BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Within hours of opening its doors, more than a dozen new patients have walked into the Urban Family Practice facility on Jefferson Avenue.

“I think healthcare is a right, not a privilege,” said Dr. Raul Vazquez, the CEO at the healthcare facility.

He says their mission is to increase access to high quality healthcare.

“It’s an area of need when it comes to preventative and chronic diseases so it’s important for us to be here,” said Dr. Vazquez.  “Some zip codes are just deserts for healthcare.”

Many of those zipcodes are on the East Side where, in the last six months, two of the main providers up and moved, leaving thousands of people without access to care.

“If it’s not in their neighborhood and people cannot walk there, they will not go,” said Dr. Chet Fox. “If they don’t go, they get sicker.”

Dr. Fox is the Chief Medical Officer at the facility. Originally from Long Island, the physician moved to Buffalo almost 25 years ago and sees a shortage in facilities around this area. He says there’s certainly a demand to fill the void.

“Personally, we prefer to do it the right way,” said the doctor. “We do everything here from public health to population health.”

Dr. Fox says they’re making sure they don’t push though the the patients but take time to address all medical needs. Dr. Vazquez notes many people in the area are living with undiagnosed illnesses such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and depression.

This is the second facility Urban Family Practice has opened in the last few months. They’re hopeful they’ll continue expanding to areas in the region which they consider underserved.

“We are working with the people who need this care most and it’s not just seeing people, but seeing them well.”

The Urban Family Practice located at 1315 Jefferson Avenue is open Monday through Friday from 8am until 5pm