CARS HOMES JOBS

Saratoga Springs health center set to open in spring

Facility to aid low-income city residents

Saturday, October 27, 2012
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— Saratoga Hospital’s Community Health Resource Center is expected to open next spring at 24 Hamilton St., an existing two-story building just a block from Broadway.

But before the doors can open, the Saratoga Hospital Foundation still needs to raise the final $600,000 for the $3 million project.

The Community Health Resource Center will be for low-income residents who may not have health insurance but need primary care.

“It will be for low-income people, as well as young people who work downtown and aren’t covered by insurance,” said Terry Lee, president of the Saratoga Hospital Foundation. “These kids never think they will get sick, but they do get sick.”

The hospital foundation, the not-for-profit fundraising arm of Saratoga Hospital, has raised $2.4 million for the center.

On Tuesday, the foundation will hold a community “blitz” aimed at downtown businesses. Peter D’Aloia Jr. of Turner Construction is chairman of the fundraising effort.

The blitz will be held at 8 a.m. at the Holiday Inn on South Broadway. Every small business in Saratoga Springs will be identified and pledge cards will be distributed so foundation members can seek contributions for the center.

The hospital has already purchased 24 Hamilton St. but will be reimbursed by the foundation when the fundraising is complete.

Lee said the building was purchased for just less than $2 million. The foundation also wants to have a $1 million endowment to cover the operating costs of the center.

“The Community Health Resource Center will reduce barriers to care by partnering with other not-for-profit organizations in providing assistance in the areas of food, shelter and basic social services all in one location,” says a mission statement.

Lee said the center will be located two blocks from the federally funded Stonequist Apartments for lower-income city residents on South Federal Street. The center will also be located near many downtown businesses staffed by workers who may have little or no health insurance.

The center will provide a primary care physician for those in need. The center will also be offering mental health care and dentistry.

Lee said 25 percent of the people who come to Saratoga Hospital’s emergency department at 211 Church St. have problems with their teeth, including painful dental abscesses.

The hospital is expected to hire a doctor for the center who is dedicated to community medicine, she said.

The state Department of Health has not yet approved the center, but that approval is not expected to be a problem.

At first, the health center will occupy 3,500 square-feet of the 14,000-square-foot building. The foundation will lease out the remaining space, including spaces currently occupied.

The current tenant income at the two-story building is $11,500 per month, according to a hospital statement. The rental income will be placed into a special fund dedicated to the ongoing operating expenses and maintenance of the building.

The building is currently zoned for business and medical purposes, so city approvals are not required for the new facility, according to hospital officials.

 
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