Grant boosts health clinic

A $224,000 state grant awarded Wednesday to the village will be used to reduce the cost of the nearl

A $224,000 state grant awarded Wednesday to the village will be used to reduce the cost of the nearly completed Bassett Healthcare Center.

By assisting Bassett to open the primary care clinic, the grant will also help create at least 14 new jobs over three years, according to a release from the state Division of Housing and Community Renewal. Eight of the jobs are to be filled by low- and moderate-income people, according to provisions of the grant.

Some of those will likely include recently graduated nurses, as well as building maintenance workers, according to Bassett spokeswoman Karen Huxtable.

The clinic, just off Main Street near the Middleburgh High School, is tentatively expected to open for patients June 2, according to Huxtable. The facility will be open for public tours to allow people to meet some of the medical staff during a village community walk and festival from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 31.

The state funds will directly reduce the cost of the estimated $800,000 construction cost by $244,000, according to Kryston Hilton, who wrote the grant application for the village.

“The grant is specifically in exchange for jobs created,” said Hilton, project coordinator for Middleburgh Telephone Co., which has assisted with fundraising.

“The way Bassett is doing it,” Hilton said, “in exchange for creating those jobs … the village will help reduce the cost of the building, and that will reduce the overall lease agreement.”

“The lease costs are reduced because the grant to the community allows construction without additional financing costs that otherwise would have been incorporated into the lease,” Huxtable added.

“The whole point of the project is to meet an expressed community need,” she said.

Originally, Bassett was considering a clinic outside the village, Huxtable said. But “it was requested by the village, so it’s an appropriate use of public money,” Huxtable said.

The 4,920-square-foot building is owned and constructed by Scott Becker, son of Middleburgh Telephone Co. President Marge Becker. Becker and her late husband, Randall, donated $50,000 in seed money in 2006 to help entice Bassett to bring a clinic to Middleburgh.

Close to $130,000 in donations have been raised since spring 2006 to help Bassett offset costs of medical equipment for the center, according to Friends of Bassett Director Scott A. Barrett.

Part of the state money will go to reimburse the village for improving drainage in the flood-prone area, as well as water lines, and street infrastructure costs, according to Mayor William Ansel-McCabe.

“I was anticipating this with my fingers crossed,” Ansel-McCabe said. “I’m very pleased. The village is very excited about this grant.”

Aside from greater availability of health care, the clinic “will bring more people into the village,” Hilton said, potentially improving the local economy.

The clinic is tentatively scheduled to be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, with other hours to be considered as need warrants, Huxtable said. The facility is to include nine exam rooms and a phlebotomy lab.

The goal is to provide medical care for all ages, similar to other Bassett centers around the region. Bassett officials have projected that it’s likely to serve about 5,000 patients annually.

The primary medical staff will be Dr. Aaron Harrison and Physician’s Assistant Todd Dykstra, plus nurses and other health-care professionals, An additional doctor is also expected to be named soon.

“Not only will the center provide health care close to home, it will support economic development by assuring the availability of a core service to the community, said Bassett Healthcare chief executive Dr. William F. Streck in the release.

“Middleburgh residents have anticipated the opening of this facility for some time, and we are pleased to share in the successful completion of this vision,” Streck said.

Categories: Schenectady County

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