Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Helen Hayes Hospital to Open New Square Clinic

By Jane Lerner, The Journal News

NEW SQUARE - The state Department of Health has approved a plan for Helen Hayes Hospital to open an outpatient rehabilitation clinic in the Refuah Health Center, according to state documents.

The new clinic will cost $119,726, according to the state.

Helen Hayes, a state-run rehabilitation center in West Haverstraw, will offer physical and occupational therapy to patients who need those services at the New Square clinic.

"This will offer another option for people to get Helen Hayes-quality therapy at a different location," said Mary Creagh, spokeswoman for the West Haverstraw rehab hospital.

The new clinic is scheduled to open after the first of the year, she said.

It will be staffed by physical therapists and occupational therapists from Helen Hayes. The center will probably hire workers to fill the positions.

Helen Hayes officials will meet with Refuah staff next week to discuss the renovations that will be needed for the new clinic, Creagh said.

The director of Refuah did not respond to a request for comment.

The Refuah Heath Center opened in New Square in 1993. It offers medical and dental care to adults and children.

The center, at 728 N. Main St., primarily serves the area's large Hasidic Jewish population, but also serves "all who wish to avail themselves of the center," its Web site says.

Anyone with a valid prescription will be able to use the new Helen Hayes clinic, Creagh said.

The rehab hospital also has a satellite clinic at Nyack Hospital, which it opened in 2003.

The Nyack Hospital clinic offers occupational therapy, physical therapy and cardiac rehabilitation services.

People who receive outpatient care at the main hospital in West Haverstraw will be offered a choice of getting services there or at the two clinics, Creagh said.

"If they live closer to Nyack or Spring Valley, it might be more convenient for them," she said.

Rehabilitation hospitals nationwide have been under pressure from the federal government to switch their services from inpatient to outpatient.

At Helen Hayes, outpatients visits increased 58 percent in the last fiscal year, while inpatient admissions declined 12 percent.

The Journal News