NEW YORK, June 17, 2020 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — Dr. Ramon Tallaj, Founder and Chairman of SOMOS Community Care, a network of over 2,500 primary care doctors serving nearly 800,000 largely immigrant New Yorkers, in the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and Upper Manhattan and CORE (Community Organized Relief Effort), the emergency relief nonprofit organization, co-founded by Sean Penn and Ann Lee, today announced the opening of five new COVID-19 testing sites in marginalized communities in New York City. The new testing sites will be located in faith-based churches and operated by SOMOS’s network of physicians and CORE staff located in Brooklyn and the Bronx.
Safe and exposure-free shallow nasal swab testing will be provided to anyone who wants to be tested, including symptomatic and asymptomatic people of all ages, free of charge. There is no identification requirement for testing at the sites. To register for an appointment, please call 1-833-SOMOS-NY. Walk-ins are welcome for those who do not have an appointment.
The testing sites are part of a joint commitment by the Cuomo administration and SOMOS Community Care to reach members of the minority communities who have historically been isolated by language, income, and social status – the underlying barriers to better health and economic wellbeing that have been devastatingly exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. SOMOS has been running trilingual testing sites since March and has already tested over 80,000 New Yorkers.
According to Dr. Ramon Tallaj, New York City has been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic, especially in largely immigrant and minority communities in the Bronx. “As the poorest borough and one of hardest hit by COVID-19 due to the deep health disparities, Bronx residents have suffered the highest death rates from a plague that disproportionately targets the poor. I thank God each day for allowing us to serve these communities. It makes you live your life with purpose. Our partnership with Sean Penn and CORE is a welcome addition to the vital work of SOMOS. Contributing requires a lot of heart and selflessness which is rare these days,” says Dr. Ramon Tallaj.
“We all watched in both heartbreak and awe as New York and New Yorkers with their leadership took the front line for the nation. As CORE begins COVID-19 testing in the most marginalized communities, in partnership with Governor Cuomo, Dr. Tallaj and SOMOS Community Care, and the people of New York, we do it with gratitude,” said CORE Co-Founder Sean Penn.
“As a former New Yorker, I can attest to the toughness and resilience of this city. CORE’s COVID-19 response supports communities of color who are at the greatest risk, and we are eager to serve the people who make New York such a diverse and beautiful city. We stand with Jack Dorsey’s #StartSmall who invested and now is doubling down on testing and tracing in low-income communities of color until this pandemic is no longer an active threat. We are grateful to our partner Curogram for providing software that enables patients to schedule appointments and receive test results,” said CORE Co-Founder and CEO Ann Lee.
CORE is operating free COVID-19 testing sites across the United States, with a focus on serving vulnerable and underserved communities such as low-income groups and communities of color, as well as first responders and essential workers. CORE’s COVID-19 response began in Los Angeles in late March with a partnership with Mayor Garcetti’s Office and LAFD, and the organization has since expanded testing to Chicago, New Orleans, Detroit, Georgia, North Carolina, the Navajo Nation and throughout California. To-date, CORE’s team of more than 750 staff and volunteers have administered nearly 450,000 tests.
The first day of testing kicked off on Monday, June 15, 2020, at the Iglesia Jovenes Cristiano Church located at 8700 18th Avenue in Brooklyn from 9:00am-1:00pm and continues until Wednesday, June 17th, 2020.
Further Expansion of COVID-19 testing sites will take in place in four faith-based churches throughout the Bronx starting on June 18th, through September 1st, 2020 from 9:00am-1:00pm.
- Heavenly Vision, 2868 Jerome Avenue, Bronx
- Morning Star Full Gospel Church, 464 E Tremont Ave, Bronx
- FLOW Ministries, 901 East Tremont Avenue, Bronx
- Burke Avenue Baptist Church, 1280 Burke Ave, Bronx
SOMOS is a non-profit, founded by physician-led network of over 2,500 health care providers serving over 800,000 Medicaid beneficiaries in New York City. Launched in 2015 by Founder and Chairman Dr. Ramon Tallaj, SOMOS is the largest and only physician-led performance provider system participating in the New York State Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment Program (DSRIP). The SOMOS network includes providers delivering culturally competent care to patients in some of New York City’s most vulnerable populations, particularly Latino, Asian, African-American and immigrant communities throughout the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens. For more information, please visit http://somoscommunitycare.org
CORE (Community Organized Relief Effort) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving lives and strengthening communities affected by or vulnerable to crisis. Within hours of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, founder Sean Penn mobilized a powerful network to take immediate action. More than 10 years later, CORE continues to lead sustainable programs focused on four pillars: emergency relief, disaster preparedness, environmental resiliency and community building. The organization has expanded beyond Haiti to support communities in The Bahamas, Puerto Rico and the United States. CORE has taken a leadership position in the COVID-19 response to provide free testing for high-risk individuals and vulnerable communities. For more information, please visit http://www.coreresponse.org/covid19 and follow CORE on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
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SOURCE SOMOS Community Care