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East Hampton Health Clinic To Remain Open

Originally Posted: September 21, 2011

East Hampton - The Suffolk County Department of Health Services currently occupies 3,307 square feet of space owned by the East Hampton Housing Authority, located at 316 Accabonac Road, East Hampton pursuant to a lease between East Hampton Town and East Hampton Housing Authority that expired on June 30, 2011. The County Department of Health Services uses this facility as a health clinic to serve the poor and uninsured residents of the Town of East Hampton. The Space Management Steering committee recommended the approval of the terms of this lease at the April 21, 2011 meeting. The East Hampton Housing Authority set an October 1 deadline to make a decision on closing of the clinic.

The East Hampton Housing Authority has generously hosted Suffolk County's Health Clinic since 2000 without compensation. Through a cooperative agreement between the Town and the Housing Authority the space was provided free of charge to the Town for a period of 10 years. This agreement was established during the time Legislator Jay Schneiderman was East Hampton Town Supervisor. Under the 2000 agreement, the Town of East Hampton spent $700,000 making the interior space suitable for the County to operate the clinic. Once the clinic opened it was agreed that the town would pay the Housing Authority $1 per year for rent for 10 years with an option to extend at $32,500 per year. The 10 year agreement expired and due to fiscal constraints of the Town the renewal option was not exercised nor did the Town pay the Housing Authority rent. In addition, recent changes in reimbursement policies by New York State have led to a crisis in health care funding for Suffolk County clinics, we are now threatened with facility closures and service reductions has triggered circumstances that could potentially threaten its operation.

When Legislator Schneiderman learned that the East Hampton Town had not moved to exercise the extension and that the Housing Authority was considering closing the clinic he immediately introduced IR 1768-2011, authorizing the renewal of the Lease of Premises located at 316 Accabonac Road, East Hampton, for the Department of Health Services. Schneiderman fought to have the resolution discharged and placed on the September 15 agenda for the Suffolk County Legislature's general meeting which was unanimously approved.

"Legislator Schneiderman's efforts were critical, I thank him for moving quickly with his colleagues to ensure the Health Clinic can continue to operate at the highest level and protect the health of our most vulnerable citizens," stated Dominick Stanzione, East Hampton Town Councilman.

"For years the clinic has operated successfully playing a vital role in providing primary care to many community members who might not otherwise be able to afford basic health services. It is important that the Town and County work together to make sure that this clinic, which last year accommodated some 7,000 patient visits, continues to serve our community," said Schneiderman.

The legislation authorizes the County Executive to execute a lease for a term of two years, with three one year options, in accordance with the terms and conditions of this resolution and consistent with the recommendations of the Space Management Steering Committee. The resolution now will go before the County Executive for his approval and signature.

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