Healthfirst Celebrates Jamaica Community Office Opening

Apr 28, 2023

Jamaica, NY, April 28, 2023 – Healthfirst yesterday celebrated the opening of its Jamaica, NY, office with community leaders, lively performances, and a photo exhibit by Nat Valentine of the Cultural Collaborative Jamaica. Located at 161-21 Jamaica Avenue, in the heart of a bustling Queens shopping district, the 4,200 square foot office is designed to support the needs of Healthfirst members and the community at large in a variety of ways—hosting health education seminars, exercise classes, and events in partnership with local community-based organizations, to name a few.

“Healthfirst understands our members’ needs because we are from their neighborhoods, we speak their languages, and we embrace their diversity,” said Miguel Centeno, Healthfirst’s Vice President of Community Engagement. “With this new community office strategically located in the multicultural mecca that is Queens—where we serve more than 350,000 members—Healthfirst looks forward to strengthening our presence as a community resource. Healthfirst team members fluent in multiple languages, including English, Spanish, Hindi, Twi, and French Creole, are ready to assist with benefit enrollments, renewals, Medicaid recertifications, and other customer service needs.

Local community leaders who attended the grand opening included:

  • Deputy Queens Borough President Ebony Young
  • New York City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams
  • District Manager of Queens Community Board 12 Yvonne Reddick

The ribbon-cutting ceremony included lively performances by the Blue Angels Drumline, Edge School of the Arts, Bangladesh Institute of Performing Arts, Abakua Afro-Latin Dance Company, Sister Aviola Joseph from the Jamaica Seventh-day Adventist Church, and a photo exhibit by Nat Valentine of the Cultural Collaborative Jamaica.

“We are thrilled that Healthfirst has chosen Jamaica as the home for their new community office,” said Tyra Emerson, Executive Director of the Cultural Collaborative Jamaica, who spoke at the grand opening ceremony. “We look forward to working together to improve healthcare access and outcomes for the southeast Queens community.”

Also in attendance was Bruce J. Flanz, President & CEO of MediSys Health Network and Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, who said, “On behalf of everyone at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, we welcome Healthfirst to the neighborhood and know the opening of this new location in Jamaica will undoubtedly have a positive impact on our community.” MediSys is one of Healthfirst’s sponsor hospitals and part of the consortium of hospitals that founded the company 30 years ago.

The Jamaica location is open to the public Monday to Saturday, 9am–5:30pm.

About Healthfirst

Healthfirst, one of New York’s largest not-for-profit health insurance companies, has earned the trust of more than 1.8 million members by ensuring access to affordable and high-quality healthcare. Sponsored by downstate New York’s leading hospital systems, Healthfirst’s unique advantage is rooted in its mission to put members first by partnering closely with its broad network of providers on shared goals. Healthfirst is also a pioneer of the value-based care model, now recognized as a national best practice. For nearly 30 years, Healthfirst has worked with its network of hospital systems, community providers, and partners to improve health outcomes and advance health equity through better access to care—especially in underserved communities adversely impacted by disease, health disparities, and socioeconomic barriers to optimal health. Healthfirst has built its reputation in the community for top-quality products and services New Yorkers can depend on. It offers market-leading products to fit every life stage, including Medicaid plans, Medicare Advantage plans, Long-Term Care plans, Qualified Health plans, Essential Plans, and individual and small group plans. Healthfirst serves members in New York City and on Long Island, as well as in Westchester, Rockland, Sullivan, and Orange counties. For more information on Healthfirst, please visit