His Branches awarded more than $3 million in NYS funding

ROCHESTER, N.Y. A local healthcare center that serves underserved neighborhoods is getting more than $3 million from the State of New York to expand its work.

Nearly 50 years ago, His Branches opened as a private primary care practice along Arnett Boulevard in Rochester. The intention was to bring care directly to people who live in the 19th ward.

Since then, His Branches has expanded, opening a second location on North Goodman Street and becoming a federally qualified health center. The mission has never changed when it comes to the patients they serve.

“50% of them come from the neighborhoods that directly touch us, the 19th ward and Beechwood neighborhoods,” explains Executive Director Mike Weston. A majority of the patients have barriers to healthcare that His Branches says it’s willing to help them overcome.

“Almost half of our new patients recently actually are Spanish speaking so we’ve been working very closely with Ibero to recognize that within the 14621 zip code,” Weston says. “There’s a massive lack of care.”

His Branches locations aim to be a one-stop shop for basic healthcare needs.

“For someone who comes here, trust and transportation are the biggest barriers for our patients so we try to provide services that individuals need right here in-house,” Weston says.

Each location has primary care, mental health therapists and a lab.

“If you struggle with diabetes, hypertension … we can track that right here in the office so that you don’t have to go across town and miss more work or try to jump on the bus or try to get Medicab to drive you somewhere else,” Weston says.

His Branches is getting a $600,000 state grant to upgrade and expand its 19th ward location. It is getting an additional $2.5 million to open a third branch. A location for the new office has not yet been confirmed, but His Branches is looking at Center City.

“People are coming back to downtown,” Weston says. “There’s going to be apartments. There’s going to be jobs so part of this is being on the front end of that.”