Branching Out Improving a Vital Monsey Community Service, NYSHA Enhances Its Local Special-Needs Clinic

Branching Out Improving a Vital Monsey Community Service, NYSHA Enhances Its Local Special-Needs Clinic

Upgraded Offices, Now at Rockland Branch of Brooklyn-based NYSHA Clinic

When you need special-needs help, you call Hamaspik.

But if you are Hamaspik and you need help providing special-needs help, whom do you call?

That’s why there’s NYSHA. And that’s why there’s the NYSHA Article 16 Clinic.

When the New York State Hamaspik Association (NYSHA, Hamaspik’s parent/support organization) opened the NYSHA Article 16 Clinic in Brooklyn, it did so with great fanfare.

That grand opening culminated a decade of dream-driven effort, ushering in a new era of supports for people with special needs in the community—and, by extension, for those who support them.

Today, the Clinic and its satellite sites in Brooklyn and upstate Orange and Rockland Counties have long since seen hundreds of clients and provided thousands of therapeutic visits in a range of disciplines.

An Article 16 clinic gets its moniker from Article 16 of the New York State Mental Hygiene Law, which authorizes the Commissioner of the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) to open clinics that exclusively service individuals with intellectual/ developmental disabilities (I/DD).

Article 16s can serve their beneficiary communities with a variety of health and human services, including medical and dental treatment, psychological counseling and psychiatry, social work, and the trio of common therapies: occupational (OT), physical (PT) and speech-language pathology (SLP). Article 16 clinics can also provide nursing services and even dieting education.

And now, the NYSHA Clinic’s longrunning satellite site in Monsey is better equipped than ever to provide all of that.

In its capacity as a provider of services at approved satellite locations, the NYSHA Clinic has been serving individuals in the Monsey community with several services for several years now.

Under Article 16 state guidelines, individuals with I/DD can get services and supports at approved satellite locations—such as the various designated consultation rooms at Hamaspik of Rockland County’s headquarters complex at 58 Rt. 59 in central Monsey.

But now, it’s time for the next step up. Enter that satellite facility’s overhaul and upgrade.

In the place of the previously-used consultation rooms, three exclusivelydesignated and newly-furnished NYSHA Clinic appointment rooms have been built on the premises of Hamaspik of Rockland County, one of NYSHA’s several member agencies.

One is geared for physical therapy (PT) and occupational therapy (OT), with a brand-new large flat therapy table and other equipment freshly installed. A second room sports a simple desk, a few shelves of therapeutic toys, and that spacious, comfortable vibe perfect for mental-health evaluations and consultations. A third hosts appointments for speech and even nutrition therapy.

Individuals getting Article 16 Clinic therapy services at Hamaspik of Rockland County’s offices now have a fully-stocked, custom-designed and clearly-designated location in the middle of Monsey.

The motivation behind the upgraded center-within-a-center is a desire to better service the larger community, says NYSHA Director Joel Brecher.

In particular, he explains, individuals who don’t attend Hamaspik’s Day Habilitation (Day Hab) program—or any other agency’s Day Hab program, for that matter—can now get their duly-qualified Article 16 services at one convenient Monsey location instead of at a Day Hab facility. (Several of the Clinic’s existing approved satellite service locations in Rockland County are at various Day Hab facilities.)

What’s more, Monsey-area residents with disabilities who are not currently receiving any supports and services can now also get the specialty services provided by the Clinic—and from professionals trained not just in their field, but in how to deliver those specialties to people with disabilities, too.

And to man the three state-of-theart appointment rooms, Mr. Brecher is bringing in a team of licensed professionals: a social worker, a physical therapist, occupational therapist, speech/language pathologist, and nutritionist.

So, what will the Rockland County special-needs population now have, that before they didn’t have? What difference will the NYSHA Clinic be making?

Accessibility, says Director Brecher.

Pop in any day now at the Hamaspik complex at 58 Rt. 59, and you’ll see the three side-by-side rooms of the NYSHA Clinic’s satellite branch humming with activity.

And if that’s any indication, increased accessibility—and betterment of individuals’ lives—can be found all the more now so in Rockland.

In a community renowned for its self-supporting socioeconomic infrastructure, where stores, schools, synagogues and shops are all within walking distance, another piece of the communal puzzle has fallen into place.