIVE, provides them with guidance, health education and a safe place to socialize. It helps members make smart decisions about sex and drugs, not through lectures but as peer-to-peer communication. THRIVE’s approach to health education is much more than handing out condoms (which they also do), it also includes putting on provocative workshops focused on the issues and challenges these young men face and using real words and experience.
THRIVE provides safety, support and opportunity to a truly underserved segment of New York’s LGBT community. Learn more about THRIVE >
Future Growth Initatives
Brightpoint Health continues to focus on improving the health and quality of life of NewYorkers in need. We are presently seeking funding for several projects that will greatly enhance our ability to serve current and future patients.
Additional Health Centers
Our current primary and behavioral health facilities are at capacity while need for services is increasing throughout the city. In the next few years Brightpoint plans on opening two additional centers in the Bronx and expanding primary and behavioral health services to Staten Island with our first center in that borough.
Leveraging the success and expertise of our Community Health Action of Staten Island (CHASI) affiliate, who operate one of the largest food pantries in Staten Island, Brightpoint Health is hoping to open food pantries at our health center so that patients are not only assured sufficient nutrition when they come for an appointment but receive food distribution on an ongoing basis. Ideally, these pantries would also be open to the communities where our centers are located, further cementing Brightpoint as a valued neighbor and an integral part of the areas we serve.
An important part of Brightpoint Health’s strategy for the future is to identify additional affiliation and acquisition partners who, like CHASI, have similar missions and complementary expertise. Brightpoint Health offers the benefit of scale and operating efficiency while other organizations can help us expand our functional scope and geography so that we can help more people overcome barriers, feel better about their health and, most importantly, be treated with respect and kindness—like family.
How You Can Help
Our CHAMPIONS program lets you give to Brightpoint Health on a pre-planned monthly basis, starting at $1200 per year or $100 per month, charged to your credit card. You can be a true New York Champion.
Sign up on our web site
One time donations large and small are always welcome, and always helpful. You can donate on your own or in memory or honoring someone
On our website,
by check mailed to
71 West 23rd Street, 8th Floor
New York, NY 10010
attention: Emile Tippins
or by phone at
(718) 681-8700, Option 7.
We accept all major credit cards.
Opportunities for corporate or individual sponsorships of programs or facilities are also available. For more information contact
Diane Arneth, Chief, Community Services Officer