October 21, 2010


Family Health Network opens C’ville facility

Nonprofit also building new centers in Moravia, Cincinnatus

FacilityBob Ellis/staff photographer
Dr. Cheri White, left, and nurse Heather Cameron inside the pediatric examination room at Family Health Network’s new building in Cortlandville, which has 15 private exam rooms, six more than the nonprofit organization’s previous center on Alvena Avenue.

Staff Reporter

CORTLANDVILLE — Family Health Network of Central New York opened its new health care facility on Route 281 Wednesday as it welcomed about 80 visitors to the new building.
The — named after Rose McNeil, mother of developer David McNeil — has 15 private exam rooms, six more than the nonprofit organization’s previous center on Alvena Avenue, which measured 3,900 square feet and was adjacent to Cortland Regional Medical Center.
The building has a large waiting area, a procedure room for small surgeries, and a check-in or check-out process expanded from one person in the old facility to five people.
“This is a day of gratitude,” said Walter Priest, FHN president and chief executive officer, as people gathered out front in the sun for speeches and a ribbon-cutting ceremony. “This is a day to celebrate, for the people of this town, the staff, the board of directors.”
The facility has actually been operating for four weeks.
Dave McNeil, representing McNeil Development — the facility’s builder and owner — unveiled a plaque displaying “The Rose 2010” as his mother and father, Dan McNeil, beamed.
McNeil called his father a visionary in general, for his projects over the decades, and said the vision for the facility also came from Julie Boden-Schmidt, FHN’s former president and CEO before Priest, when she approached his company five years ago to begin planning.
Cortlandville Town Supervisor Dick Tupper noted that he grew up on nearby Crescent Court “and watched this empty lot sit here for 40 years” before the building took shape.
The building will have expanded evening and weekend hours, and gives Family Health Network its own identity in Cortlandville and Cortland, said Kim Osborne, vice president for operations.
Money for building the interior came from federal stimulus funds and state money from the 2004 Health Care Efficiency and Affordability Law, also known as Heal NY, which has provided money for community health centers.
Cindy Thomas, FHN’s director of grants management, said the federal stimulus money totaled $1.4 million for the company’s Cortland and Cincinnatus facilities, and the Heal NY money was $1.4 million for the Cortland and Moravia facilities.
She did not have a breakdown for the amounts used from each funding source.
The new Moravia facility, which will measure 3,500 square feet and be located on Central Street, also is being constructed by McNeil Development, also will be leased by FHN and is expected to open in January, Thomas said.
The new Cincinnatus facility will be located on the same site as the current one, near Cincinnatus Central School. Family Health Network will own that building.
That project is going through the bid process and is expected to be constructed next spring, Thomas said. She did not have a cost estimate.
Osborne said FLN’s facilities will serve 17,000 patients between five medical centers — Cortlandville, Moravia, Cincinnatus, Marathon and DeRuyter — plus the dental office on Groton Avenue in Cortland, and four school offices in Marathon, Cincinnatus and DeRuyter.
The nonprofit was founded in 1972 as a health care provider for rural areas.
State Sen. James Seward (R-Milford) said the center was noteworthy because it incorporated what FHN employees wanted. He also noted the bricks for the facility came from the former Wickwire Building, which burned and then was demolished.
Thomas thanked Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton (D-Ithaca) for the way her staff was so accessible through the grant writing process.
The speakers also included Victoria Monty, FHN board of directors president.


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