Many people think of New York City as a large melting pot. In fact, it´s more like a quilt of dynamic, diverse small towns. Every couple of decades, entire neighborhoods change: new cultures, languages, and ethnicities move in and others move out.
The Family Medicine at Herman "Denny" Farrell, Jr. Community Health Center is located in the Washington Heights section of New York City, in northern Manhattan. The area belonged to the Lenape Native Americans until their legendary "sale" of Manhattan Island in Inwood Hill Park in the 17th Century.
Over 100 years ago, Washington Heights/Inwood was a rural farming community far north of "the city." The area´s first immigrants were of Irish and German origins. After World War II, the next wave of immigration consisted of Russians, European Jews, and Cubans. By the 1960s, a large influx of Dominicans and Latin Americans transformed Washington Heights/Inwood once again.
Today, the Family Medicine at Herman "Denny" Farrell, Jr. Community Health Center serves a community that is 85% Latino; the rest is a typical New York City mix of African Americans, Asians, Russian Jews, Whites, Arab Americans, Guyanese, and others. While most of the Latino residents are from the Dominican Republic, others come from the Puebla region of Mexico, South America, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Central America.
Washington Heights is a working-class community with many socioeconomic and healthcare challenges. 29% of its residents live below the poverty line-one of the highest rates in New York City. Yet affordable housing is increasingly difficult to find in this area. A substantial segment of the Dominican community lives part of the year in the Dominican Republic and part in Washington Heights, posing unique healthcare challenges.
The community surrounding the Family Medicine at Herman "Denny" Farrell, Jr. Community Health Center is steeped in the diverse cultural history of Washington Heights.