Ground was broken on Thursday on a new South Fork health center, to be located in the current Southampton Hospital Annex on Meeting House Lane in Southampton following renovations, with stakeholders promising residents expanded healthcare options regardless of insurance status, and increased overall health with the implementation of more preventive care options.
In May, officials announced a plan to consolidate two Suffolk County Health Centers, one in East Hampton and the second, the Kraus Family Health Center in Southampton, forming the newly named HRHCare Kraus Family Health Center. It will be run by Hudson River Health Care, a non-profit provider from Peekskill, New York, running 24 health centers across the state, including one in Coram and one in Greenport.
The county has said the plan will save taxpayers about $3.8 million over the next five years by consolidating services.
The consolidation would represent a public-private partnership between Suffolk County, Southampton Hospital, Stony Brook University and Hudson River Health Care.
Hudson River Health Care is a federally qualified health care system, offering a wide range of federally-mandated medical services at their facilities in order to receive federal funding. An FQHC is a type of provider that offers preventative and primary health care services for all age groups regardless of a patient’s ability to pay. Under the agreement approved Tuesday, the new clinic will also provide services for family planning, HIV, TB and sexually transmitted infections, prenatal care, and gynecology.
The annex building will undergo extensive repairs in order to meet federal standards, but will be paid for through federal grants and county funds—which will also end up falling on the shoulders of the federal government, because of a 2008 awarded state grant.
Additionally, the center is to become a residency training site for primary care physicians through Stony Brook University Medical Center and Southampton Hospital.
The HRHCare Kraus Family Health Center, to feature a family practice, women’s health services, mental health services and dental services, is expected to open its doors in early 2014.