“It’s like a hospital with no beds,” Dr. Glenn Loomis, chief medical operations officer at Health Quest and president of Health Quest Medical Practice, explained this week. He was referring to the 86,000-square- foot medical facility at the former Macy’s store in the Hudson Valley Mall that the fast-growing Lagrangeville-based health organization expects to complete and occupy by the end of next year.
The multi-use Town of Ulster facility is projected to employ 40 medical providers and up to three times as many support staff, Loomis said. It will be a significant presence in the Ulster County healthcare marketplace.
Loomis said the lease between Health Quest and Georgia-based mall owner Hull Property Group was signed last week. An urgent-care facility will be part of the complex. A wide range of specialty care such as radiology, physical therapy, oncology, an infusion center, cardiology and a breast center will be offered. The facility expects to offer ambulatory surgery in 2020 or 2021.
Offering various outpatient services together under one roof can be more economical than serving a wide variety of medical needs while patients are hospitalized. Vassar Brothers already operates a medical mall in Fishkill.
“Experienced providers use cutting-edge technology to provide quality care in a non-hospital setting,” boasts the Health Quest website about the Fishkill facility. “From the ample parking to the bright, welcoming medical suites, we aim to make your visit as stress-free and comfortable as possible.”
The former Ulster Macy’s will be physically separate from the rest of the mall. There are more than enough parking spaces to the south and east of the building.
Health Quest’s family practice office at Kingston Plaza will remain. So will the primary-care offices in Woodstock, Boiceville and Highland (the expanded last facility on Route 299, operational since August, will hold a formal opening on October 1 at 5 p.m.).
The Ulster mall facility will also host Hudson River Healthcare, the federally supported regional health organization for the homeless and underserved. This will be the first Health Quest facility with such a direct partnership, Loomis said.
The three-year family practice training program at Northern Dutchess Hospital will also have an outpost at the mall facility.
In magnitude, the new facility in Ulster County marketplace is dwarfed by other ongoing major Health Quest projects.
The construction of a $545 million, 750,000-square-foot Vassar Brothers Hospital patient pavilion, the largest building project in Poughkeepsie’s history, is scheduled to be completed this year. In late March, Health Quest announced a seven-hospital, $2.4 billion merger of equals with the Western Connecticut Health Network. And last week Health Quest and Marist College announced their intention to form a medical school that will operate out of a new 100,000-square-foot building on the Vassar Brothers campus. Pending approvals, the first class of the medical school is planned to start in 2022.
“You might say we don’t let much grass grow under our feet,” said Loomis.