Contact: John Broom
Just over three months after opening the new Conneaut Family Health Center, officials at Ashtabula County Medical Center broke ground on a $1.5 million expansion of its Jefferson Family Health Center on N. Chestnut Street. The expansion, which is expected to be completed by mid-Fall, will more than double the size of the existing facility and bring new services to Jefferson. "ACMC has a long history of being the preferred healthcare provider for residents in Jefferson and the surrounding communities," said Michael Habowski, ACMC President and CEO. "Many patients in the Jefferson area trust their care to ACMC and our physicians. The decision to invest in the Jefferson community, by adding physicians and services, makes quality healthcare even more accessible to more people."
The existing family health center houses the full-time family practice offices of Dr. Laxman Cingireddi, Dr. David Parker, and Dr. Andi Tirounilacandin. Dr. Cathy Bishop, a family physician who specializes in care for senior citizens, sees patients at the Jefferson Family Health Center three days each week. ACMC also recently added limited evening and Saturday appointments in Jefferson with family practitioner Dr. Nathaniel Franley, an Ashtabula County native.
"Just as patients in Conneaut often had to leave the county to find a physician, the same has been true for Jefferson area residents," Habowski said. "By adding hours for Dr. Bishop and Dr. Franley now, and the plans for additional services once the expansion is complete, it is ACMC's hope that the Jefferson Family Health Center will enable residents to see a physician and receive medical services closer to home."
Based on state healthcare data, over 50% of Ashtabula County residents receive healthcare services outside of the county. Many of these services are available right here. "The expanded Jefferson Family Health Center will create seamless access to a full complement of healthcare services available at Ashtabula County Medical Center – allowing patients to receive care closer to home rather than traveling to Erie, Cleveland or Lake or Geauga counties," Habowski said. "Every time a patient decides to leave our community or is transferred out of the County for care that could – and should – be delivered here, Ashtabula County suffers. It can be a financial burden on the family and for businesses. It means more time off from work to travel back and forth, and the money that would have been spent here in Ashtabula County at local stores and restaurants is spent elsewhere. By choosing to receive healthcare locally, Ashtabula Countians support job growth and the economic vitality of their hometowns."
In addition to the family physician offices, the Jefferson Family Health Center will offer lab services, physical therapy and digital x-ray once the expansion is completed. You will not have to be a patient of an ACMC physician to use the services at the Jefferson Family Health Center, although the physicians there are welcoming new patients.
Just as was done at the new Conneaut facility, the expanded services in Jefferson will include days in which the center opens early or stays open later to accommodate varying work schedules. "We recognize that patients have busy lives and it's not always convenient or possible to take time off work to receive the care you need. Besides providing the highest level of care in Ashtabula County, our goal is to make it as easy as possible to receive that care," Habowski said.
The ACMC medical staff includes a growing complement of primary care physicians as well as a broad scope of specialty physicians, including orthopaedics, cancer, cardiology, vascular and general surgery, ear, nose & throat, urology, gastroenterology, psychiatry, OB/GYN, neurology, ophthalmology, podiatry, pediatrics and pain management. In the past two years, the hospital has recruited over 16 new physicians to its medical staff.
Additionally, ACMC has invested millions of dollars over the past several years in modern technology and the recruitment of highly skilled physicians who work full-time in Ashtabula County. ACMC has the highest level of diagnostic equipment in the county, including CT and MRI, and is the only hospital in the county to offer maternity care, inpatient behavioral medicine, skilled nursing and cardiac catheterization.
"All of this has been done to ensure there is a local team of full-time, high quality healthcare providers here to take care of you when you need it," Habowski said.