Retroactive state aid cuts have put the in Greenlawn in jeopardy, hospital and legislative sources said Sunday.
The state is pushing a $20-million clawback, requiring centers to reimburse the state for certain funds spent since 2008. And County Executive Steve Levy and legislative leaders have scheduled a press conference for noon Monday in Hauppauge to express opposition to the cuts.
Levy's office said the retroactive loss of state aid would force the closure of the center and another in Coram, as well as cuts in other county health care centers.
But Suffolk County Majority Leader Jon Cooper, D-Lloyd Harbor, objects to that plan.
"Although I join in supporting the county executive in opposing the announced New York State retroactive cuts of $20 million worth of reimbursements to county health centers, I am strongly opposed to County Executive Levy's proposal that we completely eliminate funding for the Dolan center," Cooper said. "If there is no alternative to cuts and the state decision cannot be rescinded, I would forcefully urge that we have uniform across-the-board cuts at all of Suffolk County's health centers without unfairly targeting the Dolan center."
"The only fair thing to do is spread the pain. But Levy wants to defund 100 percent of Dolan. There's no way I'm going to support that," Cooper said.
A source described the cuts as "extremely damaging, bordering on ruinous," but declined to say anything further until Monday's press conference.
Levy's office said that New York State on July 1 will stop reimbursement for all “optional” health care services provided by counties, including: public health nursing, emergency medical services, home health care, long-term health care, dental services for children, public health laboratories and some environmental health services.
The Dolan center was established 10 years ago after community members and united to provide medical services for those who couldn't afford care. A large one-time donation from the Dolan family helped get the site going, and it is run by Huntington Hospital.
The center says it is Long Island’s only privately owned, charitably supported primary care health center. The Pulaski Road center has a staff of 57.