This week we will cut the ribbon on our new St. Joseph's Primary Care Center - West, a unique expansion to our primary care network.
The former "Westside Center," is off West St., adjacent to Nojaims, a long time community grocery store. It is the center of a neighborhood, in the midst of housing, schools and churches. It's a community with a rich history of immigrants and industries.
Our center has been there for many years, in a rather small building, with dedicated staff delivering great care in one of our most diverse centers. This new center expands from 4,000 to 16,000 sq. ft., from four exam rooms to 25, and from 9,000 patients today to 23,000 by 2016.
We are very thankful to our state officials for the HEAL NY Phase 2 grant that has made the construction possible!
This week we launch a new chapter for this center, but more importantly we will be transforming the way care is delivered. Our goal is to make care available in the community, in a patient centered, multidisciplinary approach. It is unique and perfectly addresses the goals of health reform.
Dr. Luis Castro, medical director, and his staff are leading an outstanding transformation including:
Behavioral Health and Primary Care integration – the goal is that patients will not experience these as separate services but rather will just come to one facility for all of their “health care”
Inclusive care for families – by transferring Obstetric and Pediatric patients from our Maternal Child Health Center on Prospect Avenue to the Primary Care Center - West, we will be able to treat the entire family at one facility.
Expanded hours – evening and weekend hours will be added for patients.
Convenient lab work – patients will no longer need to travel to get lab or blood work services as this will be done at regular visits. This also helps to ensure that young children are properly tested for lead levels.
Convenient ultrasound services – patients will no longer need to travel to the hospital for these services.
Convenient radiology services – a radiology suite is being built in the new facility in preparation for the day when sufficient funding is secured to complete this area so patients will no longer need to travel to the hospital for these services.
Pregnancy club – a translator, patient educator, social worker and dietician will be available every Monday afternoon so patients can meet with one or all of these providers.
On-site dietician – instead of traveling to multiple sites, the dietician will be more readily available for patients and can also offer nutrition-related classes.
Nutritional program – coordinated with Nojaims grocery and other community partners, a clinical and nutritional program will be designed to assist patients in choosing healthy diets. We will also participate in a pre-diabetic program at the YMCA.
I also want to say a special thanks to our facilities staff, lead by Marylin Galimi, who with an already full plate, added this very special project. Their hard work assisted by Hayner Hoyt, has completed an outstanding facility.
Thanks to Paul Nojaim, Syracuse University's Lerner Center, and Near Westside Initiative for their creative ideas and support. We look forward to continuing to explore community engagement with them!
Finally to the absolutely incredible team of Mark Murphy, Sandy Whittaker, Kristin Mucitelli-Heath, Susan Furtney, and all the St. Joseph's staff on the West side whose ideas and hard work are reflected in this new Center. Great job team!