The health center network that was founded on bringing primary care to rural areas is now expanding primary care in the city of Glens Falls.
Hudson Headwaters Health Network will build a 20,000-square-foot primary care center on Larose Street, near the Larose Gardens public housing facility.
The new center will be completed in about two years.
While a city location might not seem consistent with the organization’s mission, it has been running a smaller primary care center on Broad Street in Glens Falls since the 1990s.
“Hudson Headwaters is continually working to ensure that everyone in our region has access to primary care. Some locations are within our region’s small cities and others are in very rural areas,” said spokeswoman Jane Hooper. “Each health center has been established to provide important, vital, primary care services to our friends and neighbors — in a location that is as convenient as possible for these patients.”
When the Larose center opens, Hudson Headwaters will move out of the Broad Street center entirely. That location has primary care and urgent care now, but Hudson Headwaters is moving the urgent care center to a new facility at Northway Exit 18.
No plans have been announced yet for the Broad Street location, which Hudson Headwaters owns and had originally planned to renovate.
But the space is simply too small, officials said. It is 10,000 square feet and handles about 50,000 patient visits a year.
“The building that currently houses both the urgent care center and primary care center is insufficient for the needs of patients and staff,” said Amy Bloom, executive vice president of network strategy at Hudson Headwaters Health Network.
And Glens Falls needed a better, more centrally located primary care center, officials said. The new location will have better parking and will be easier for residents without cars to reach.
“Hudson Headwaters knows that it is vitally important to provide health care, and access to that health care for everyone in the community. Whenever we plan for a new health center, we ensure that ease of access is at the forefront of our minds,” Hooper said. “Locations that offer easy access to the bus route, are within walkable distances, and those that have ample parking are important considerations for us.”
Hudson Headwaters CEO Dr. Tucker Slingerland said Hudson Headwaters is now creating a cluster of essential health care services in Glens Falls.
“The new health center on Larose Street, the upcoming urgent care center at Exit 18, North Country Obstetrics and Gynecology at 90 South St. — currently under renovation — and our Pediatric and Adolescent Health Center on South Western Avenue will all together improve the health care landscape in Glens Falls,” he said.
All that adds up to “improved patient care to the community,” he added.
All of them were also supported by state grants. The new primary care center will cost $10 million to build, of which $5.3 million will come from a state grant.
Design of the new building is expected to take 10 months, with construction taking all of next year.
Because design work has not yet begun, Hudson Headwaters officials said they don’t know how many exam rooms will be in the building or what ancillary services will be included.
“Each Hudson Headwaters health center offers primary care services, along with others that support and complement primary care such as OB-GYN, pediatrics and behavioral health,” Hooper said. “As plans are developed for this new health center on Larose, we will begin to determine which services that location will require and develop the building plans accordingly.”