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Nick Fitterman

By Daniel Dunaief

Different name, different location, same mission.

On Monday, April 8, Northwell Health opened its family health center at 1572 New York Avenue in Huntington Station. The center will replace the Dolan Family Health Center in Greenlawn.

The new center, which occupies a space formerly held by Capital One Bank, will provide primary care, as well as multi-specialty care for women.

Easily accessible by bus lines, the center is “in the heart of the community we serve” with the majority of the expected 30,000 patient visits each year coming from Huntington Station, said Lee Raifrman, Assistant Vice President of Operations for Huntington Hospital and the Northwell Family Center Health Center. Instead of having patients travel to the center, “we’re moving to them.”

The center anticipates around 30,000 visits per year.

“The new location, nestled in the heart of the neighborhood it serves and conveniently close to bus lines, ensures that our care remains accessible to all,” Stephen Bello, regional executive director of Northwell’s Eastern region, said in a statement.

The almost 18,000 square-foot building will provide pediatric care, adult/ family medicine, OB/GYN, ophthalmology, podiatry, gastroenterology, orthopedics and infectious disease care specific to HIV.

The center’s prenatal care assistance program, which offers expanded Medicaid coverage for pregnant women and children under the age of 19, will continue to operate. The center also provides outreach through its Women, Infants and Children program, a supplemental nutriton offering that features nutritious foods for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding and postpartum women, infants and children through the age of five.

The center also features a Nutrition Pathways Program, which is a collaboration dating to 2020 with Island Harvest that offers personalized nutrition counseling sessions with a registered dietician, access to nutritious foods from the on-site healthy food pantry, referrals to community resources and assistance with SNAP enrollment.

Through Nutrition Pathways, the center screens patients for social determinants of health.

“One of the areas we found that’s becoming more prevalent, unfortunately,” said Raifman. The center directs patients who are food insecure to a registered dietician, who can not only help balance food intake, but who can also manage the financial aspect of finding food.

“Better eating equals improved outcomes,” said Raifman.

Staff at the center reflects the diversity of the patient population.

About 19 percent of the patients are self pay, while a small percentage are on medicare. The center accepts many insurance plans, including all types of medicaid.

Staff at the Family Health Center will reflect a staff that reflects the patient population.

“Our mission is clear: to elevate the health of the communities we serve,” Nick Fitterman, Executive Director of Huntington Hospital said in a statement. “From our homeless to immigrant patients, we open our doors to all, offering care that’s not just accessible but compassionate.”

The hours for the center will be the same as they were in the previous location, opening 8:30 am to 5 pm on Monday and Wednesday and 8 am to 8 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Northwell executives would like to build similar healthcare facilities in other places within its geographic range.

The health care provider “anticipates replicating this model throughout the system in other under-served communities,” said Raifman.

Photo from Huntington Hospital

By Miriam Sholder

Huntington Hospital has earned the coveted Magnet® designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), which recognizes excellence in nursing.

Huntington is the only hospital with a fifth consecutive designation on Long Island – the first in the Northwell health system, second in New York State and 32nd in the United States.

The Magnet Recognition Program® spotlights health care organizations for quality patient care, nursing excellence and innovations in professional nursing practice. Developed by ANCC, Magnet is the leading source of successful nursing practices and strategies worldwide. Only 586 hospitals worldwide have achieved Magnet® status for nursing excellence since the program’s inception in 1983.

“Our nursing staff is known for upholding the highest standards of nursing,” said Susan Knoepffler, RN, chief nursing officer at Huntington Hospital. “With this accomplishment, our community is assured high quality compassionate care by our talented and dedicated nurses.”

The 371-bed hospital employs 600 nurses, 1,900 employees and specializes in neurosurgery, orthopedics and cancer care.

“The Magnet designation five consecutive times indicates this is no fluke,” Dr. Nick Fitterman, executive director of Huntington Hospital, said. “This represents consistent, high-quality care by a dedicated, professional, extraordinary nursing staff. The Magnet designation provides the foundation of care that has propelled Huntington Hospital to CMS 5-star recognition. The only Hospital in Suffolk County to achieve this.” He added, “The nursing staff continue to excel even while around the country we see health care workers burning out, leaving the profession. The staff here remain as committed as ever.”