By Jim Krencik
Medina Journal-Register — ALBION — Orleans Community Health’s leadership opened the Orleans Community Health Center in December with ambitions to grow the facilities offerings into a community resource for a variety of medical services.
Three months in, and that goal is still apparent, as the healthcare provider looks to contract with area specialists, new services and increase use of the center’s existing services.
Orleans Community Health Chief Operating Officer Brian Banas said last week OCH will submit a certificate of need with New York State to add X-ray services, an important part in the site’s future use.
”It’s the final thing we need to be considered an urgent care facility for many healthcare providers,” Banas told members of the Orleans County Planning Board during a tour that showed off what the facility has in place and what it wants to add. The tour lingered in an area where empty rooms fill a hallway.
“We built excess rooms for specialists to use,” Banas said. “They’re coming to us.”
Practice Administrator Gina Corbelli said more than 600 patients have come to the Route 31 facility for primary care, therapy services or to receive episodic care.
The facility has two physicians working throughout the week. Dr. Sandra Boehlert, an internal medicine physician, trained in OB/GYN and brings a focus on gynecology and women’s health to the facility. Colleague Dr. Jamal Janania is a family practice physician whose surgical residency comes in handy when patients come in with small lacerations and gouges that can be treated in a non-emergency setting.
Corbelli, who noted that she’s seen had a fair share of days in the ER with her four kids, said the Albion site allows the type of medical care that can be done quicker than at an emergency room or is not severe enough to require a hospital visit.
“We’re seeing the people who felt sick all day or have doctors in Rochester. They don’t want to drive to urgent care or the emergency room,” Corbelli said. “It’s turned out favorably, patients realize there is care close to home ... this brings an important part of medicine back to community.”
The presence of a physical and occupational therapy unit on-site has also benefited patients of the physicians. With both services under one roof, patients can get a recommendation and get going without going outside the facility’s walls.
“It’s nice because we have expertise with doctors and therapists, when patients experience issues, it’s advantageous to have everybody here,” Corbelli said.
The first three months have had their growing pains. Corbelli said patients with misconceptions about the center’s services have shown up after-hours visits to receive emergency care, but a growing number are coming for more routine care. It’s a challenge the center is ready to meet.
“We wanted to walk before we ran,” Corbelli said. “The community needs us to run.”