A clinic for Phoenicia

The building on Ava Maria Drive to be renovated for a medical facility. (Photo by Violet Snow)

Medical Associates of the Hudson Valley (MAHV), which maintains offices in Kingston, Woodstock, and Poughkeepsie, will open a branch in Phoenicia at the town-owned building that used to house a clinic on Ava Maria Drive, across from the post office. On March 4, the Shandaken town board voted unanimously to sign an initial lease agreement with MAHV for five years. 

“It’s an association of about 18 doctors,” said town supervisor Rob Stanley, “not corporate like others. They’ve taken the group away from that model.” Large corporations such as HealthQuest, which bought Maverick Family Health in Boiceville, and HealthAlliance, owner of hospitals in Kingston and Margaretville, have aggregated health services in recent years, but MAHV remains independent.

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The lease provides the building rent-free until the new tenants can get their equipment installed. They plan to invest about $50,000 of their own money into the structure so it can meet their needs. The town also has to complete construction work before the move-in. Once a spec sheet has been formulated, the town will seek bids for the work.

Stanley said the office would start with a small full-time staff, rotating specialists at the site as needed. The practice currently includes internists, nurse practitioners, family doctors, a geriatrician, a gynecologist, infectious disease specialists, a rheumatologist, a surgeon, a dietitian, an allergist. 

The lease provides for rent of $300 per month for the first year, rising gradually to $700 in the fifth year. “The town has the right to negotiate if it’s going really well,” said Stanley, “but we want to see them get established. It’s not easy to get a medical business going. And we’ve had the building empty since the library left, four or five years ago.” The Phoenicia Library used the building as temporary quarters after its Main Street location was ravaged by fire in 2010. If all goes well, the clinic could open as soon as this May

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