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Canton-Potsdam Hospital primary-care campus to open Monday

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POTSDAM — Canton-Potsdam Hospital’s $5.5 million, 20,000-square-foot extension to its 49 Lawrence Ave. campus will be open for business Monday as a one-stop shop for primary medical care.

The campus was dedicated Wednesday at a ceremony open only to donors. The entire facility was renamed the Helen Snell Cheel Medical Campus, after the woman who bequeathed $5.7 million to the hospital before her death in 2005.

Four primary care practitioners will start work in the facility Monday, with two more joining them the following week.

The hospital will recruit more doctors in the coming months, with another expected to join in November. The facility has enough offices and examination rooms for 10 physicians.

The campus also will house a laboratory for blood work and an after-hours urgent care clinic. The latter is still under construction, and will open either late this year or early in 2014.

A nutritionist, diabetes specialist and social worker all will work out of the new wing, while specialists will continue to operate out of the existing portion of the campus.

All of this is done to create an all-in-one primary care facility, giving patients a central location for medical care.

“You have all the care you need surrounding your visit,” said hospital spokeswoman Rebecca J. Faber, who used the centrally located laboratory as an example.

“You might have people here for an orthopedic surgery appointment, and they need blood work done, so they come over here,” she said.

The hospital also is helping out students in Clarkson University’s physician assistant program. One of the examination rooms is overlooked by another room with one-way glass. Students will be able to observe simulations of medical procedures and, with patient approval, actual exams.

From the time the building was first approved by the hospital board to its completion was only 11 months. This was accomplished by doing the design work and construction at the same time.

A windstorm in May caused a short delay in the project when 40-mile-per-hour winds knocked down part of the wood-frame roof.

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