Officials at Ashtabula County Medical Center announced today that plans are under way to make it easier to see a primary care physician by constructing the Conneaut Family Health Center in the Conneaut Plaza on Route 20. The center will be completed in early 2014.
The family health center will be staffed by a highly experienced full-time family physician and will offer a variety of medical services. “The Conneaut Community already has great physicians. But over the past several years, the community has lost family physicians due to retirement or relocation,” said Michael Habowski, President and CEO of ACMC. “This has resulted in patients leaving the Conneaut community to find a physician out of the area. It is ACMC’s hope that the Conneaut Family Health Center will enable residents to see a physician and receive medical services closer to home.”
Dr. Anthony Ruffa, who has 20 years of experience in family medicine, has been recruited for the Conneaut Family Health Center. He earned his medical degree from the Ohio University College of Medicine and completed his Family Medicine residency at Saint Vincent Health Center in Erie. He is certified by the American Board of Family Medicine. “Dr. Ruffa has a great personality and rapport with patients. He is excited to begin caring for members of the Conneaut community,” Habowski said. Dr. Ruffa is currently seeing patients in Ashtabula at The Ashtabula Clinic until the Conneaut Family Health Center opens next year.
Based on state healthcare data, over 50% of Ashtabula County residents receive healthcare services outside of the county. Many of these services are available in Ashtabula County. “The Conneaut Family Health Center will create seamless access to a full complement of healthcare services available at Ashtabula County Medical Center – allowing patient patients to receive care closer to home rather than traveling to Cleveland or Erie,” Habowski said. “Every time a patient is transferred out of the County for care that could – and should – be delivered here, Ashtabula County suffers. It can be a financial burden on the family and for businesses. It means more time off from work to travel back and forth and the money that would have been spent here in Ashtabula County at local stores and restaurants is spent elsewhere.”
ACMC has invested millions of dollars over the past several years in modern technology and the recruitment of highly skilled physicians who work full-time in Ashtabula County.
The ACMC medical staff includes a growing complement of primary care physicians as well as a broad scope of specialty physicians, including orthopaedics, cancer, cardiology, vascular and general surgery, ear, nose & throat, urology, gastroenterology, psychiatry, OB/GYN, neurology, ophthalmology, podiatry, pediatrics and pain management. “All of this has been done to ensure there is a local team of full-time healthcare providers here to take care of you when you need it,” Habowski said.
Although a physical presence in Conneaut is new for Ashtabula County Medical Center, the hospital already has a strong connection to the community. Approximately 120 of the 1,200 ACMC Healthcare System employees live in Conneaut, which adds millions of dollars in salaries and benefits to that community every year.
The hospital provides a variety of services in the Conneaut community such as free blood pressure and glucose screenings at the Conneaut Human Resources Center and also sponsors and participates in local events such as the Chamber of Commerce Business Expos and the annual Fourth of July celebration. Beginning with the 2013 school year, ACMC will also provide an athletic trainer at no cost to the Conneaut School District.
“Our goal is to continue to expand our services to the residents of Conneaut and to support the local economy and businesses by keeping patients close to home,” said Habowski.
Patients interested in scheduling an appointment with Dr. Ruffa may call 440-593-ACMC (2262).