Orleans Community Health is the umbrella organization for Medina Memorial Hospital and several other health organizations including the Orchard Manor nursing home. The new facility should be ready by September, Sinner told the Town Board on Monday.
â€œThis will improve access to healthcare which will improve the overall health of the community â€" That really is our goal,â€� Sinner said.
Orleans Community Health officials have been working on the project for five years. The organization purchased about six acres of land at the site from the Orleans Economic Development Agency in 2006. A $784,000 state grant â€" Healthcare Efficiency and Affordability Law for New Yorkers or HEAL â€" will help make the project a reality. Orleans Community Health wanted to start the project sooner but its financial position was weakened due to reduced reimbursements through Medicare and Medicaid, Sinner said.
But the organization is coming off two strong years and now is confident it can move ahead with the project that Sinner said will add 20 jobs.
About 45 percent of the emergency room patients at Medinaâ€™s hospital are cases that could have been handled by a primary care physician, said Brian Banas, chief operating officer for Orleans Community Health. But often residents lack insurance or transportation to go to a primary care physician. Or the office may be closed after 4 p.m. or on the weekends.
The new Albion facility is expected to stay open until at least 7 p.m., and will have hours on Saturday and possibly Sunday, Banas said.
The center also will serve all residents, including people who donâ€™t have insurance or who may lack the ability to pay, Sinner said.
A team of specialists in urology, cardiac care and orthopedics will be available, and Orleans Community Health also plans to hire a pediatrician for the site.
The new center targets the central core of Orleans County, a section where residents may be reluctant to drive 10 miles to Medina for services, Sinner said. He expects the Albion center will help the county improve its community health. A state report card, ranking counties on several health factors, puts Orleans near the bottom of the list.
The County Health Rankings ranked Orleans 55th out of 62 counties for health factors. The report states that 29.9 percent of Orleans adults are smokers, the 60th highest rate of the 62 counties in New York. In Orleans, 63 percent of adults are overweight with 29.1 percent deemed obese.
Town officials, including Town Supervisor Judith Koehler, welcomed the news from Orleans Community Health. Albion officials also commended the Orleans EDA for working on the project.
Orleans Community Health needs to go before town and county planning boards as part of the approval process. The state also needs to give a final approval for the project. – less–ZoomInfo