A new clinic, the Ford Family Wellness Center, will be coming to Johnson City this semester as the Decker School of Nursing works to renovate a building in its new heath sciences complex.
The clinic, located at 27 Jennison Avenue, will be run in conjunction with Lourdes Hospital and provide primary healthcare and wellness services to the Johnson City community. Binghamton University plans on finishing the facility by the end of 2020.
Ryan Yarosh, senior director of media and public relations for BU, said one of the main focuses of the new clinic will be to help develop more age-friendly healthcare.
“Decker and Lourdes intend to combine their expertise in geriatrics and health systems, bringing physicians, nurses, social workers and pharmacists together to enhance patient care for the elderly,” Yarosh said. “This will help Lourdes to grow its geriatrics practice and improve patient outcomes, while giving Decker the chance to expand its Elder Services Center to better meet the needs of seniors and their caregivers.”
Donald Nieman, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, said the clinic will allow for a place for nurse practitioner faculty to practice, something that is essential for maintaining their professional licenses, while also expanding the range of clinical placements available to students.
“It’s one of those things that is really multidimensional,” Nieman said. “It serves the University as an educational institution. It serves the local hospitals because providing a clinic to look after the well-being of our geriatric population will help them cut down on readmissions. And it serves the community because we have an aging population, and it allows us to deliver really high-quality care to that segment of the population.”
But the property will require work to renovate. According to BU President Harvey Stenger’s Quarterly Report, the property came with a vacant house that the future clinic wraps around. While the house in question is part of the structure that will become the clinic, the University has to decide whether to leave the property as it is, remove the house and renovate or demolish the existing property entirely and rebuild it from there.
In the report, Stenger noted the decision on the existing structure will be made by Decker School of Nursing Dean Mario Ortiz, as well as members of the Health Sciences Campus Committee, staff at Lourdes Hospital and community members.
“Regarding the layout of the structure, the decision on how to best utilize the space is still in discussion,” Yarosh said. “The house is part of the building. It’s not separate from the building. We just have to determine the best way to use what is there.”