By Ted Waddell
HARRIS August 8, 2003 The Catskill Regional Medical Center (CRMC), a not-for-profit healthcare institution, formally launched its new Healthmobile on Wednesday at a special ribbon-cutting ceremony featuring guest speakers Leni Binder, Chairlady of the Sullivan County Legislature, and Senator John J. Bonacic (42nd State Senatorial District).
Starting August 12, the Healthmobile will make regular visits throughout the county.
It will provide a wide variety of services such as state-of-the-art mammography (appointments are preferred, but walk-ons are accepted), physical breast examinations by a certified nurse practitioner, prescription laboratory work, multi-screening lab tests (including a package of 12 common tests for $29.95, available without a prescription) and health information.
In the future, the Healthmobile will offer programs on how to kick the smoking habit, services provided by Catskill Adolescent Treatment Services (CATS) and HIV testing/ counseling.
Operational start-up funding includes $50,000 from NYS secured by Senator Bonacic, $100,000 from the CRMC Auxiliary and $325,000 from the County Legislature.
The mission of Catskill Regional Medical Center is to provide the best possible patient care for the people of Sullivan County, said Arthur L. Brien, CRMCs CEO and president.
We want this Healthmobile to be part of that effort. . . . Its an extremely successful project that will be a major benefit to the people of the county, he added.
Richard S. Baum, chairman of the CRMC board of trustees, thanked everyone for their efforts to make the dream a reality.
In her remarks to the assemblage, Binder said, Ill back a project like this any day. . . . It will help all the people of the county, especially those in rural parts of our area.
It was a pleasure for me to partner with the hospital, said Sen. Bonacic. We continue to stress education and health care as a top priority in Sullivan County.
The Healthmobile will be staffed by Dr. George Osmun (in charge of operations), family nurse practitioner Kathleen OMara and Laurie Lewis, mobile van coordinator.
It will give all the people of Sullivan County access to some of the basic screenings and health services, particularly people who have difficulty getting to the hospital, said Dr. Osmun.
Asked what she thinks the new Healthmobile will mean to local folks, OMara replied, I think its been needed for a long time.
A lot of rural areas are now using mobile health vans or Healthmobiles [because] people dont like to drive half an hour or more to the hospital.
On Saturday, August 9, the new Healthmobile will be open for public tours at the annual Callicoon Health Fair, held at the Grover Hermann Division of CRMC from 8:30 a.m.. to 3 p.m.
For information about the Healthmobiles schedule and services in Sullivan County, call 794-3300, ext. 2929.