A view of the entrance of Woodhull Hospital from Broadway and Flushing as seen from under the Flushing Avenue JMZ train station (via Google Maps)

According to Brokelyn, one North Brooklyn hospital at the corner of Flushing & Broadway, Woodhull Hospital, is offering artists a means to barter art for healthcare:

Living without health insurance takes some ingenuity …but how about painting a mural for your next full check-up? … Well, such bartering for treatment is the norm through the Artist Access program at Woodhull Hospital. If you have artistic talent (of almost any kind, really), and you’re earning less than a school teacher, chances are you’ll be able to trade for some healthcare at the North Brooklyn hospital.

Artist Access works like this: For every hour of art, music, dance, any other artistic service you give to Woodhull, you get 40 “health credits” toward medical care there. Each credit is worth $1, so one hour equals $40 worth of medical care. We know $40 seems like a pittance in the world of doctors, but Woodhull and the NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) have a program that stretches it further than you’d think.

… The program really isn’t only for the poorest of the poor. [Participating] individuals can earn up to 400 percent of the Federal Poverty Level, or about $40,000 a year.

To see if you qualify, visit here.

I should warn you that my personal experience at Woodhull’s emergency room in 2003 may rank as the most awful experiences I’ve ever had at a New York hospital. The staff seemed overwhelmed and less attentive than any of the other half dozen hospitals I’ve ever been to. But then again, with few options for affordable healthcare in New York, something is certainly better than nothing.

On the positive side, your art can be part of the same collection that includes murals (1, 2) by Keith Haring.

Hattip BushwickBK

Hrag Vartanian is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic.

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