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Mattina Health gets new operator

Google street view photo
Mattina Health Care Center, Niagara Street

There will be a new operator for the Mattina Community Health Center on Niagara Street to serve the city's West side.

The Neighborhood Health Center, formerly the Northwest Buffalo Community Healthcare Center, announced it has reached a lease agreement with Kaleida Health to operate the Judge Joseph S. Mattina Community Health Center.

The Neighborhood Health Center is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), a community-based organization that provides comprehensive primary care and preventive care, including health, oral, mental health and enabling services to persons of all ages, regardless of ability to pay.

Kaleida had planned to shut down the center.

"I think the devastating news of the closing of the Mattina site really impacted the community. To hear that the site was closing made it even more important that we were successful at that," said Joanne E. Haefner, executive director of Neighbhorhood Health Center.

"We are leasing the center from them (Kalieda) and we will run and operate it under our own diagnostic treatment and center Department of Health license," said Haefner.

But Ralph Hernandez, a member of Buffalo's Latino community and a Buffalo Board of Education member, is voicing conerns about the new operator.

"The concern that most of us have is this is one of the few places many in the Latino community brings their children, pediatrics is pretty big there, and we haven't seen the plan yet, to find out whether they are going to be able to provide not only services in linguistically but culturally as well," said Hernadez.

The Neighborhood Healthcare Center has offices at Lawn Avenue in the City of Buffalo and at Commerce Place in Hamburg and provided care to more than 11,000 patients with over 40,000 visits in 2010. The Neighborhood Health Center anticipates serving more patients in future years with a target of 20,000 patients by 2015. The Judge Joseph S. Mattina Community Health Center on Niagara Street provided care to almost 9,000 patients in 2010.