UHP’s Paloma Izquierdo-Hernandez Honored with ‘Above & Beyond’ Award


Paloma Izquierdo-Hernandez President and CEO, Urban Health Plan Credit: City and State NY

Paloma Izquierdo-Hernandez
President and CEO, Urban Health Plan
Credit: City and State NY

City and State NY’s annual Above & Beyond list put the spotlight on some remarkable women, including Paloma Izquierdo-Hernandez, president and CEO of Bronx-based Urban Health Plan.

This year, C&SNY featured honorees in five sectors: business, health care, education, advocacy and government. Among the honorees are one of the state’s top political strategists, a former head of the American Civil Liberties Union and a pair of elected officials who have been striving to reach positions of leadership – and many more.

For Paloma Izquierdo-Hernandez, reshaping health care for communities in need started as a family business.

Her father, a physician, started a small community health center in the South Bronx. But after Izquierdo-Hernandez took a leadership role, the operation began expanding in ways neither of them had envisioned.

“I just believe in serving and taking advantage of every opportunity that comes my way, and so I don’t say no too frequently, and I don’t mind taking calculated risks,” Izquierdo-Hernandez says. “All of that has allowed our growth.”

Now Urban Health Plan operates more than 20 community health centers in the Bronx, Queens and Manhattan, including programs embedded in schools and in facilities serving at-risk people. The organization has become a major community employer and provides a full range of social services to support patients’ mental and physical health once they step outside the doctor’s office.

“There’s a need to assure that people are aware of how their health impacts their overall lives and how you can assist them in making right choices so that they can stay healthy,” Izquierdo-Hernandez says. “Without good health there’s not too much you can do.”

The Above & Beyond Gala was held at the Manhattan Center Ballroom Tuesday night. Other honorees included Esther Fuchs (Columbia University), Julissa Ferreras-Copeland (City Council), Jackie Mallon (NYC Small Business Services), Shola Olatoye (NYCHA), Deidre Sully (NYC Smoke-Free) and Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan.


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