Issues: Health Care

Immunization clinic slated for closure

As reported by the Queens Chronicle:

Barring mayoral intervention, the only Department of Health and Mental Hygiene immunization clinic in the borough, located in Corona, will be shut down as of Aug. 21.

Many elected officials and community leaders protested the closure on Wednesday outside the fated clinic — the Corona Health Center at 34-33 Junction Blvd.

The clinic provides vaccinations recommended for those older than 4 years old from Hepatitis B to pertussis, also known as whooping cough.

The Tremont Clinic in the Bronx is on this month’s chopping block, leaving Ft. Greene Health Center in Brooklyn as the only DOHMH clinic to remain.

For full article, click here.

August 15, 2013
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Shutdown of Corona clinic causes uproar

As reported by the Times Ledger:

At the height of the back-to-school vaccination rush and in a month dedicated to spreading immunization awareness, the city Department of Health is shutting down the only free-immunization clinic in Queens next week.

Closures at both the Corona, Queens and Tremont, Bronx health centers are scheduled to take place at the crucial time before children need the required immunizations to attend school. The families depending on these services must make their way to the Fort Greene Health Center in Greenpoint, Brooklyn starting Aug. 21.

District Council 37, state Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst), Commissioner on the Public’s Health System Anthony Feliciano, and other community leaders gathered at the Corona Clinic Wednesday to protest what they called “a threat to public health and safety.” The threat came without warning or community input, according to District Council 37.

For full article, click here.

August 15, 2013
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GOVERNOR SIGNS INTO LAW HEALTH CARE PROXY BILL

This Legislation, Sponsored by Senator Golden, would require certain state agencies to provide health care proxy information on their websites.

Brooklyn, NY – State Senator Martin J. Golden (R-C-I, Brooklyn) today praised Governor Cuomo for signing S4422 into law. This legislation, sponsored by Senator Golden, would require certain state agencies to post health care proxy information on their websites. 

The New York Health Care Proxy Law allows you to appoint someone you trust — for example, a family member or close friend – to make health care decisions for you if you lose the ability to make decisions yourself. By appointing a health care agent, you can make sure that health care providers follow your wishes.

August 2, 2013
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RITCHIE TAKES PART IN SEAWAY FESTIVAL PARADE

State Senator Patty Ritchie joined community members, as well as her fellow members of the Save the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center Task Force recently, to march in Ogdensburg's annual Seaway Festival Parade.

July 31, 2013
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First national "African-American Hepatitis-C Action Day" proclaimed by Senator O'Brien

Meets with community, government and health organizational leaders to discuss Hepatitis-C awareness and testing

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Today, Senator Ted O'Brien met with representatives of a coalition promoting citizen awareness of and testing for Hepatitis-C in the African-American community, striving to raise awareness and honoring the coalition for their efforts to fight this severe public health risk.

"One of my primary responsibilities as a legislator is to keep the people of New York state healthy and safe," said Senator O'Brien. "It is my honor to be involved with this effort to promote awareness and, even more importantly, testing for Hepatitis-C."

July 25, 2013
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Rochester Associate Professor, nominated by Senator O'Brien, appointed to State Tobacco Board

ROCHESTER, N.Y.Scott McIntosh, Ph.D., director of the Greater Rochester Area Tobacco Cessation Center (GRATCC) and associate professor, Department of Public Health Sciences at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC), was nominated by Senator Ted O'Brien to the New York State Tobacco Control Program Advisory Board. His appointment was made in late June and he began serving on the board this month.

July 16, 2013
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Senator Kennedy Urges Fair Wages for WNY Paramedics and EMTs; Stands with Teamsters Local 375 in Fight For Fairness

Kennedy calls on private equity firm Warburg Pincus, which owns Rural/Metro, to provide WNY’s emergency first-responders with the dignity of a living wage to avoid a strike.

Senator Kennedy joins Teamsters Local 375 in fight for a fair wage and benefits package, as possible strike looms.

Kennedy: “Those in the business of saving lives deserve a living wage.”

July 12, 2013
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Opening Of The Justice Center For The Protection Of People With Special Needs

New State Agency Will Implement the Toughest Standards and Practices in the Nation to Protect Over 1 Million New Yorkers with Special Needs and DisabilitiesGovernor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the opening of the Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs, a new state agency that will implement the toughest standards and practices in the nation to protect the special needs community from abuse and neglect. The Justice Center was created through legislation the Governor spearheaded last year to reform how the state cares for people with special needs. The agency will begin operations tomorrow, Sunday, June 30th.

July 1, 2013
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Senator O'Brien commends local appointees to state boards

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Four constituents of Senator Ted O'Brien have been appointed to vital new state advisory boards, where they will help to guide state agencies overseeing the care of special needs groups.

"Our region is a leader in providing quality care for individuals with special needs and in having specialized knowledge about a variety of medical areas," Senator O'Brien said. "It is an honor for these individuals, and our region, to have them bring their expertise to New York State government. I congratulate the four appointees and I know that they will serve this state well."

