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CMH's new dental director to provide low cost student services for Columbia and Greene counties

Dec 26, 2010 9:50 am
[caption id="" align="alignright" width="200" caption="Dr. Barry Steinberg"][/caption]A newly replanted Westchester Dentist will be starting up a traveling dental practice to provide low-cost or free dental care to school children in Columbia and Greene counties, while simultaneously opening a new practice in Hudson and becoming director of dental services at Columbia Memorial Hospital. The Register Star reports this morning that Dr. Barry Steinberg, who also operates an office in Yorktown Heights, Westchester County, has owned a home in the Columbia County area for 10 years. In conjunction with Columbia Memorial Hospital and the Columbia County Healthcare Consortium, he will be mobilizing his services — hopefully by the start of the new year, he said — by way of a van which he and his staff will be driving around to different school districts in Columbia and Greene counties, including Taconic Hills, Hudson, New Lebanon and Cairo-Durham school districts for starters, with hopes of expanding as the program evolves.

“I saw there was a huge need ... I love the area, I love the people and I wanted to give back to the community,” said Steinberg, who will also take the position of director of dental services at Columbia Memorial Hospital in January. “We’ll be treating children from the school system ... lending our first-class facility to people who normally don’t have access to dental care.”

Steinberg will offer basic services like teeth cleaning, screenings and other simple procedures at low or no cost, and children with issues requiring multiple visits or intricate services such as extractions, orthodontics, fillings or oral surgery will be seen at Steinberg’s office at 876 Columbia St. in Hudson.

Steinberg will start with the elementary school-aged kids and, based on the success of and interest in the program, start offering care to more and more kids as time goes on. While the van program will initially only cater to children, he said, depending on how the program works he would like to eventually expand the service to adults, particularly migrant workers who do not have access to dental care.

“It’s an evolving type of thing — the idea is to see as many children as we can so we can do preventative services for them,” said Steinberg. “In order to perpetuate this program, we need to at least break even.”

Steinberg said some of the work will be pro-bono but much of it would be covered under various insurance plans like Healthy NY, as well as by a grant from the Healthcare Consortium, which has helped to make the program possible.

Steinberg will also offer a reduced fee schedule for all Columbia Memorial Hospital employees and their families, he said.

“It really is pretty exciting — I hope it does work because there’s a huge need, and if we get kids (to the dentist) when they’re young enough, it helps to prevent major dental issues and phobias down the road,” said Steinberg.

For a schedule of when and where the van will be appearing, Steinberg said to call Columbia Memorial Hospital at 518-828-7601.

Steinberg said while his new Hudson office will officially open on Jan. 1, he has been seeing patients there for about two weeks, acquiring new ones daily. The office will eventually be open six days a week, but currently takes patients about three-to-four days a week.

Steinberg’s Hudson office is currently fully staffed, he said, but as his practice grows, he looks forward to hiring local people to fill positions.

“That’s another benefit — trying to hire people from the area who need jobs,” said Steinberg.

To contact Steinberg’s practice call 518-671-6002.

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