FLATBUSH, Brooklyn (PIX11) — One local health center celebrated an important milestone in Brooklyn today. It’s a critical step toward providing access to quality care to women of color.

The Bronx’s Morris Heights Health Center is one of the city’s largest community health centers, with 30 locations located in New York City’s underserved neighborhoods. Now, it’s expanding its reach to the Brooklyn community. Health care and local government officials gathered at the new 2,500-square foot facility to mark the occasion, which will serve as a one-stop medical provider for thousands of residents across the borough. 

This center comes at a crucial time: According to the Morris Heights Health Center, African Americans have the highest infant mortality rate of any racial or ethnic group in the United States. About 30 women die from pregnancy-related causes each year.

Preliminary data showed that, in New York City, Black non-Hispanic women are eight times more likely to die of pregnancy-related complications than white women. The rates of expectant mothers receiving late or no prenatal care is higher than the citywide rate, with 15.6% in East Flatbush and 7.8% In Flatbush and Midwood, compared to 6.7% citywide.

The final touches are still being made to the facility, including the exam rooms. PIX11 News’ Stacy-Ann Gooden got a look at the new center Friday.