OHC to open new blood draw station

Patients living in Canastota and Chittenango will soon have fewer miles to travel for blood work. The Oneida Healthcare Center will open a new draw station in Canastota. Oneida Healthcare Laboratory Services is expected to open sometime next month at 102 S. Peterboro St. The hospital is leasing the building, which is owned by Oneida Savings Bank.

"We thought there was a fair number of patients that use our laboratory services that live in Canastota and Chittenango who now won't have to drive so far," said Karen Pugliese, OHC lab manager. "The whole idea is to make it a little more convenient for the patients."

The walk-in draw station will offer phlebotomy services on a first-come, first-served basis. Patients will also have the opportunity to drop off specimens. Any insurance needs will be taken care of at that time making it a one-step process instead of two. Specialty tests such as glucose tolerant tests will still need to be done at the hospital.

Pugliese said someone has already been hired to work at the station.

Unlike the hospitals other draw stations located at Oneida Medical Associates and at the Northside Medical Center in Oneida and a third draw station in Camden, the Canastota location will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

"We are going to try [these hours] for now," Pugliese said. "We are going to see what the community's needs are first. We could possibly have weekend hours."

Pugliese said being open an hour later will give patients who get out of work at 3 p.m. the option of coming to the draw station after work instead of before, and may be more convenient for parents bringing their kids in after school.

The new draw station will not affect the clinic on Center Street in Canastota, except the hospital will no longer have a nurse at the clinic on Wednesday's drawing blood.

The hospital has made some renovations to the interior of the building, replaced the carpeting with linoleum and constructed a lab area and waiting room. New front windows will be installed before the station opens. The building is not handicapped-accessible but Pugliese said the hospital plans to check with the village of Canastota on specifications for having a ramp installed off to the side.

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