Union Health Center History and Timeline

After nearly a century of work, we continue to strive for new ways to deliver high quality health care to our patients:


Gave IHI Presentation on transforming the role of medical assistants in health care settings.


Awarded NCQA (National Committee on Quality Assurance) Diabetes Recognition award for excellence in caring for patients with diabetes.


Invited to give presentation on transforming the role of medical assistants at the Society of General Internal Medicine's (SGIM) annual meeting.


Adopted and implemented Patient Portal offering online services to patients.


Recognized by NCQA as a Level III Medical Home, the highest level of achievement possible.


CEO/ Medical Director Karen Nelson is recognized as a visionary and given honorary award at the Primary Care Development Corporation (PCDC) Spring Gala.


The Blue and Green Medical Home teams emerge from best practices developed by our Special Care Center—SCC (see below).


Invited to join the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC-DOHMH) Diabetes Collaborative Spread Initiative to institute best practices.


Joined New Health Partnership's virtual learning community, sponsored by Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), to improve care by engaging patients in self management programs.

3/2006 – 6/2009

UHC developed and implemented Special Care Center (SCC), a primary care model designed to improve health outcomes and lower cost for patients with diabetes and other chronic conditions by using self-management techniques to engage patients in their care.

2005 – 2007

Invited to participate in the DOHMH Diabetes Collaborative to measure and improve health outcomes for patients with diabetes.


Participated in Emergency Management Concept Training and Tools with NYC-DOHMH to prepare NYC primary care sites for efficient response to emergency situations.


Implemented Advanced Access program which re-engineered our health center operations and gave patients same or next day appointments.  


UHC began its work to improve patient care by transforming organizational work flow, reducing patient wait times and providing advanced access.

2000 – 2011

Received funding from Komen Greater NYC (affiliate of The National SGK Foundation) for breast cancer education.

2000 – Present

Offered free cancer screening to qualified uninsured women over 50 who live in NY with funding from NYS Cancer Screening Partnership.


UHC became one of the first health centers in the country to adopt an electronic medical record (EMR) and move to a paperless system.


Health Center was renovated to create a clean and modern space.


John F. Kennedy, the day before his assassination, signed a Congressional Act commemorating the Health Center's successful creation of "a new conception of medical care for the worker..."

1960 – 1980

Unions followed in UHC's socially minded footsteps, offering comprehensive medical benefits to workers and their families.


The Health Center is established by the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union (ILGWU); it now serves workers, families and retirees from many unions.


The Triangle Shirt Waist factory fire galvanized the national labor movement.