At Copake’s new Rapid Care the doctor will see you now

COPAKE—The morning of June 27, three people sat quietly in the waiting room of Columbia Memorial Health’s new Rapid Care-Copake. But just outside on this sunny warm day, dozens gathered under a spacious tent to celebrate the formal ribbon-cutting of this much-anticipated service for southern Columbia County.

Almost one year earlier to the day many of the same local and state officials and Columbia Memorial Health (CMH) representatives converged at the same location, 283 Mountain View Road, next to Copake Memorial Park to break ground on this facility that now provides immediate care, no appointment necessary, for minor medical emergencies and injuries that are not life or limb threatening. The center is open daily from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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Pictured at the ribbon cutting for the new Rapid Care Center in Copake, June 27 are (l-r): Ann Mueller, deputy district director for Congressman Chris Gibson (R-19), Copake Councilman Stosh Gansowski, Copake Town Supervisor Jeff Nayer, Copake Councilwoman Terry Sullivan, State Senator Kathleen Marchione (R-43rd), Copake Hamlet Revitalization Task Force member Rus Davis, CMH President/CEO Jay Cahalan, Community Liaison for Assemblymember Didi Barrett (D-106th) John Midwood, CHRTF Chair Roberta Roll, former CHRTF member John Pollok, Director of CMH Rapid Care and Emergency Services Dr. Michael Weisberg, CMH Trustees James Lapenn and Dr. Richard Back. Photo by Christopher Quinby

The Rapid Care-Copake facility, located in one end of the Community Rescue Squad building, opened its doors to patients June 13.

The 2,600 square-foot medical facility has five exam rooms including one autism-friendly pediatric treatment room in which the walls are painted soothing colors, and include a special iPad, Teddy Bears and fidget toys that help children with autism calm down and communicate with doctors during an office visit.

Additionally, there is one procedure room, and onsite services including X-ray, sutures, splints and blood-draw for patients. The center routinely provides treatment for coughs, colds, fever, nausea, vomiting, and flu—as well as any ear, nose, throat or eye problems.

Speaking from a podium under the tent Monday, CMH Vice President of Marketing and External Affairs Bill Van Slyke said on behalf of his 1,500 colleagues, “Let me be the first to welcome you to the brand new Rapid Care facility in Copake.” He credited state Senator Kathleen Marchione (R-43rd) for “making this day possible.” The senator made the rapid care facility her “top priority” and secured $350,000 in state budget funds to make it happen.

Senator Marchione told the crowd she was honored to be part of the successful team effort that made the facility a reality.

“As we cut the ribbon for this wonderful new Copake Rapid Care facility we keep our promise to help meet the health care needs of Columbia County families,” said the senator, acknowledging a long list of partners in this private-public effort, including hospital officials, officials from Copake and surrounding towns, Hamlet Revitalization Task Force members, Community Rescue Squad Executive Director the late Joe LaPorta and Copake Community Service, Inc.

She recounted the day in December 2014 when Mr. Van Slyke and a team of Copake officials traveled to her district office in Halfmoon to speak with her about the importance of this project.

“This facility truly is the definition of a team effort,” the senator said, adding that she was “proud to have been part of this effort.”

Copake Supervisor Jeff Nayer said the rapid care center is at a “strategic location in Copake,” where it serves the Roeliff Jansen area in Columbia County and northern Dutchess County by saving residents the 30- to 40-minute drive needed to seek comparable medical attention elsewhere.

Mr. Nayer also offered a long list of thanks including to the rescue squad and those instrumental in raising the funds needed to bring Broadband access to the site.

He said Senator Marchione’s “commitment to healthcare is second to none.”

Copake Hamlet Revitalization Task Force Chair Roberta Roll said she was “so happy and proud” at what the town and CMH have been able to accomplish.

She said when former member John Pollok brought the rapid care center idea to the task force, his fellow members believed “maybe this could actually happen.” The task force went to the hospital with data demonstrating a need for the facility and hospital officials “took it seriously.

“It took a couple of years, but here we are. Hard work and persistence has resulted in this clean, comfortable and efficient facility.” Ms. Roll said she has already visited the center as a patient to seek care for a foot injury.

CMH President and CEO Jay Cahalan said the initial presentation by the task force made him think he was in a Wall Street board room and that the hospital was “swept along with the project” which he knew “had to succeed.”

The crowd then moved out to the front of the building for ribbon-cutting photographs with Senator Marchione, giant scissors in hand, doing the slicing.

CMH also has a Rapid Care facility in Valatie at 2827 Route 9 which is open daily including all holidays, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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