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Federally approved clinic seeks use of Chautauqua Health Dept. office

JAMESTOWN – A new federally approved clinic wants to expand to Jamestown, using space in the Chautauqua County Health Department office on Fourth Street.

County Executive Vincent W. Horrigan spoke Wednesday in favor of leasing space to Chautauqua Clinic, which provides services in Dunkirk, to expand in the southern county. The clinic received a $750,000 federal grant to expand services and must have a new location by Aug. 1.

The first hurdle for the clinic was crossed when the issue came before the county’s Health and Human Services Committee at the regular meeting held Wednesday.

The Chautauqua Clinic provides medical services to both uninsured and insured patients. It is required, by federal guidelines to provide comprehensive services which are far more inclusive than patients can receive at the county clinic.

Health and Human Services Director Christine Schuyler encouraged members of the Health and Human Services Committee to approve the monthly lease of $6,000 for the office space. “Everything is pending Department of Health Approval,” Schuyler said.

A certificate of need is required for the clinic, which would replace the county’s clinic that provides family planning, sexually transmitted disease testing and immunizations.

Committee members gave their unanimous approval to the motion. If the Chautauqua Clinic receives all the necessary Department of Health certificates, it would take over more than 3,000 square feet in the clinic. The county would close its services and no longer operate in Jamestown. Schuyler said funding for the county health clinic was due to end in December. “This is a great opportunity in the south county,” Schuyler said.

She said the process also includes DOH approval of an exit plan for the county health. She said the new clinic started operating as part of the Affordable Care Act.

She said there is a need for a clinic to serve the population of Jamestown and the range of services which would be provided by the Chautauqua Clinic could be used by people of all ages and with both illnesses and wellness plans.