Just months after the groundbreaking of the $6-million facility on Niagara Street, Greater Buffalo United Accountable Healthcare Network CEO Dr. Raul Vazquez seems pleased with the success doctors, nurses, specialists and care coordinators are having at touching the lives of patients who otherwise might fall between the cracks, lost to addiction or disease.
The approximately 200 staff members employed at GBUAHN are proud of the new four-story building, eager to show off its labyrinth of corridors, call centers, consultation rooms and offices. This place has become not just a job opportunity, they say, but a source of pride on Buffalo’s West Side. And they’re eager to tell the stories of success and thanks they’ve seen and heard firsthand in treating the area’s Medicaid participants as a Lead Health Home.
Not one to sit still, Vazquez knows the progress made addressing healthcare for Buffalo’s urban populations is only just beginning. And largely through his own funding, he’s ready to think big.
“I would rather wear that hat than have somebody else wear it for me,” Vazquez, a Bronx native and University at Buffalo Medical School graduate, says.
Since the grand opening of its new Lower West Side facility in September 2017, Greater Buffalo United Accountable Healthcare Network (GBUAHN) has been growing by leaps and bounds. As of Friday, February 1 of this year, the healthcare network has enrolled a whopping 8000 members.
The incredible growth is being attributed to myriad factors. Not only did GBUAHN build state of the art facilities, the Lower West Side campus is also conveniently located in a neighborhood that serves its primary client base. GBUAHN’s new multi-million dollar medical facility at 505 7th Street (learn more), is located directly behind 564 Niagara Street, Building 2.
GBUAHN acknowledges that its continued growth is partially due to its convenient location. But it also states that its clients appreciate the effort that goes into helping them to navigate the oft-complex Medicaid system. GBUAHN has also been making significant strides in ensuring that its patients have access to maintenance care for chronic conditions such as diabetes, asthma and high blood pressure. With the help of dietitians, and other health oriented resources, the goal is to keep patients healthy, rather than seeing them rolling through the door for emergency visits. The result from all of these initiatives is a tripling of size of the healthcare network over the last five years.
Urban Family Practice opened its second location Monday at 1315 Jefferson Ave. in the former location of the University at Buffalo Family Medicine Clinic, filling a gap in basic medical services left by the recent closure of several offices.
Last June, 7,000 patients, mainly East Side residents, received a letter stating that UB Family Medicine was closing its primary care clinic on Jefferson Avenue because of difficulties recruiting physicians to the practice to supervise the training of residents there.
Dr. Raul Vazquez, chief executive officer of Urban Family Practice on Niagara Street, purchased the clinic site. The new Jefferson Avenue Urban Family Practice will be operated by Dr. Chet Fox, a former professor at UB's Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences who used to work at the clinic.