BY JON CRONIN
The Joseph P. Addabbo Health Center in Rockaway, is seeking to expand onto NYC Economic Development Corporation property adjacent to their current parcel with a $17 million addition.
Dr. Marjorie Hill, CEO of the Addabbo Health Center said it will benefit all of their six sites because it will serve has a training center.
Hill said they averaged 218,000 visits last year, and believes that by then end of the first year of this project they will average 267,000 visits.
“Three of our sites incurred million of damage during Hurricane Sandy,” said Hill, “yet we still provided service and were very quickly up to speed.”
She noted that currently their clinics are providing Saturday and Sunday hours, but their waiting rooms remain full.
Before the board voted on the project, Borough President Melinda Katz noted that the community input ULURP process was in 2001 and this meeting is for the business terms of the process.
Hill assured the board that the mechanical and electrical components of their current building and new construction will not be in the basement as it was damaged in the basement during Hurricane Sandy.
Councilman Peter Koo (D- Flushing) asked what the is the health of their finances. Hill noted that they are currently five percent above projected revenues this year. The only thing stopping them from it being 10 to 15 percent above, she said, is that they don’t have the exam rooms.
Councilman Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton) a fierce advocate for the project said, “I want to say that I am elated and proud that we finally reached this day.” He pointed out that this is an area that is severely underserved in healthcare and that after Peninsula Hospital closed in 2007 they now only one standing hospital on the peninsula.
He stated that despite the hardship Hurricane Sandy caused this on the community, the need for healthcare is greater. “For those of you who know where this place is or visit it on any day, you will see this place packed to the brim with children, and single mothers who have no alternative and find it very hard to get off the peninsula,” he said.
“When they came with this project we were happy to put up some capital dollars along with the borough president,” added Richards. He also pointed out that this will provide job opportunities for residents.
He hopes another Addabbo Health Center site in the Rockaways will also see an expansion project come before the Borough Board soon.
The board then voted unanimously to approve the project.
Reach Reporter Jon Cronin at (718) 357-7400 x125, firstname.lastname@example.org or @JonathanSCronin