A New Haven for Women’s Health Services in Queens Diane L. Max Health Center
Founded on the understanding that “Planning is Power”, Planned Parenthood supports the right of every individual to manage his or her own reproductive health. By providing community-based healthcare services, invaluable educational resources, and progressive public policy advocacy, the organization promotes the wellbeing of both individuals and families. When the organization’s local affiliate identified a shortage of women’s health services in Queens, Planned Parenthood of New York City (PPNYC) set out to open its first Article 28 health center in the borough. Denham Wolf supported PPNYC in managing the design and construction of this new facility.
Shortly thereafter, PPNYC assembled a qualified team of internal staff and external consultants to lead the project, including Denham Wolf as project manager of the facility’s design and construction. A free-standing building in Long Island City emerged as a potential option, although a creative approach would be needed to successfully transform the one-story lumberyard into a two-story, New York State Department of Health-compliant facility. Our team determined that a conversion of the prospective site was physically and financially feasible, with substantial support from Schuman Properties’ Andrew Ebenstein and Stephen Yablon Architecture.
With oversight from our project management team, PPYNC opened the 14,000-square foot Diane L. Max Health Center in 2015. The new facility features a diversity of exam and recovery rooms, a community health education suite, offices, waiting areas, and support spaces. The design employs intentional active design elements, such as a conveniently-situated central stairway and a layout that allows natural light to spill into most areas of the facility, benefiting visitors and staff alike. A system of LEDs provides colored accents throughout the space and also serves as a wayfinding tool for patients. The overall effect is vibrant and welcoming without sacrificing privacy, ultimately amplifying PPNYC’s commitment patient comfort and healing.
With the completion of the Diane L. Max Health Center, PPNYC has expanded access to reproductive health care and can now boast a presence in every New York City borough. In many ways, the project also represents a new facility standard; Cecile Richards, President of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, has dubbed the health center a “North Star” for the Federation.
“Community healthcare facilities should be dignified spaces where patients feel welcomed and safe. Our team is proud to have created a model with the Diane L. Max Health Center and to have contributed to the expansion of Planned Parenthood, specifically in the Queens community.”
—Ronzard Innocent, Director of Project Management at Denham Wolf