By Steve Yablonski
Project includes the construction of drive-thru, additional parking space and clinical space.
Construction began in June on a project to enhance ConnextCare’s facility in Pulaski.
This project will bring much-needed updates to the property and additional amenities for the staff and community to enjoy, said Tricia Peters-Clark, president and chief executive officer.
“The pandemic has advanced the way that we deliver outpatient primary care services. Patients no longer need to physically come into the office for health care,” she said.
Early on, through executive orders from the New York State Department of Health, the delivery of health care expanded beyond the bricks and mortar of facilities and in to nontraditional settings like adjacent parking lots.
“This has allowed our healthcare providers to continue to serve the most at-risk community members in a safe setting outside of an emergency room or urgent care, where demand far outweighed the capacity,” she added.
ConnextCare developed procedures that allowed for the greatest segregation of sick and well patients, to avoid any unnecessary risks, especially for the most vulnerable populations who are immunocompromised, elderly or brand new to this world.
Over the last two years, these procedures have continued to be an extremely effective method of healthcare delivery.
ConnextCare providers continue to allow patient access to hybrid visits which include parking lot assessments, telehealth and telephonic healthcare.
“ConnextCare’s medical leadership strives to operate a progressive model of care in Oswego County. When we received notice of the availability of some additional American Rescue Plan dollars through the Health Resources and Services Administration, the leadership elected to request the use of these dollars toward building a sustainable model of care for the future,” Peters-Clark said. “In addition, ConnextCare included a large focus on staff retention and positive mental health with the inclusion of a walking trail around the property so the staff and community members could escape their busy days for a quick, safe walk, allowing some time to clear their heads and prepare for what’s to come.”
New additions to the site will include:
• Addition of 800 square feet of clinical space including three negative pressure rooms, a lab, patient bathroom and small waiting area, where patients can be brought directly from under the covered canopy into the clinical space for evaluation and care.
• A walking trail with a gazebo and overlook on the west side.
• Four electric car charging stations in the parking lot.
• A new covered drive-thru area to do in-car wab tests (flu, COVID-19, etc).
• Additional parking space.
A portion of allowable costs for this project are being funded through the HRSA (Health Resources and Services Administration) American Rescue Plan dollars, with the rest of the project being funded by ConnextCare’s personal investment of operating dollars.
“Patients of all ages will have access to the most efficient and convenient model of care, provided by a medical team who knows their complete health history,” Peters-Clark said.
Throughout the pandemic, through testing and then with the administration of COVID-19 vaccines, the ConnextCare staff witnessed first-hand the challenges patients faced in just coming in to the office for services that could not be provided remotely.
“The clinical model we are building, will address barriers that have been around for years,” she said. “However, they’re more exacerbated now, with the added fear of contracting COVID-19.”
The project is slated to be completed in November.