Long Island health care providers will receive nearly $16 million to expand services, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s office announced Tuesday.
The 10 organizations and companies — all but one of them nonprofits — plan to use the money to buy new, larger buildings or renovate old ones, expand mental health and medical care, increase substance-abuse counseling and treatment and purchase equipment.
The Long Island funding is part of $204 million awarded statewide for community-based care.
The largest grant on the Island, $3.57 million to South Shore Child Guidance Association Inc. in Freeport, will pay for the purchase of a building twice the size of the current one, allowing for a major expansion of services, said Tom Hopkins, president and CEO of the nonprofit.
A larger building will allow the group to increase the number of children who receive counseling — there is a waiting list now — and provide space for planned after-school drop-in and mentoring services, said Jennifer Colbert, the group’s vice president of clinic services.
“These kids need a place to go,” she said. “We want to develop some place they can go to after school, do their homework, maybe have a mentorship program where we can have some volunteers work with the kids, and have their treatment needs met as well.”
The state money also would allow for an expansion of current substance-abuse treatment for adolescents and adults, and for the introduction of mental-health counseling for a wide range of adults, she said. Currently, adults only receive mental-health counseling if their children are already being served by the group, she said.
Westbury-based Long Island FQHC Inc., which operates eight health centers in Nassau County, plans to use some of its $3.07 million to buy an RV that the group will convert into a mobile health clinic with two exam rooms, said David Nemiroff, the nonprofit’s president and CEO. Among the sites the RV will visit are homeless shelters and food pantries, many of whose patrons “cannot access our care,” he said. “This enables us to go to them.”
The money also will allow the group’s Elmont clinic to add two new dental exam rooms and improve handicap accessibility at its Hempstead clinic, he said. The group also will use state funds to buy its Oceanside building, which it now leases.
Nemiroff said community-based care saves taxpayers money.
An exam or treatment at a clinic “is way, way cheaper than them going to Nassau University Medical Center or than a Northwell hospital E.D. [emergency department] visit,” he said. “It saves everybody money. And we can prevent things early if we’re in the community.”
Central Islip-based Long Island Select Healthcare Inc. will use its more than $655,000 in state funds to provide care to intellectually and developmentally disabled people via video hookups.
The nonprofit, with eight Suffolk County locations, will purchase equipment such as stethoscopes, oxygen detectors and devices to perform EKGs, said Dr. James Powell Jr., the chief medical officer.
Some equipment will be stored at group homes, he said. Other more sophisticated equipment will be brought to a patient who has a potential medical issue, accompanied by a nurse or other medical professional, he said.
“I’m listening to the lungs from my home. I’m listening to the heart sounds at home and prescribing based on my findings,” Powell said.
Kathy Brieger, the group’s interim CEO, said some people with developmental disabilities are especially anxious about visits to a doctor.
“If you have someone with emotional and behavioral issues, a visit in the comfort of their own home allows them to have a great experience without being stressed out,” she said.