New York State Senator Jen Metzger Visits the Institute for Family Health’s New Paltz Family Health Center
From left to right: Dr. Marek Balutowski, Erica Caliendo, NYS Senator Jen Metzger, Constituent Coordinator for Senator Metzger Amy Myslik, Eve Walter, Susanne Callahan, Jackie Chiofalo and Dr. Walter Woodley.
New Paltz, NY (November 7, 2019) – New York State Senator Jen Metzger of New York’s 42nd state senate district visited New Paltz Family Health Center, a federally-qualified health center (FQHC) in New Paltz, last Wednesday. Senator Jen Metzger, a strong supporter of policies that promote affordable access to quality healthcare, met with leadership and staff from the Institute for Family Health (the Institute) to discuss community health needs in New Paltz, Ellenville and beyond; and legislative and state budget priorities to expand access to high-quality and affordable health care.
During the meeting, Senator Metzger talked with Institute leadership and staff about the importance of state-funded programs that prioritize primary and preventive health care, such as Patient Centered Medical Homes, DSRIP, and the Indigent Care Pool. The group also discussed how to continue attracting and retaining health professionals to Ulster County, and the role that the state’s Primary Care Service Corps loan repayment program plays.
“As a member of the New York State Senate health committee, I know how complex state funding for healthcare can be,” said Senator Metzger. “I’m committed to ensuring that our state health investments benefit all District 42 residents, especially those who have difficulty accessing care–like the many people you serve here at the Institute.”
The New Paltz Family Health Center, at 279 Main Street, serves patients from Senator Metzger’s district and nearby Ulster County communities, regardless of their ability to pay. The Institute operates a second health center in Senator Metzger’s district, the Ellenville Family Health Center, at 6 Healthy Way in Ellenville. Both centers offer primary medical care and mental health care for adults and children of all ages; the Ellenville center also offers dental care. The centers also offer mental health and substance abuse services including counseling and treatment for opioid dependence, a major health concern in the region.
Senator Metzger met with the Institute’s regional medical director, Walter Woodley, MD; Marek Balutowski, MD, the New Paltz center’s medical director; Erica Caliendo, the New Paltz associate site director; Susanne Callahan, VP for planning and community engagement; Eve Walter, PhD, the Instute’s senior research scientist and a recently-elected member of the Ulster County legislature (unofficial final result) representing New Paltz; and Jackie Chiofalo, policy director.
“We are proud to be one of the few health care providers in Ulster County that serves everyone, even those unable to pay,” said Dr. Woodley. “We rely on legislators like Senator Metzger who understand the value of state support for primary and preventive care – how everything from the Medicaid program to provider loan repayment helps ensure that all community members can live long, healthy and productive lives.”
Jen Metzger was elected to the New York State Senate in 2018. Prior to her election, Senator Metzger worked in local government and as director of a clean energy nonprofit. Affordable access to quality healthcare is central to her legislative agenda.
As an FQHC, the center welcomes all, regardless of their insurance status, providing care to those with Medicare, Medicaid, marketplace (“Obamacare”) plans, private insurance, or no insurance. In addition to providing services in the community, the Institute for Family Health leads a number of community outreach and training programs in the region that aim to improve the health of community residents, especially those who have limited incomes or face other barriers to accessing health care. New Paltz Family Health Center is located at 279 Main Street, New Paltz, NY, 12561. To make an appointment, call (845) 255-2930.