One of the key facts of life over the age of 50 is the need to get colonoscopies every ten years, and on an even more regular schedule as one ages over 65. And as anyone of such an age who’s undergone the fascinating procedure certainly knows, it’s something you need to be driven to and picked up from, given the role anesthesiology thankfully plays in it all these days.
Which makes the news that Hudson Valley Gastroenterology is handling colonoscopies at its office on Tinker Street, along with upper endoscopy procedures involving reflux and other common ailments, welcome news to the practice’s many patients living in, as well as north and west of Woodstock.
“We did procedures in the office in the 1990s when I first arrived here but then we decided to consolidate our practice in our Kingston office after the state changed its accreditation standards for office suites,” noted Hudson Valley Gastroenterology’s Woodstock-based Dr. Kevin Dodds, who moved to the Hudson Valley, and the practice, in 1997. “Eventually we took on a third and fourth practitioner and had the manpower and patient numbers to move back to Woodstock, which happened two to three years ago.”
Now, Dodd continued, he’s working two days a week at the Tinker Street office, which had been a private home before its renovation for medical purposes was completed in 1996. With a staff that includes an anesthesiologist, two nurses and two medical technicians handling between 13 and 15 procedures a day, for a total of approximately 30 each week, he and his Kingston-based partners Dr. Michael Steckman, Dr. Ari Goldstein and Dr. Daniel Blachman have found the decision to ramp up Woodstock as key to their practice as their work with Kingston’s HealthAlliance hospitals, as well as Margaretville Hospital, where Dr. Dodd is also affiliated.
“This was and remains an underserved market,” Dr. Dodd continued when asked how the first decision to renovate a home on Tinker Street came about. “There’s been a gap in coverage here; we’d long noticed how many of our patients were from the Woodstock area.”
Now, Hudson valley Gastroenterology’s Woodstock office sees patients from the Greene County Mountaintop and Margaretville areas, as well as Olive, Hurley and Woodstock itself.
Working in town
The actual accreditation involved updating of equipment, recordkeeping and other elements of the practice to meet the guidelines for the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care.
“It’s great working in town, being that I live here,” Dr. Dodd added. “We’re getting good responses on our surveys, and it’s been very nice working with the local business community, from getting our lunches around town to more recently sending patients over to Nancy’s for ice cream after a procedure.”
Dr. Dodd made sure to point out recommendations that everyone get screened for colon and other cancers through colonoscopy and the other procedures Hudson Valley Gastroenterology perform.
“It’s a life saving procedure,” he said. “If you’re age 50 and up just do it.”
Which now that one can do it right in town, should make any excuses that much harder to muster.
For scheduling and other information, visit www.hvgpc.com or call 331-8222.