Governor Spitzer Chooses Milbank for Major Health Policy Announcement

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Governor praises Children’s Aid’s Community-Based Health Services

New York State Governor Eliot Spitzer, Lt. Governor David Paterson and Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of the Children’s Defense Fund, visited Children’s Aid’s Dunlevy Milbank community center in March to announce a budget proposal that would help expand access to health care for all children.

Milbank is the hub for our services in Central Harlem – for families living in Pelham Fritz, our shelter for homeless families directly across the street, for residents of Carmel Hill, the three-building housing rehabilitation project also across West 118th Street and for thousands of other Harlem residents. Milbank will celebrate its 50th anniversary next year, but Children’s Aid has been a presence in Harlem since 1928, when we opened Utopia Children’s House.

Children’s Aid CEO C. Warren Moses provided the distinguished guests with a tour of the center, including the health clinic, pool, classrooms, library, gymnasium, playground and computer center. Milbank was buzzing with activity. The governor spent a long time in the health clinic, where doctors, nurses and insurance enrollers worked with families, and their young children waited to see the health staff. Afterward, Spitzer visited the pool and enjoyed watching a Head Start “Mommy and Me” swim session. He showed great interest in all of the center’s activities, peeking into various activity rooms on his way to the gym, where a large press contingent awaited his announcement.

Spitzer’s budget proposal expands eligibility for Child Health Plus, New York State’s children’s health insurance program, and streamlines the enrollment process to encourage approximately 900,000 uninsured adults and children to obtain Medicaid coverage, and get the primary and preventive care they need to stay healthy.

Spitzer praised Children’s Aid as an agency that “makes things work,” as well as for providing community-based health care. In his announcement, he repeatedly used Children’s Aid as an example of the type of health care he supports.