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Lowville hospital set to reopen Harrisville clinic next week

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HARRISVILLE — Lewis County General Hospital next week plans to reopen a clinic here that has been closed since last summer.

“This is great news for the Harrisville community,” Eric R. Burch, CEO at the county-owned hospital, said in a statement. “We are pleased to be able to provide patients in the Harrisville area with easier access to health care. This would not have been possible without the support of the hospital Board of Managers, Diana Town Supervisor David Parow, Lewis County Legislator Philip Hathway and the Town Council.”

The Harrisville Family Health Center, in a town-owned building at 14214 Church St., is set to open Monday and will be staffed by physician assistant Brittani L. Bickel, a licensed professional nurse and a physician office assistant.

Initial hours of operation will be 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays and Fridays, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursdays.

Anyone seeking more information or to schedule an appointment may call the center at 537-5003.

Carthage Area Hospital last summer relinquished control of the clinic to the Lowville hospital as part of a consolidation effort intended to get the Carthage facility back on solid financial ground.

However, state Department of Health officials required that a number of upgrades be made to the building before allowing it to be used again as a health clinic.

Changes completed by the town included replacement of fire doors and flooring, extensive work on handicapped-accessibility improvements and removal of lead-based paint on the exterior of the building, with plans to eventually replace the siding.

State officials approved the reopening following a Feb. 6 site visit.

“With the recent building enhancements, the town is encouraging people of the community to utilize the health clinic and services of Lewis County General Hospital,” Mr. Parow said in the release. “The town is happy to partner with the hospital and hope to see the clinic operating on a full-time basis soon.”

The clinic was built by the community in the 1960s to obtain a doctor in the area, according to Mr. Parow.

Mrs. Bickel, a Harrisville resident, has worked since last summer at Lewis County General Hospital’s Beaver River Family Health Center in Beaver Falls and will continue to see patients at that clinic from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Prior to working in Beaver Falls, she was employed by Carthage Area Hospital and was the provider at the Harrisville site.

“Many of my Harrisville area patients followed me to the Beaver River clinic,” Mrs. Bickel said in the release. “I am looking forward to seeing them back in the Harrisville community and to providing quality care for residents in the area. I love the area so much, I have even moved there.”

She attended Boston University and Syracuse University, from which she graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in biology.

E.J. Noble Hospital, Gouverneur, also operates a part-time clinic on Main Street in the village, although officials at that facility indicated last month that all of its satellite clinics were being reviewed for possible closure.

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