Healthfirst and New York Restoration Project Launches Free Shuttle Bus Service

Part of the transformative Haven Project, the shuttle bus will safely connect residents of Mott Haven and Port Morris to the Randall’s Island Connector

The Bronx, May 2, 2016 – Join Healthfirst, the New York Restoration Project (NYRP), and other special guests at 10:30am on Saturday, May 14, at St. Mary’s Park (St. Ann’s Ave. and E. 146th St.) in the Bronx at as they celebrate the launch of a free public shuttle bus service to the Randall’s Island Connector with a ribbon-cutting, fun activities along the bus route, refreshments in the park, and more.

This is a major milestone for the Haven Project—a multiyear venture meant to improve quality of life and deliver measurable health benefits for South Bronx residents by creating a new network of connected open spaces with parks, tree-lined streets, public art, bike lanes, and waterfront access.

“Residents of the South Bronx face significant healthcare challenges, with high rates diabetes, asthma, and obesity presenting a dangerous, but preventable, threat,” said South Bronx native Susan Beane, MD, Medical Director, Healthfirst. “We know that fostering healthy lifestyle habits helps deliver positive health outcomes, but we can’t do it alone. Healthfirst is committed to the neighborhoods we serve, so we seek out opportunities to team up with community organizations like NYRP so we can maximize the positive impact of our educational and public health outreach.”

“NYRP understands that green spaces do much more than beautify neighborhoods – they transform lives,” said Deborah Marton, Executive Director of NYRP. “The free shuttle bus to the Randall’s Island Connector is just one way we’re working to improve access to quality green space in the South Bronx.”

Among the special guests invited to attend are:
• Congressman Jose E. Serrano
• State Senator Jose M. Serrano
• Assembly Member Carmen E. Arroyo
• Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr.
• Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito
• Council Member Rafael Salamanca
• Bronx Parks Commissioner Iris Rodriguez-Rosa
• Jane Bedell, MD, Assistant Commissioner and Medical Director at NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene

For more information about NYRP and the Haven Project, go to The ribbon-cutting event for the shuttle launch is one part of day filled with outdoor events; please see the attached flyer to learn more.

About Healthfirst

Healthfirst is a not-for-profit health insurance company sponsored by some of the most prestigious hospitals and healthcare systems in New York. It serves almost 1.2 million members in New York City and in Long Island through government-sponsored programs including Child Health Plus, Medicaid, Medicare Advantage, and Managed Long Term Care (Senior Health Partners), as well as through private health plans including Healthfirst Leaf and Qualified Health Plans, offered on NY State of Health, The Official Health Plan Marketplace. It now offers The Essential Plan, lower-cost health plan options for qualifying individuals. For the second year in a row, Healthfirst is a 4-Star Medicare Advantage plan and has 5 Stars for quality on the NY State of Health, The Official Health Plan Marketplace. Healthfirst was also named the highest-quality Medicaid plan in New York State.

About New York Restoration Project

New York Restoration Project (NYRP) is a non-profit organization driven by the conviction that all New Yorkers deserve beautiful, high-quality public space within ready walking distance of their homes. Since our founding in 1995 by Bette Midler, NYRP has planted trees, renovated gardens, restored parks, and transformed open space for communities throughout New York City’s five boroughs. As New York’s only citywide conservancy, we bring private resources to spaces that lack adequate municipal support, fortifying the City’s aging infrastructure and creating a healthier environment for those who live in the most densely populated and least green neighborhoods.

Bill McCann

Leah Silver
New York Restoration Project

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