Primary Care

Grantee Name

Associated Community Action of the Northeast Adirondack Region, Inc. (dba Smith House Health Care Center)

Funding Area

Primary Care

Publication Date

August 2014

Grant Amount


Grant Date:

July 2009 – January 2013

Residents of Dannemora and nine other neighboring towns in the remote Adirondack mountain region of New York typically must travel long distances to receive primary care.

Long travel times and frequent inclement weather conditions create significant deterrents for residents in need of medical care, especially for senior citizens and those with disabilities. In order to address the gap in medical services in this remote region, the Smith House Health Care Center (Smith House) proposed the creation of a satellite community health center (CHC) in Dannemora.

In 2009, the New York Health Foundation (NYHealth) awarded Smith House a grant to support the formation of this CHC.

Outcomes and Lessons Learned

  • Use funds for startup costs, including equipment purchase and cash flow for the first quarter of operations, as well as to leverage private investments;
  • Renovate the new site to meet New York State Department of Health’s Article 28 standards;
  • Offer comprehensive medical care to all—including patients with Medicaid, the uninsured, and underinsured—within the model of the Federally Qualified Health Center Look-Alike program
  • Administer mental health counseling;
  • Provide language interpreters to assist the inmate population in the region; and
  • Create a financially sustainable health center through patient and 340B pharmacy program revenues.

Upon reviewing other possible primary care expansion projects in the region, the board of directors and executive director of Smith House decided to postpone the opening of the satellite CHC in Dannemora. Instead, Smith House purchased the primary care practice of Dr. Radny Stoloff in Plattsburgh and partnered with Elizabethtown Community Hospital to assist with the operation and management of the Willsboro Clinic, one of Elizabethtown’s three primary care health centers. The Elizabethtown Community Hospital eventually absorbed Smith House, which proved to be a cost-effective merger that secured quality health care services for residents of the Adirondack mountain region.