On September 15, the United States Department of Health and Human Services announced Northern Oswego County Health Services, Inc., as a recipient of Affordable Care Act Health Infrastructure Investment Program funding to increase access to behavioral health services.
NOCHSI will receive $1 million to establish an onsite behavioral health program and related facility improvements at its Pulaski Health Center.
With its 2013 primary care initiative that incorporated three practices of Oswego Hospital in Mexico, Parish and Phoenix, and two practices of Oswego County Opportunities in Fulton and Oswego under its existing Pulaski Health Center and School-Based Health Center Programs, NOCHSI was faced with space challenges at its Pulaski headquarters.
As a result of the HIIP grant, NOCHSI will be able to convert its existing lower level administrative space into a distinct and confidential behavioral health program. The program will include the hiring of three behavioral health specialists such as licensed certified social workers and psychiatric nurse practitioners.
The program will also offer the capability to provide tele-medicine services to its offsite primary care practice sites and expand access to other behavioral health specialists such as psychiatrists and psychologists from regional institutions.
The funding will allow NOCHSI to accommodate its increased centralized administrative staff at the PHC in newly constructed offices in currently unfinished space in the health center’s lower level.
The grant will also fund the expansion and upgrade of the PHC parking lot.
According to Dr. Patrick Carguello, NOCHSI’s chief medical officer, “the addition of onsite and tele-medicine behavioral health services allows NOCHSI to further establish a fully integrated model of primary and preventive health care services.”
The DHHS announcement included an additional Health Center Expanded Services grant of $305,000 to NOCHSI to expand access to primary care services.
This funding will help support NOCHSI’s hiring of three additional nurse practitioners and clinical support staff.
Family Nurse Practitioners Deborah Bedford and Stephanie Valentine have been hired at the Oswego Health Center and Cheryl Youker has been hired at the Pulaski Health Center.
All three Family Nurse Practitioners are 2015 graduates of SUNY Upstate Medical University with Master of Science Degrees in Nursing.
Bedford had recently served as a Registered Nurse at Crouse Hospital within the orthopedic, neurology and medical/surgical units.
Valentine most recently served as a Registered Nurse on a Neuro Intensive Care Unit at SUNY Upstate Medical Hospital.
Youker recently worked as a Register Nurse at Prompt Care providing triage and direct care to adult and pediatric patients.
According to Daniel Dey, NOCHSI’s chief executive officer, “these service expansions not only continue to promote community access to an increasingly integrated system of primary and preventive health care to the entire Oswego, south Jefferson, and northern Onondaga counties, but also contribute to an overall significant economic impact.”
According to Capital Link, a non-profit that has worked with health centers to plan capital projects, finance growth, and identify ways to improve performance, NOCHSI has generated positive economic impacts that include jobs, tax revenues and savings to the health care system.
In serving its nearly 30,000 patients, NOCHSI generates a total economic impact of more than $27 million, contributes directly and indirectly to 269 jobs, generates $36.4 million in health care cost savings and adds total tax revenue of $4 million annually.
NOCHSI operates health centers in Fulton, Mexico, Oswego, Parish, Phoenix and Pulaski as well as six school-based health centers located in the APW, Mexico, Pulaski, and Sandy Creek school districts.
The health centers are family-oriented practices that provide Oswego, Northern Onondaga and Southern Jefferson County residents with a variety of comprehensive health care and related services.
NOCHSI is accredited through The Joint Commission and is designated as a Level 2 Patient-Centered Medical Home.
All major insurances are accepted, and a sliding fee scale discount program is available for eligible patients.
For additional information contact 315-298-6564.