In 2011, Hurricane Irene severely damaged a family health facility in a rural area of Ulster County. Nearly two years later, the health center has been rebuilt.
When the doctors at Maverick Family Health of Woodstock opened a new clinic - Maverick West - on Route 28 in Boiceville in February 2011, they did so as part of a mission to make quality medical care available to all reaches of rural Ulster County. Maverick Family Health Center co-director Dr. Randy Rissman says Hurricane Irene had other plans.
He says it was seeing patients in their cars that has left a lasting impression.
Dr. Rissman attended medical school in his native Iowa, where he says the emphasis has long been on service to rural communities. And it was this service he and the other family doctors would not abandon in the face of flood damage.
He says in addition to Federal Emergency Management Agency grants, they cobbled together assistance from multiple sources, including the Catskill Watershed Corporation, Rural Ulster Preservation Corporation, and local banks.
Maverick Family Health has three physicians, two nurse practitioners and two physician assistants, and they celebrated their re-opening in Boiceville this past Saturday.