Health center construction to begin

MINEVILLE Work on a new health center in Moriah is expected to begin this week. The Moriah town board awarded bids for the construction of a new $1.2 million health center in Mineville during its March 10 meeting. Were really looking forward to having a new health center, Moriah Supervisor Tom Scozzafava said. Its been a while coming. Scozzafava recalled the first call he received Jan. 2, 2003. It was from the state Department of Health telling him the old Mineville Health Center was no longer adequate. We really had to scramble to make things work, he said. The new health center should be open for business by the end of the year, Scozzafava said. In the past four years Moriah officials worked to arrange a partnership with Hudson Headwater Health Network and to find funding for the new building. The cost of the new health center will be covered entirely by grants. Rep. John McHugh secured a $389,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration in December in addition to the $799,000 McHugh previously secured for the project. Bids to construct the new health center were scheduled to have been opened last June, but that was postponed while Moriah awaited funding. Were very pleased to be moving forward with this project, said Trip Shannon, Hudson Headwaters chief development officer. The people of Moriah deserve to have a modern health care facility with comprehensive primary care services. Clearly, the new health center could not have happened without the efforts of Congressman John McHugh, State Sen. Betty Little, Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward and Moriah Supervisor Tom Scozzafava., he said. The new health center, to be located in the Moriah Industrial Park on Plank Road, will be owned by the town and operated by Hudson Headwaters Health Network. Hudson Headwaters Health Network is a group of community health centers providing care to the residents in 11 North Country towns, including Schroon Lake and Ticonderoga. Hudson Headwaters took over the Moriah Health Center, formerly the Mineville Health Center, Jan. 1, 2005. The health center is now in the Moriah Community Building, the former Republic Steel building in Mineville. Originally, plans for a new health center called for a 5,000 square feet facility with nine exam rooms; now plans call for 4,000 square feet building with six exam rooms. Hudson Headwaters officials have said they plan to expand services in Moriah once a new facility is in place. Services at other Hudson Headwaters facilities include routine, urgent and walk-in care; specialty and ancillary services at its larger centers; on-site care in nursing homes, hospitals and home settings; 24-hour call and inpatient hospital coverage 365 days a year; and a range of programs in health screening, tracking, education and prevention. Once the health center leaves the Moriah Community Building, Moriah officials hope to locate a business or not-for-profit agency in the space. I dont want that building to sit there empty, Scozzafava said. Its an important building to the community. The upstairs portion of the building is now used by Literacy Volunteers of America and local Girl Scouts.

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