Ellis Medicine on Monday opened a new primary care office at the Ballston Spa National Bank building on Route 67 in Ballston.
The office is intended to bring primary medical care to a portion of southern Saratoga County that is already oriented toward getting care at Ellis Hospital in Schenectady, said Ellis Medicine CEO James W. Connolly.
Dr. Karissa Scarabino, who is certified in conventional and osteopathic medicine, will be the primary care physician, though the office has room for and is expected to add a second doctor.
“Ellis already provides a great deal of care to residents of Ballston Spa,” Connolly said. “Many drive down Route 50 to Ellis Medicine facilities and we are very pleased to offer our quality of care to them here.”
Ellis Medicine in March announced plans for the facility located in the Ballston Spa National Bank headquarters building at 990 Route 67.
Ellis already operates primary care facilities in Glenville, Latham, Clifton Park and several locations in Schenectady and expects to announce an affiliation with a physicians’ group in Malta this fall.
Connolly said there is a new emphasis on primary patient care because of the Affordable Care Act, which has the goals of expending access to health care and reducing costs.
Primary care physicians are “the front line” of medicine, he said — and upstate New York has a pending shortage of primary care physicians. Many primary care doctors are approaching retirement age, he noted, and relatively few young doctors are going into primary care.
“We need to support primary care physicians,” Connolly said.
Scarabino is a graduate of Union College in Schenectady and the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine in Maine. She did a residency at the former St. Clare’s Hospital in Schenectady. “I’m really pleased to be in the area,” said Scarabino, who grew up in the Hudson Valley.
Ellis Medicine officials said osteopathic medicine focuses on preventive care and wellness and can be used to diagnose and treat sports injuries, recurring ear infections in children, pregnancy-related pain, headaches, back and neck pain, sinus disorders and asthma.
“It relies on the body’s ability to heal itself,” Scarabino said.
The office will be open Mondays through Fridays. People can make appointments by calling 889-8450 or online at ellismedicine.org.