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Parker health care opens senior center in Nassau

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Parker Jewish Institute for Health Care and Rehabilitation, which began taking its first step into the 21st century last year when it launched an $85 million expansion and rehabilitation project, cut the ribbon on a new community health center last month.

The facility at One Delaware Drive in Lake Success, L.I. just over the Queens-Nassau border and only a quarter of a mile from Parker’s main building, serves senior citizens from communities in the area. It houses one of the largest adult day health-care programs in Queens and Nassau.

The “ribbon-cutting is symbolic of a great deal more than the opening of a new building,” said Barbara Kurshan, chairwoman of Parker’s board of trustees. “It represents the opportunity for better health care and rehabilitation service for thousands of senior citizens annually. It’s a place that helps the elderly maintain their independence, and families receive support.”

She said the health center should meet the health needs and improve the quality of life of senior citizens in both counties.

Some of the services offered at the new center are primary and specialist services, dental services for mature adults, and physical, occupational and speech therapy. The center also will house the headquarters of the Kessel Long Term Home Health Care Program and the Landsberg Comprehensive Community Hospice Services.

Parker Jewish Institute is a 527-bed skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility that provides long- and short-term care for adults 29 and older. Last year the hospital treated more than 7,000 people.

The construction on the main facility, scheduled for completion in 2004, will add another 82 beds, space for a post-cardiac treatment unit as well as new dining rooms and will push out the front of the building, which will make room for the facility to add patient services.

The renovations are expected to move the facility onto the cutting edge and take Parker into the future when it comes to providing care for senior citizens and people who have had hip and back surgery.

In spite of the hospital’s continued growth, said Barry Zeman, president of Parker, the hospital maintains its mission — caring and the spirit of caring — that defines the health care facility.

“Through our outpatient services and community health educational programs, Parker is now extending 100 years of expertise and experience into the communities of Queens and Long Island,” he said. “Our new Community Health Center is exemplary of its initiative as are our eight new outpatient rehabilitation centers we are opening in Queens, Nassau and Suffolk.”

Vincent Calamia, medical director of ambulatory services, said the Landsberg Comprehensive Community Hospice will provide terminally ill patients with specialized care in their homes, while the Kessel program offers comprehensive, individualized home health care for area seniors.

“Parker continues to grow,” Zeman said, “but let me assure you ... our heart is in the same place.”

Reach reporter Adam Kramer by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 157.

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