Press-Republican

August 6, 2013

CVPH Health Center moving downtown

JEFF MEYERS
Press-Republican

PLATTSBURGH — The CVPH Health Center will be relocating to downtown Plattsburgh in an effort to add more space to the practice and provide improved and convenient care for patients.

The Health Center, which has been on the second floor of the physicians building at 206 Cornelia St. since first opening in 1992, will move to the William H. Beaumont Health Arts Building at 159 Margaret St. beginning Monday, Aug. 19.

“This is going to be a beautiful facility,” said Charleen Tuthill, director of clinical services for the Health Center, as she toured the new space recently. “We are all very excited about coming down here.”

FORMER PEDIATRICS

The center will be placed in the offices formerly operated by Plattsburgh Primary Care Pediatrics and Mountain View Pediatrics. Having the center relocate to facilities that were previously used for health care was an added bonus, Tuthill noted.

“We have handicapped access to our door, which is so important for many of our patients,” she said. “We have plenty of space in both of our waiting rooms. We want our patients to be comfortable while they’re here.”

The new facility will also initiate a preregistration process for patients, which will help streamline the admissions process and get patients into their providers quicker and more efficiently, Tuthill said.

The center will feature 21 exam rooms, an increase from the 15 or 16 rooms available at the current site. There will also be office space for Medical Home and Health Home representatives to ensure that patients are seeing a continuum of care beyond their doctor visits.

“The Medical Home is a program that provides patients with specialized nursing care to all chronically ill patients,” said Amanda Gooley, clinical supervisor for the center. “It provides long-term patient management for patients with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), CHF (congestive heart failure) and diabetes.”

The Health Home is an offshoot of the Medical Home and provides Medicaid patients with access to other services beyond their doctor visits.

TRIAGE AREAS

The new facility also has two “triage” areas where nurses will prep patients prior to their visit with their provider.

The center has about 14,000 patients in its system and sees about 6,800 patients each year. The average census at the current location is about 100 patients per day, but Tuthill anticipates that number to increase by 50 percent with the increased space at the Beaumont location.

About one-third of the people the center services are Medicaid patients, one-third are Medicare patients, and one-third have private insurance or no insurance.

The center is not a walk-in clinic.

“Like any other health center, you have to be an established patient,” Gooley said.

The center does not offer long-term pain management but will refer patients to specialists in that field.

The practice will also continue its no-show policy. Patients who miss three appointments will be discharged from the center. No-shows tend to raise overall health-care costs, Tuthill said.

NEW PATIENTS

The center is taking on new patients, but people should call to make an appointment for an initial consultation.

Dr. Yamilee Jacques, a new provider, will be joining the center at the new location, bringing the total number of physicians on staff to five. There are also two mid-level providers (a nurse practitioner and a physician’s assistant), and at least two more will be joining the staff shortly.

With the recent agreement to affiliate with Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington, CVPH Medical Center will be moving toward a residency program in Plattsburgh, and the expanded Health Center will be an important draw for that program.

The center also has 14 nurses on staff and will be increasing its number of nurses at the new location.

A new lab area also enables staff to prepare materials prior to meeting with patients. There is also a new call center that provides receptionists with much more privacy when receiving and making calls.

Access is also a key to the new location’s attraction, especially being located close to the CART bus system, Tuthill noted.

The Health Center at CVPH will close on Friday, Aug. 16, to give workers an opportunity to move equipment and materials down to the new location in anticipation of the Aug. 19 opening. CVPH will also be holding an open house at the new center from 3 to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 13.

The current Health Center was opened to help reduce the number of patients who went to the Emergency Room for basic health-care needs. Since then, the center has outgrown its space and will welcome the opportunity to continue filling a special niche in the region’s health-care services.

Email Jeff Meyers:jmeyers@pressrepublican.com

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TO LEARN MORE

For more information on becoming a patient at the CVPH Health Care Center, call 314-3939.