The Kraus Family Health Center of the Hamptons, which consolidates the Southampton and East Hampton county health centers in one location under a new operator, held a ribbon cutting ceremony this week to celebrate the facility’s official opening after nearly eight months of construction.
The center, located on the Southampton Hospital campus in Southampton Village, provides care to Medicare and Medicaid patients and those who are underinsured or uninsured.
Hudson River HealthCare (HRHCare), a nonprofit, federally qualified health care system, opened the health center’s doors to the public Wednesday. Elected officials including Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, New York State Assemblyman Fred Thiele and County Legislator Jay Schneiderman attended the ribbon cutting along with Stony Brook University Hospital CEO Dr. Reuven Pasternak, HRHCare CEO Anne Kauffman Nolon, MPH, and Southampton Hospital President and CEO Robert Chaloner.
The center is just one of 25 HRHCare health centers that are scattered across Long Island and southern New York. It adds to the more than 112,000 patients HRHCare centers have served to date.
The Kraus Family Health Center will provide dental, OB/GYN, family medical and nutritional services to thousands of patients. It also features an eClinicalWorks records system, which is a digitized system of keeping medical records. The beauty of the system is how it can share records between different doctors to keep them in the loop of how a patient is being taken care of at other offices and clinics.
“This extraordinary new facility is a major advancement in providing Suffolk County residents with the best and most affordable health care possible,” Bellone said. “HRHCare shares our passion for making sure everyone in the community receives the health care they need.”
“This is not just a case of one and one equals two, this is the case of one plus one equals a thousand,” Schneiderman said. “This is not just the simple merging of two clinics. What we are offering here is so significantly more than the sum of what the two clinics offered.” Doctors are now readily available for patients, and dental and mental health services were never offered before now, he noted.
“We are so pleased to open a new health center for the Hamptons and East End communities.” Nolon said. “By expanding primary health care services including family medicine, dental and behavioral health, along with WIC nutritional services we are adding to the commitment made by the Suffolk County Department of Health Services so many years ago to create further access to affordable healthcare for residents in this area.”
Since its first center launched in 1975, HRHCare has been providing various types of care for thousands of patients. HRHCare has been recognized by The National Committee for Quality Assurance as a Level 3 Patient-centered Medical Home, as well as both an accredited primary and behavioral healthcare service provider by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.
Each site accommodates English and Spanish speaking visitors with additional languages available at other specific health centers including French, Hindi and Korean among others.
In 2013, 75% of HRHCare’s patients were at or below the federal poverty level. 40% of those patients were uninsured and 36% were on Medicaid or Medicaid managed care.
HRHCare has also participated in outreach and enrollment activities such as assessing the public’s knowledge and needs and helping them create health insurance marketplace accounts. As of March 31, 2014, they have assisted more than 13,000 individuals with these activities.
“This will allow us to improve the well beings of individuals, which will improve the well being of their families and ultimately the community.” Dr. Pasternak said.
The other theme of the day, other than celebrating the work of HRHCare, was the successful collaboration of the state and federal governments to get this project done. “Communities all work together, that’s what makes these things possible,” Thiele said. “The face of health care is changing and the County of Suffolk is at the forefront of it thanks to the leadership of Jay [Schneiderman] and Steve [Bellone].” Bellone called it “a great example of multiple institutions coming together to do something important.”
The Kraus Family Health Care Center is located at 330 Meeting House Ln, Southampton, New York. For more information about the center, call 631-268-1008.