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Thursday, 21 April 2022 17:22
Posted on: April 21, 2022


The Greenburgh Neighborhood Health Center always helps those with health care needs. Grateful that they are helping Ukrainian refugees. They always help immigrants and residents who need fantastic health care services


Last week a Ukrainian refugee, living with a family member in Dobbs Ferry, contacted me. Her baby had dental problems and needed help. She was very nervous. Did not know what to do.  

I contacted the Greenburgh Neighborhood Health Center and was not surprised. I got an immediate response--they would help. In less than 24 hours an appointment was scheduled, the Ukrainian refugee was enrolled in an insurance plan and the mother and baby got registered at the Greenburgh Neighborhood Health Center as new patients.  The mom and child are now fully covered for health insurance, medical, dental and vision.

The Greenburgh Health Center, located at 295  Knollwood Road, is a very special place. During the pandemic they worked with the town -sponsoring outdoor flu vaccinations for those who were nervous about going indoors. This was done during early voting days at Town Hall.  They have given out vaccines, boosters to residents who have asked for help.   The Greenburgh Neighborhood Health Center is now applying for grants so their doctors can make housecalls to the elderly and disabled. The health center, affiliated with the Mt Vernon Health Center, always goes the extra mile for anyone who has special needs. And, the word "no" when asked to help people with medical issues is not in their vocabulary!

If you know refugees who need help -share the news about the Greenburgh Neighborhood Health Center. Today - I  referred two other  elderly refugees from Ukraine to to the Health Center today. They promised to help. 

The center is not only helping Ukrainian refugees. Immigrants from other nations who have medical needs should also reach out to them.  Feel free to e mail me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with any concerns or suggestions as to what action steps could be taken locally to help recent refugees.


One  can apply through State, by calling 1-855-355-5777 under refugee  status  for coverage.

Non citizens can also get help by connecting to the NYS marketplace. 

One can connect with an application counselor who can assist with filling out for health insurance and with the identity proofing (since they aren’t citizens.)

They can call 914-968-4717 or visit – go to “navigators” on the homepage and put in zip code to find navigators in your area who can assist.


Greenburgh Town Supervisor



MVNHC Westchester’s health care safety net provider featured in 914INC. Race, Class and the Pandemic.
Monday, 18 April 2022 13:39

Click here to read article



MVNHC Westchester’s health care safety net provider featured in The Catalyst.
Monday, 18 April 2022 13:21

Click here to read article: MVNHC Westchester’s health care safety net provider featured in The Catalyst.



MVNHC CEO survives COVID-19 and shares lessons learned from her illness
Friday, 10 April 2020 07:00

By Judith M. Watson, RN, BSN, MPH | Special to the USA Today NetworkPublished 7:00 AM EDT Apr 10, 2020

I watched the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic spread across the globe but never did I think it would affect me personally. I had a cough and then out of nowhere I was home thinking I had a common cold. A week later I found out that I tested positive for COVID-19. I was flabbergasted. I’m a registered nurse, the CEO of a community health center system and I thought I was prepared. Never did I expect the test to come back positive, but it did and I am most grateful that I survived and I have learned some key things that I need to share.  

First, I learned what it is like to become ill and test positive for COVID-19 and how that impacts the individual, their community and the workplace, especially in health care. I worried if I had transmitted the virus to my co-workers and I become hypersensitive to potential stigma. I became more concerned about my credibility as a health care executive than my health in the middle of a pandemic. I wondered if we would have to shut down our health centers.

I was only sick for about 48 hours, but during my three-week quarantine I noticed something troubling. It became obvious that not only did my health centers need to stay open, they were not getting recognized as critical organizations that could greatly help stop the spread of the virus.

judith watson
Judith M. Watson, RN, BSN, MPH is the CEO of the Mount Vernon Neighborhood Health Centers, Inc. which operates three community health centers, a homeless shelter health clinic, and two school-based health centers in Westchester County

As we anticipate the height of the pandemic, community health centers remain largely overlooked. We are not being properly included in public health plans and discussions. In Westchester County, we were the first in the nation to have a state-mandated containment zone for COVID-19. The network of community health centers I run in Mount Vernon, Yonkers, Greenburgh and White Plains normally serve more than 20,000 patients per year. Nationally, community health centers serve some 28 million Americans. I only found out that I was positive because my center had a very small supply of COVID-19 tests. Most hospitals would not have tested me because I was not sick enough.  

Community health centers are the entryway into the health care system for the most vulnerable in the U.S. We don’t turn anyone away based on their ability to pay or their immigration status.   

When everyone else shuts down, community health centers remain open as long as we can because it’s a part of our mission to provide quality, comprehensive primary health care to all.   

For community health centers to provide the remarkable services that we have delivered for more than 50 years — that helped to stem the HIV and opioid epidemics — we need even greater support now for this unprecedented crisis.  

We need more personal protective equipment (PPE) such as medical masks, gowns, gloves, and goggles. These materials keep staff and patients safe and help reduce possible transmission.  

We need emergency funding to continue operating. Community health centers are not-for-profit organizations that receive the bulk of our funding from the federal and state government. Unlike some major medical conglomerates, community health centers do not have major cash reserves and we are anticipating a significant loss in revenue as a result of this pandemic. Without increased emergency funding, and if this crisis extends for months, we may be forced to lay off staff.  

We also desperately need COVID-19 tests. Currently, we still have fewer than 10 tests. Testing helps to reduce the spread of the virus by identifying and enumerating positive COVID-19 cases. In fact, also having antibody COVID-19 tests and more rapid general tests will allow us to determine who has been exposed to the virus but are not exhibiting symptoms and are unknowingly passing it on to others. 

Currently, the established testing sites are set up only for people with automobiles. Millions of people who do not drive are being left out. We could help solve that if we had a significant supply of COVID-19 tests and PPE to assay people in our centers, which are located in neighborhoods where people live, and from our mobile medical units. Community health centers could also greatly benefit from expanding telehealth services so we can connect with patients remotely.  

For more than a half-century, community health centers have mastered comprehensive, quality primary care services for the masses of underserved in our nation. Urgent care centers are popping up all over the place, but community health centers offer so much more than just urgent care. We provide comprehensive, patient-centered, life care. We are with the community not only during health crises.

We are built to be with our patients for a lifetime and we can help the nation overcome this latest daunting health challenge but only if we are included in the response plans and given the support we need. 

Judith M. Watson, RN, BSN, MPH is the CEO of the Mount Vernon Neighborhood Health Centers, Inc. which operates three community health centers, a homeless shelter health clinic, and two school-based health centers in Westchester County. She plans to donate some of her blood to research to aid in developing an antibody that may fight COVID-19. 

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