As if on cue, the rain that persisted during most of the morning Thursday let up just in time for the ribbon- cutting as part of a rededication of the Westfield Memorial Hospital Chautauqua Clinic.
The ceremony celebrated renovations of the clinic, which include new electrical, heating and cooling systems, new medical equipment and new furniture. The facility was also updated aesthetically, including a fresh coat of paint to make the building better fit into the surrounding neighborhood.
“The overall goal, of course, is to make the clinic a more attractive and comfortable setting for patients,” said John Hamels, a member of the Westfield Memorial Hospital board of directors.
In attendance were representatives from Chautauqua Institution, the Westfield Memorial Hospital board of directors, Westfield Memorial Hospital Foundation members and the Westfield Memorial Hospital Auxiliary.
The clinic will officially open for the season on Monday. It will be available to patients from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday for the duration of the summer season.
Within the two exam rooms, staff provide urgent care services, minor orthopedic care and treatment for minor ailments such as coughs and poison ivy rashes, said David Trusel, a physician assistant who runs the clinic.
If a patient has a more serious health concern, they may be transported to Westfield Memorial Hospital by the Chautauqua ambulance service.
“This clinic is essentially an extension of the hospital,” said Chris Clark, president of Saint Vincent Hospital in Erie, Pennsylvania. Westfield Memorial Hospital is an affiliate of Saint Vincent and the Allegheny Health Network.
Trusel said he and a nurse treat about 25 people each day.
Geof Follansbee, Chautauqua Institution vice president of development and CEO of the Chautauqua Foundation, said the need for a medical facility on the grounds was made clear during surveys, interviews and open forums that were held as part of the creation of the Institution’s strategic plan.
“I can’t tell you how many times we heard about the concern about medical care, the accessibility to it,” he said.
The Westfield Memorial Hospital Chautauqua Clinic can be reached by calling