History & Community

The East Harlem Council for Human Services, Inc.

The East Harlem Council for Human Services, Inc. (Council) was established in 1965 through the efforts of East Harlem residents and their struggle to provide crucially needed services to their community. The board and staff are predominantly community residents and users of services who have a strong commitment to providing the highest quality of fully bilingual health and human services to the East Harlem community.

The East Harlem Council for Human Services, Inc. operates the following fully bilingual Programs, serving more than 12,000 individuals each year without regard for an individual’s ability to pay for services: Boriken Neighborhood Health Center, Boriken School Health Program, WIC Program, Bilingual Head Start Program, Senior Nutrition Program, and Boriken Community Outreach Site.

Boriken Neighborhood Health Center

In 1974, the Council established the Boriken Health Center to address the tremendous health-related needs of El Barrio. Boriken’s mission is to maintain excellence in providing comprehensive medical, dental, behavioral health, health education, and social services to the residents of East Harlem without regard to the individual patient’s ability to pay. Boriken is committed to addressing each patient’s comprehensive needs, including those related to medical, dental, & mental health issues. Boriken’s medical, dental, and mental health service providers are uniquely qualified to provide services to the residents of East Harlem and other underserved New York City communities. Boriken is a Federal Torts Claim Act-deemed federally qualified health center, designated by the National Committee for Quality Assurance as a Patient-Centered Medical Home (Level 3).

As a Patient-Centered Medical Home, Boriken follows best practices to provide continuous and coordinated care to patients to improve health outcomes and maintain each patient’s health and well-being. The Patient-Centered Medical Home model means that patients are an integral component of all services, with the primary care physician leading a team-based, multidisciplinary approach to coordinate all aspects of care. As the individual’s medical home, Boriken staff collaborates with other institutions to coordinate services not available through the Health Center. The fully bilingual and culturally competent services which Boriken provides to this vibrantly diverse community are a vital resource for East Harlem’s most vulnerable residents.

East Harlem’s 117,750 residents experience the highest asthma diagnosis rates in the nation, and incidence rates of HIV/AIDS, diabetes, and heart disease among the highest in the country. Fifty-two percent of East Harlem residents are Latino, 36 percent are African American, seven percent are Caucasian, and two percent are persons of other races/ethnicity. Thirty-seven percent of the residents of the Council’s service area live below the poverty level; only 40 percent live above 200 percent of the poverty line.

​The Boriken Neighborhood Health Center is located across the street from Taino Towers, a large publicly subsidized housing complex that was the site of the Health Center for more than three decades prior to the Health Center’s relocation. On July 1, 2014, the Boriken Health Center moved to our new primary care facility, which was developed as the prototype Green health center in New York City. Boriken’s new building was built and is operated without the commonly used chemicals and materials that are harmful to people.

In order to accomplish this, we follow and exceed the U.S. Green Building Council Guidelines for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. Patient care, which is free of environmental hazards, is essential to the healing process. This kind of care is particularly important now when the environment is becoming the number one issue governing our day-to-day lives because of the ever-increasing awareness of the importance of indoor and outdoor environments.​

Boriken’s services include obstetrics, geriatrics, adult medicine, asthma education, and support services, comprehensive HIV-related education and outreach, counseling and testing, dental, diabetes education and support services, family medicine, geriatrics, nutrition, obstetrics, an onsite laboratory, dermatology, ophthalmology, pediatrics, pharmacy, podiatry, psychiatry, social work, and transportation.

​Location: 2265 Third Avenue at E. 123rd Street.

To learn more about Boriken & the East Harlem Council for Human Services, Inc.

Here is a video of our Former Board Member & Director of Head Start:

Rita Prats-Rodriguez