Healthcare Associates in Medicine prides itself on adapting to the times to serve the Staten Island community in the best way possible. And, for almost 50 years, the medical group has demonstrated this ability by expanding its reach as well as its services.
Created in 1970 as Concord Neurological and Neurosurgical Associates at 1099 Targee St., in just a few years the group recognized the need for a CT scan and introduced the first one to Staten Island in 1976.
“Patient care comes first. Our physicians thought it was awful there was no CT scan back in the 1970s,” said Kathy Tramontana, associate administrator at Healthcare Associates in Medicine.
As medicine and technology progressed, there became a need for other forms of diagnostics. That’s when Concord Neurological and Neurosurgical Associates came through again when, under the leadership of the Concord group and the participation of 20 other local physicians, they opened the first Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) center in the borough in 1987.
Renamed Neuroscience Associates of New York in the early 1990s, a major acquisition occurred in 1995 when they merged with Richmond Bone and Joint and formed Healthcare Associates in Medicine. The introduction of pain management services followed a year later before another big acquisition of Staten Island Orthopedics took place in 1998.
Although Healthcare Associates in Medicine possessed a strong clientele, the group never wavered looking for the best ways to serve the borough.
Further proof came in 2013 as the group became the first in New York State to open an orthopedic walk-in clinic at its new building at 3333 Hylan Blvd.
“The walk-in is very successful. We see anywhere from 80-100 new patients every day,” according to the Orthopedics clinical director, Laura Isolda. “We get referrals from all the urgent care centers. And hospital emergency rooms send many of their patients to us because they need orthopedic care immediately and we’re open and available.”
Another big addition took place just two years ago when they opened the second neuroscience walk-in clinic in the country.
“With the high incidents of concussions becoming more visible, we felt that this was an adjunct that had to be there. With the amount of people with back pain, headaches, and concussions, this became another service that was needed,” said Michelle Jakubowski, the Neuroscience clinical director. “We’re seeing a significant amount of people on a daily and weekly basis at this facility.”
Healthcare Associates in Medicine — which features over 300 employees, 23 doctors, 19 Physician Assistants, three Occupational Therapists (including one who is a Certified Hand Therapist), and three Physical Therapists — accepts most insurance plans while offering in-office surgery, an extremity MRI, and pediatric neurology. These options allow the organization to continue to serve as many people in need as possible.
As the only fully-accredited medical group in the metropolitan area, the practice regularly undergoes a voluntary accreditation review through AAAHC, an independent quality assurance organization for medical practices.
The group has also demonstrated they stay current with today’s issues and are cognizant of the ongoing opioid epidemic. Doctors from Healthcare Associates in Medicine attended a medical forum in the spring to sign a pledge adopting practices that ensure safe prescribing of addictive medications. Additionally, the neuropsychology group holds a support group about coping with pain without medication.
So, while patients depend on Healthcare Associates in Medicine, the group depends on the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce for its needs. Sharing its message with the business community is a big reason the medical group is celebrating 25 years with the Chamber.
“The Chamber represents all the businesses on Staten Island. It’s a way to send information out and share information with people,” said Paul Berkley, administrator and CEO at Healthcare Associates in Medicine. “The biggest problem with healthcare is for people to get good information. I think one of the things we feel is that we need to share that information as much as we possibly can. The Chamber is a means to transmit that information and provide a forum for us to carry out our mission, as we see it, to serve the people on Staten Island.”
“When we first started, I used to go to the Chamber meetings and seminars, and I found them very helpful, and it was a good place to network,” said Tramontana.