Community Leaders Join the Institute for Family Health to Commemorate the Groundbreaking for the Pine Street Family Health Center in Kingston, NY
From left to right: Dr. Marta Sanchez, Dr. Neil Calman, Kingston Mayor Steve Noble, Ulster County Deputy County Executive Marc Rider, New York State Senator Michelle Hinchey, New York State Assemblymember Kevin Cahill, Dr. Walter Woodley, Peter Buffett of Novo Foundation, and Dr. Mark Josefski.
Kingston, NY (June 28, 2021) – Community leaders and elected officials gathered on Monday, June 28, to celebrate the groundbreaking for the Pine Street Family Health Center, a new state-of-the-art community health center to be built by the Institute for Family Health at 140 Pine Street in midtown Kingston. Once open, the center is expected to serve 8,000 – 10,000 patients of all ages annually, regardless of their ability to pay.
Dr. Neil Calman, co-founder, president and CEO of the Institute for Family Health, and other speakers remarked on the important role that health centers have played in bringing accessible health care and physician training to the Kingston community and surrounding towns over the last decades. Several speakers acknowledged the role of the Mid-Hudson Family Health Institute, led by Dr. David Mesches, in establishing a strong foundation for primary care services and training in the region. The Institute for Family Health and the Mid-Hudson Family Health Institute merged in 2007. The Institute has since further expanded access to care in the region through development of community health programs and increasing the number of family medicine residents trained in Ulster County.
Dr. Calman described the community-centered approach taken by the Institute in designing the new health center on Pine Street, saying, “Through the generosity of Peter Buffett and the Novo Foundation, we’ve been able to redesign and completely rebuild the building. It will represent how we integrate behavioral health into primary care … and will be connected to the community. We want to make care on this side of the [Hudson] river the very best it can be.”
New York State Senator Michelle Hinchey said, “To see this revitalized into something that is going to be so profoundly important and impactful in our community is really special. We all know that access to good, quality, affordable care is one of the most important things in a community. We know that what you are all building here is going to solve some of these problems.”
New York State Assemblymember Kevin Cahill recounted the many health care leaders and other individuals from the region who over the years had worked to develop community-based primary care and physician training in Kingston. He commended the original founders of the Mid-Hudson Family Health Institute, Drs. David Mesches and Norman Burg, for their vision and commitment, and praised the Institute as an organization “that will continue to provide care to a sector of our society that has such need. Health care… is really about the institutions and institutions that care about our community. Neil Calman and the Institute truly care about our community.”
Marc Rider, the Ulster County Deputy County Executive, acknowledged the role that the Institute has played in combating the COVID-19 pandemic in the county. “One of the lessons we’ve learned through this pandemic is the correlation between access to quality health care and positive or negative health outcomes. Federally qualified health centers like the Institute have been instrumental in the fight against COVID. The Institute stepped up early on, whether it was continuing to provide telehealth services, offering COVID-19 tests, and as one of the first partners in the vaccination effort.”
Kingston Mayor Steve Noble applauded the Institute’s mission to provide care for all in need, regardless of insurance status or ability to pay, and recounted how his own family had turned to the Institute for help when his newborn son’s insurance would not cover a necessary treatment. “We know that a vibrant and healthy community requires a vibrant and healthy health care system. The fact that the mayor’s son and an undocumented immigrant can have the same access to care, with no questions asked, is exactly what health care should be.”
The Institute for Family Health is a federally qualified health center network committed to providing comprehensive and affordable health care to all people, regardless of their ability to pay. The new Pine Street Family Health Center will offer primary medical care for adults and children of all ages, including preventive care, vaccinations and screenings, women’s and men’s health services, and care for chronic illnesses; as well as integrated behavioral health care. Services will be available to all, regardless of ability to pay. The center will also host an array of community programming and wellness offerings in collaboration with other Kingston groups.
The new facility was designed by Geddis Architects and will be built by MGI Construction. Funding for the construction is provided by Novo Foundation and the New York State Department of Health.
The Institute for Family Health (www.institute.org) is a federally qualified health center network that operates 30 health centers in New York State. Services are available to people of all ages, regardless of ability to pay.