Justice Center Advisory Council Appointees

June 20, 2013
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Senate Gives Final Passage to Bill to Protect OPWDD From Funding Cuts

The New York State Senate today gave final passage to legislation (S4777D), sponsored by Senator Martin Golden (R-C, Brooklyn), that would protect providers of services for the developmentally disabled from state funding cuts. The legislation would appropriate up to $90 million, or as much as is needed, to the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) to protect providers from funding reductions if recommended savings measures falls short of projections.

June 18, 2013
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SENATE GIVES FINAL PASSAGE TO BILL TO TEST NEWBORNS FOR CONGENITAL HEART DEFECTS THROUGH PULSE OXIMETRY SCREENING

The New York State Senate today gave final legislative passage to a bill that would require all birthing facilities to screen newborn babies for congenital heart defects (CHDs) through a process called pulse oximetry screening. The bill (S.270B), sponsored by Senator William Larkin (R-C, Cornwall-on-Hudson), will save lives through earlier detection of possible heart defects.

“Pulse oximetry screenings are painless, and take one minute to perform,” said Senator Larkin. “By performing this simple test, doctors can take the appropriate and necessary steps to ensure that newborns get the care they need, should they have heart defects. Simply, this measure will save lives.”

June 12, 2013
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American Heart Association's Heart Heroes Visit the Capitol

The American Heart Association, along with the March of Dimes, Senator Bill Larkin and Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther joined families lobbying for passage of the Pulse Oximetry bill (Senate bill S.270-B) at the Capitol.  The legislation would require that a pulse oximetry test be performed on all newborns to screen for potentially fatal congenital heart defects.  The Heart Heroes who attended the press conference are children who did not have pulse oximetry tests and were later diagnosed with serious congenital heart defects.

June 10, 2013
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Video: "There Are No Excuses" for Failure to Vote on Gov. Cuomo's Women's Equality Act

Sen. Krueger joined colleagues from both houses to demand a vote on Gov. Cuomo's 10-point Women's Equality Act at a large rally held at the state capitol by the Women's Equality Coalition.

June 10, 2013
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RITCHIE JOINS EXPERTS, COLLEAGUES TO EXAMINE STATE OF NEW YORK’S RURAL HOSPITALS

State Senator Patty Ritchie joined colleagues, health professionals and rural health experts from across New York State for a Rural Hospitals Roundtable, taking place at the Capitol on Monday. 

The group, which included members of the bipartisan Rural Resources Commission and Members of the Senate Health Committee, explored ways to strengthen rural hospitals and preserve access to quality healthcare in underserved communities.

June 3, 2013
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May 21, 2013 - "Your Voice" with Senator Cathy Young

In this week's segment of "Your Voice," Senator Cathy Young discusses the Dentists Across New York program; her Woman of Distinction, Francie Potter; the Annual Maple Festival in Franklinville; and the Genesee River Wilds Transit Bridge Launch Site in Belfast.

May 22, 2013
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RITCHIE PRESENTS PETITION INCLUDING 2,100 SIGNATURES, PERSONAL STORIES TO ALBANY OFFICIALS AT PSYCH CENTER LISTENING SESSION

Joins More than 300 to Speak in Support of Psych Center

State Senator Patty Ritchie delivered a petition including 2,100 signatures and personal stories in support of the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center to Albany officials at Wednesday’s “listening session” held at the Center.

The signatures and stories were collected via www.savethecenter.net, a website Senator Ritchie created to allow people to sign her petition as well as share news and updates on the center.

May 15, 2013
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MORE THAN 2,000 SIGN RITCHIE PETITION TO SAVE ST. LAWRENCE PSYCH CENTER

Ritchie to Deliver Signatures, Statements of Support

to State Officials at Wednesday Listening Session

***Click Here to Sign the Petition***

State Senator Patty Ritchie will deliver more than 2,000 signatures and statements in support of St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center to Albany officials at Wednesday’s listening session to be held at the facility.

The signatures and stories were collected via www.savethecenter.org, a website Senator Ritchie created to allow people to sign her petition as well as share news and updates on the center.

May 14, 2013
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Senate Passes Bill to Increase Access to Dentists in Underserved Communities

Measure would make dentists eligible for “Doctors Across New York”

ALBANY - Untreated oral diseases can lead to a number of health problems, some of them even life threatening, yet a severe shortage of dentists in underserved areas has left many New Yorkers without access to care, according to Senator Catharine Young (R,C,Ind-Olean), sponsor of “Dentists Across New York” which passed the state Senate yesterday.

The legislation (S.2190) would alleviate the issue by expanding the “Doctors Across New York” program and enabling dentists to be recruited and receive incentives to work in communities with dentist shortfalls.

May 8, 2013
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RITCHIE MEETS WITH LOCAL LEADERS ON ST. LAWRENCE PSYCHIATRIC CENTER

State Senator Patty Ritchie met with community leaders and union representatives about their plans to advocate on behalf of the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center at the New York State Office of Mental Health Listening Tour on May 15th  at the facility’s Unity Center.

The group is urging supporters of the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center to register to attend the public meeting that will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m on May 15th.  Those wishing to sign up to speak may do so here.

May 3, 2013
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