Health clinic opens in Andes

Above: Delaware County's newest healthcare facility, a 2,800-square-foot health clinic in Andes. Photo courtesy of Bassett Healthcare Network.

The doctor is officially in. Today, Bassett Healthcare announced the opening of its new health clinic on South Main Street in Andes

The much-anticipated opening of the Andes clinic means that patients on the eastern edge of Bassett's territory will be able to get primary care without traveling to Delhi or Oneonta. The Andes health center will be open from 8am to 5pm, Monday through Friday.

Longtime local primary care physician Susan Fiore is the clinic's medical director. Licensed nurse Janine Sprague will also be on staff at the clinic. In a press release from Bassett, Fiore said she was looking forward to seeing patients in Andes:

“I am so excited to be in Andes and able to offer our medical services to people living in the area,” says Dr. Fiore. “By establishing a health center in this location, Bassett and O’Connor Hospital are helping to address a shortage of primary care physicians in the Tri-County Region. In particular, our aging population will find this facility close to home and more convenient than having to travel a greater distance for their health care.”

Several years ago, Fiore held a similar post at a Roxbury health clinic run by the Margaretville Hospital, owned by the Kingston-based HealthAlliance of the Hudson Valley. In 2010, the Margaretville Hospital's board of directors closed the Roxbury clinic for financial reasons.

Though many people in Andes are looking forward to the clinic's opening, the project has also attracted some opposition from neighbors and officials.

The site for the Andes clinic, which was bought by O'Connor Hospital from landowner Shayne Moshier in the spring of 2012, was inundated by floodwater during the 1996 flood. The property's vulnerability to flooding prompted Delaware County public works commissioner Wayne Reynolds to recommend that the site be moved to higher ground -- advice that went unheeded by the Andes Planning Board.

Reynolds's words, quoted in the Catskill Mountain News last October, are a familiar refrain in the flood-beleaguered region:

“Society needs to get smarter and not build in flood plains,” he said. “I won’t say, ‘I told you so.’ I hope the building serves for a long time.”