The Collaboratory, a new community health resource in Albany’s South End, held its grand opening today.
The Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences opened “The Collaboratory,” literally a “laboratory for collaboration,” on Thursday, saying it’s believed to be the first of its kind in New York.
Officials say the Collaboratory will provide programs and facilitate partnerships with local community organizations with a goal of improving the health and wellness of residents in the surrounding neighborhoods.
ACPHS President Dr. Greg Dewey says the Collaboratory is one of four components of the College’s $6 million “Beyond Practice Ready” campaign, which is designed to prepare graduates to learn core professional skills and be adaptable to a changing workforce landscape. "We're bringing our students into these communities. These are students who are gonna be the future health care professionals. we're teaching them how to operate in this community, how to operate in a medically underserved area."
Located on the ground floor at 3 Lincoln Square, the 3,000-square-foot facility, whose space has been donated by the Albany Housing Authority, consists of open project space for use by both the College and Trinity Alliance. It will also be the home base for the REACH program, which aims to get Medicaid and Medicaid-eligible residents of the South End and nearby neighborhoods to make consistent use of preventative health care and wellness systems. "We're integrating social services with health care services, and that's the future. If I know what the community health worker's doing, I can be a better doctor, if the community health worker knows what the pharmacist is doing, he can reach out to the community in a stronger way."
The Collaboratory is positioning to be a community-centric healthcare hub for more than 9,000 South End residents, many with unmet medical needs. Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan is encouraged the initiative will improve the quality of life for residents. She praised ACPHS: "You're coming out of that building and you're coming into the community, and you're recognizing that actually, the wisdom and the knowledge that exists here in the community is going to help us to solve the challenges that Dr. Dewey talked about, because the answers are right here in this community. The people know what those needs are, they know the pathway to a solution, but what they need is for their voices to be amplified and to be understood in the halls of academia, in the halls of our state capitol, in our city hall, so that we can make those solutions a reality."
Partners include the Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Trinity Alliance of the Capital Region, Inc. and the Albany Damien Center.