2002-05-18 / Community

Health Center Will Relocate, Offers New Program

Health Center Will Relocate,
Offers New Program

The Joseph P. Addabbo Health Center looks to occupy a new state of the art facility at 6200 Beach Channel Drive, with housing on the first floor.

Local leaders, such as Congressman Gregory Meeks, were very successful in obtaining funds for the new location. Former Borough President Claire Schulman and former City Council Member Juanita Watkins were also able to acquire funds. The elected officials have secured $4.5 million dollars. Current Borough President Helen Marshall and City Council Members James Sanders and Joe Addabbo Jr. have all pledged their support.

The Health Center’s current location at 67-10 Rockaway Beach Blvd. has been inadequate as far as size, structure and design since it was first used by Addabbo Health Center in 1986. It was constructed as a health department building back in 1945. All this is about to change.

"We provide wonderful care in a substandard facility," noted Executive Director J.R. Peter Nelson. In the past four years the visit volume has increased from 32,000 to 49,000. This growing demand, particularly for the children’s health and mental health services, has forced the Center to utilize two other off-site locations.

The care offered at the Addabbo Family Health Center is not just for the Medicaid patient, the underinsured and immigrant. They are also seeing many working families without insurance. Small business owners have offered Addabbo services to their staff because they cannot afford to offer a health plan.

"As the Arverne by the Sea project gets closer to ground breaking, we at The Joseph P. Addabbo Family Health Center are ever aware that our relocation is pending," says Nelson. "Even if there were not such a project as Arverne by the Sea, we would still have to seek new space," Nelson continued.

This project cannot be built on public money alone. They are seeking the support of the community on their Capital Fund Raising Campaign. Besides the $4.5 million already secured, another $1 million needs to be raised, and additional funds will also be borrowed. Private foundations and corporations have been asked to help.

Fundraising has been a little more difficult in this post-9/11 period considering that much money has been directed to assist those in need after that catastrophe. Any one that feels they can be of assistance in fund raising can contact the Executive Director at (718) 945-7150, ext. 207.

Nelson has said that the hospitalization rate for diabetes in Arverne is over twice the rate for New York City overall among residents in the age group 14-44. As a result of this problem, the Joseph P. Addabbo Family Health Center has announced its New Diabetes Program. Sharon Antin, Nutritionist, and Melissa MacMahon, Nurse Practitioner, have teamed up and are implementing a program designed especially for their patients. There will be free monthly workshops for diabetics in the Rockaway community. For information please call 718-945-7150, ext. 226.


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