Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone has introduced legislation to privatize the Brentwood health clinic, saying the move would save $25.4 million over the next five years.
The primary care and dental services at the Brentwood Family Health Center would be turned over to Hudson River Healthcare, a Peekskill-based nonprofit that has taken over six other county clinics since Bellone took office in 2012.
The 22 county employees who work at the clinic would be transferred within the county's Health Department and there would be no layoffs, said Bellone spokesman Justin Meyers.
"This is part of an ongoing effort to consolidate government and save taxpayer dollars by moving these health centers to the private sector," Meyers said.
Suffolk County Legis. Monica Martinez (D-Brentwood) said the county had considered relocating the Brentwood clinic to Bay Shore. But she said she expressed concerns because it would have made it more difficult for residents to reach. The county has negotiated an extended lease at the current location, 1869 Brentwood Rd.
Martinez said she has met with Hudson River Healthcare officials and visited the county clinic in Coram, after Hudson River took it over, and that she was optimistic that the quality of care at Brentwood would improve. Mental health services at the clinic would continue to be run by the county, officials said.
The county clinics run by Hudson River are in Southampton, Amityville, Wyandanch, Patchogue and Shirley. Meyers said the county is in negotiations to turn over the other county clinic, in Riverhead, to Hudson River.
Bellone's measure will go before the legislature on April 28. The county hopes to transfer the clinic to Hudson River by Aug. 1.
Hudson River officials will be on hand for public hearings on the transition on April 14 at 9:30 a.m. in Riverhead, and on April 21, 5 p.m. in Hauppauge.