WARRENSBURG Area officials offered their thoughts about the future of health care in the southern Adirondacks soon after they stuck shovels into the ground at Engle Park and turned over some dirt to formally celebrate the upcoming construction of the new Warrensburg Health Center.
Hudson Headwaters Health Network has begun work on a $9.5 million health center on Main Street at Richards Avenue in Warrensburg.
The new two-story building will replace the current facility, a 50-year-old cinder block structure that once was an A&P grocery store. After completion, the old health center will be demolished to accommodate parking, and the rear of the property will be developed into a park overlooking the Schroon River. There is no interruption of patient services anticipated in the transition between the old and new facilities.
At the ceremony held Aug. 14, Hudson Headwaters CEO Dr. John Rugge called the project a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” to improve health care services in the region.
The floorspace of the new health center is to be 38,000 square feet, 162 percent larger than the present facility, which measures 14,500 square feet.
Rugge said that the new building would boost efficiency and enhance the patient experience by accommodating more exam rooms with more equipment, — and offering more specialty services.
Such services may include cardiology, orthopedics, infusion therapy, dialysis, high-technology imaging and cancer care, HHHN officials have said. More doctors and physicians’ assistants will be on the health center’s staff. The new facilities are also expected to provide space to expand Hudson Headwaters’ role in teaching medical students, resident physicians, nurses and physicians’ assistants., Rugge said.
Also, talk has also circulated about the center hosting a CAT scan device — the first in the southern Adirondacks.
Rugge predicted the facility will be completed and operating by the end of 2014.
The Warrensburg Health Center is the hub of Hudson Headwaters’ Adirondack operations. It is open seven days a week and six evenings, providing primary medical care for area residents as well as specialty services, urgent care and after-hours support to people living in 11 other Adirondack towns served by five Hudson Headwaters’ health centers in Hamilton, southern Essex and northern Warren counties. Last year, the Warrensburg Health Center logged 55,000 patient visits, with more than 70 percent of the patients hailing from outside Warrensburg.