New Lourdes health facility open in Vestal

  VESTAL — The new Lourdes Vestal building was built with the patient in mind. Large windows in the ceiling flanked by big fixtures provide ample light for the sweeping lobby. Two floor-to-ceiling murals link the first and second floors, and they subtly change colors and patterns before one’s eyes. Beneath the staircase, it’s quiet enough to hear water as it flows down the wall into a garden of rocks and plants.

   The building was built and is owned by JFM Real Estate, a division of the Matthews Company. Lourdes leases more than 90 percent of the 50,000 square foot facility. Private medical practices are located in the remainder. Lisa Bobby is Project Manager for Lourdes.

   “The Matthews Company was very sensitive and in tune with our desire to create a healing environment,” Bobby said. “It’s difficult to come into a health care facility, especially when you are sick. So they really worked with us on color schemes to make it consistent with the themes at [Our Lady of] Lourdes [Hospital].”

   Bobby said they used focus groups and patients to determine environments that help people feel better. A variety of paintings are on the walls in the building. “Hopefully when you walk into these practices you’ll feel that calming, soothing effect,” Bobby added.

   Lourdes Vestal is now home to Primary Care offices from the Southside of Binghamton and in Johnson City that were destroyed in the flood of 2011. It also includes the Vestal Medical Associates and Associates in Family Medicine. There’s a Walk-In Clinic, a Laboratory and X-Ray Services that are open every day from early morning to 8 p.m. Specialties at the site include a Women’s Health Center, Physical Therapy, Dermatology and Occupational Health practices. Mammography & Bone Density Testing and an Anticoagulation Clinic are also provided.

   “The patient is always in the center of everything we do and we’re focusing on their needs now and what we think their needs will be in the future,” Bobby said.

   A retail pharmacy is being readied for a September opening. Behind the scenes, Supervising Pharmacist Todd Landry, R. Ph. is eager to show the computerized advances the pharmacy will provide. One machine automatically counts and dispenses oral medications. Another can count tablets on a tray. A screen above shows an image of the pills. Each completed prescription hangs in a clear plastic pouch that lights up when the customer comes to pick it up. Providers in the building can send prescriptions via computer to the pharmacy while they see patients. “Our goal is to have the prescription done before the patient gets down here,” Landry said.

   Computers also provide access to patients’ charts, to allow providers to track their status in the building. The “one-stop shopping” concept is a convenient way to take care of several health care needs in one place. Lourdes Vestal is on the BC Transit and Binghamton University bus lines, and is a short distance from shopping at the Town Square Mall.

   More than 30 providers, including physicians, specialists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and 100 associates, work at the site. Lourdes will begin offering classes on a variety of health topics when a community room opens next month.

   And if you’re getting set to go up the stairs to the second floor at Lourdes Vestal, take a moment to look to the right. That’s where you’ll find a man sitting with his grandchildren who are eating ice cream. It’s actually a statue in memory of community-minded James F. Matthews, who founded the company that owns the building.

   Deacon Tom Picciano is a longtime contributing writer to the Sun. A professional journalist by trade, he currently serves at St. Vincent de Paul Blessed Sacrament Church in Vestal.

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