Paloma Izquierdo-Herandez, President and CEO of Urban Health Plan in Hunts Point, was honored in Washington DC on March 27th, for her accomplishments and contributions as a Latina leader in the community.
Congressman José E. Serrano nominated Ms. Izquierdo-Hernandez for the award, which was presented by the Imagen Foundation, a DC-based non-profit group that works to bolster public perceptions of Latinos across the country.
Past honorees have included PBS and CNN reporter Maria Hinojosa, and civil rights leader Dolores Huerta.
“Paloma is the essence of a strong Bronx leader, who is dedicated to improving health care access in her community,” said Serrano, adding Izquierdo-Hernandez works “for a Bronx where no one lacks access to health care services. As a direct result of her efforts, there are fewer people suffering from health issues in the Bronx.”
Urban Health Plan opened in 1974. The organization now serves patients from a 37,000 square-foot health center on Southern Boulevard, three satellite health centers in Hunts Point/Longwood and one in Queens, five school-based centers and two homeless shelters.
According to their website, Urban Health Plan serves over 700 patients per day.
The agency’s goal goes beyond expanding access to the underserved, Serrano said.
“Paloma has led the organization to attack specific problems that people in the Bronx suffer in disproportionate numbers,” he said, emphasizing the center’s work with Hunts Point’s high rate of asthma sufferers.
“Their work brought down emergency room visits significantly, and led to a marked increase in quality of life for the people who had been so fearful of a bad asthma attack,” he continued, adding the group’s work with asthma patients in the South Bronx “has been used as an example around the nation.”