Creating Primary Care Access in Dannemora
Special Projects Fund
July 21, 2009
WebsiteSEE GRANT OUTCOMES
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.
Prior to the development of this health center, residents and local employees in the rural region of Dannemora lacked access to primary health care, including access to doctors accepting Medicaid. Given the economic situation, it became increasingly difficult for many residents to dedicate the time and money required to make the two-hour round trip to a primary care facility. A local, family-owned pharmacy stepped in to fill the void by providing home delivery and a range of medical triage services to the uninsured and underinsured, but a sustainable primary care solution was needed. In partnership with the Smith House Health Care Center, the pharmacy opened a satellite clinic in Dannemora accepting Medicaid patients, the underinsured, and uninsured. NYHealth funds supported medical personnel, expenses, and equipment purchases for the first quarter of operations, after which patient revenues were able to sustain the clinic. The clinic also helped attract additional medical staff to the area to address the physician shortage.