Moriah mulls health care change

MINEVILLE - Hudson Headwaters Health Network has been a good partner with the town of Moriah in providing primary care to the community - but there could be a better deal.

That was the assessment of Moriah Supervisor Tom Scozzafava in discussing the local health center's future during the Feb. 10 town board meeting.

Moriah now leases the town-owned health center in Mineville to Hudson Headwaters, which provides care to the community. That lease expires at the end of this year.

Scozzafava said he has had informal talks with officials from Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington, Vt., about operating the local facility.

The Moriah Health Center is a state-of-the-art facility that opened last year. Scozzafava acknowledged Hudson Headwaters played a role in the community securing funding for the new building.

"Was Hudson Headwaters a player in helping us get that facility? Yes," Scozzafava said. "I have nothing bad to say about Hudson Headwaters, but as elected officials we should look at all options."

Scozzafava asked the public for input.

"If you're happy with Hudson Headwaters, fine," he said. "If not, we can look for another service provider."

The $1.2 million health center is located at the Moriah Industrial Park on Plank Road in Mineville.

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. At that time the health center was in the Moriah Community Building, the former Republic Steel building in Mineville.

The new health center is a 4,000 square feet building with six exam rooms.

Moriah officials worked to arrange a partnership with Hudson Headwaters Health Network and to find funding for the new building.

The cost of the new health center was covered entirely by grants. Rep. John McHugh secured a $389,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration to go along with $799,000 McHugh previously secured for the project.

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