Paloma Izquierdo-Hernandez is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Urban Health Plan, a network of community health centers located in the South Bronx and Queens. Through her leadership and vision, Ms. Izquierdo-Hernandez has built Urban Health Plan into a first class health care organization that, according to Hispanic Business magazine and the US Department of Health and Human Services, is one of the top 25 Hispanic non-profit organizations and one of the top 10 health care organizations in the country, respectively. From its humble beginning as a one site local community health center, Urban Health Plan is now the largest employer in the 10459 zip code and is considered a significant economic anchor and engine that has contributed to the resurgence in the growth and development of the area.
Ms. Izquierdo-Hernandez has devoted her career to reducing the health disparities in the Bronx community, located in what has been identified as the poorest congressional district in the country. This commitment is reflected in the many achievements and successes of the organization under her leadership. With fierce determination, she shepherded the expansion of Urban Health Plan from a one-site facility in the South Bronx, to a network of federally-qualified community health centers that includes nine sites in the Bronx and Queens, nine school health programs, three part-time facilities for at-risk populations, two large WIC programs, and multiple other grant-funded programs. In 2001, she coordinated the construction of a 40,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility that is Urban Health Plan’s Bronx headquarters with a new 60,000-square foot extension that opened in January 2014.
Urban Health Plan network is accredited by the Joint Commission and recognized by the National Committee on Quality Assurance (NCQA) as a Level 3 Patient Centered Medical Home (2011 standards). Level 3 is the highest recognition awarded by the NCQA. Today, Urban Health Plan serves a volume of close to 350,000 patient visits annually.
Ms. Izquierdo-Hernandez’s achievements are testaments to her commitment to continuing the work of her father Dr. Richard Izquierdo, M.D., the founder of Urban Health Plan, and to serving their beloved community. Ms. Izquierdo-Hernandez has been recognized nationally for the continuous quality improvement work she spearheads at UHP and is often requested to speak nationally on best practices she has led to improve the quality of health care for under-served populations.
Urban Health Plan has won countless accolades for innovation, including the Nicholas E. Davies Award for Excellence in the use of electronic health records from the Health Information Management Systems Society. Urban Health Plan was one of the first health centers in the country to implement and fully utilize electronic medical records. In 2009, the United States Environmental Protection Agency recognized Urban Health Plan’s asthma management program with the National Exemplary Award for reducing asthma-related hospitalization rates in the South Bronx. The Bureau of Primary Health Care named UHP one of the top twenty community health centers in the country. In 2012, the organization earned the Metro New Market Tax Credit Project of the Year Award from the Novogradac Community Development Foundation and in 2013 UHP was awarded by the Brandon Group for their “on boarding” best practices.
Ms. Izquierdo-Hernandez is well respected by her staff for the contagious passion she has for her organization and its approximately 750 employees, including 150 providers. She sets the example that at UHP, people come first. She is a role model for her employees and a true example of consistent and outstanding leadership.
Ms. Izquierdo-Hernandez sits on numerous boards, including the National Hispanic Medical Association, the Primary Care Development Corporation, Community Health Care Association of NYS, the NYS Medicaid Evidence Based Benefit Work Group, Affinity Health Plan, Regional Aid for Interim Needs, and the Dr. Richard Izquierdo Charter School for Health and Sciences. She has served as the chairperson of the board of directors of the Community Health Care Association of New York State (CHCANYS) and as a board of director of the National Association of Community Health Centers.
Ms. Izquierdo Hernandez was raised in the Bronx, NY. She received an undergraduate degree from Boston College, and holds a master’s degree in speech pathology from Columbia University’s Teachers College, a master’s degree in public health from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and an an Honorary Doctoral Degree in in Social Sciences from Boston College.