LIC medical center expands to SE Queens

City Speaker Christine Quinn (c.) talks with guests at the announcement of a new women's center in southeast Queens. Photo by Ivan Pereira
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Help is on its way to southeast Queens. where medical experts say there is a huge void when it comes to women’s health issues.

Administrators at Choices Women’s Center announced last week that they will be creating a new ambulatory medical facility in Jamaica that will cater to various needs of women of all ages in the community.

The center’s founder and president, Merle Hoffman, said she decided to expand her group’s facilities, which already include a women’s center, at 29-28 41st Ave. in Long Island City, because she saw a rise in demand from clients who came from neighborhoods such as Jamaica, St. Albans and Springfield Gardens.

“The majority of our patients in Long Island City came from Jamaica,” she said. “I said, ‘This is where we need to be.’”

Once completed in March, the facility, which Choices could not provide the address for, will include a prenatal care program for teens, gynecological services, STD testing and counseling. The center will be affiliated with Jamaica Hospital and include a qualified staff of doctors, nurses and other medical professionals, according to Hoffman.

The president said that such services were needed in southeast Queens not only because of the loss of Mary Immaculate Hospital two years ago, but also because of the staggering statistics about the area.

The city Department of Health ranked Jamaica below average for the indicator “Having a Healthy Baby” in its 2006 Community Health Profile due to the fact that there is a greater likelihood that mothers in the neighborhood are more likely to receive late or no prenatal care.

The report also stated that the birth rate of teen mothers in Jamaica is not only 35 percent higher than the rest of the borough, but also that those mothers are more likely to deliver babies with low birth weight.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan), who attended the announcement at the O Lavrador Restaurant, on 101st Avenue in Jamaica, applauded Hoffman and her team for taking an initiative to change the trend.

“It’s troubling to see how bad the health statistics are in Jamaica,” she said.

Hoffman said she will be working with neighborhood groups and civics, including Community Board 12, to get the word out about the center and said any woman interested in their services should not hesitate to follow up.

“In Jamaica, in this community we are going to stand up for women’s lives and women’s health,” she said.

Log on to for more information on the group and its programs.

Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4546.

Posted 8:40 pm, November 2, 2011
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