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Medical Information, Services and Resources

Office For The Aging
Todd N. Tancredi, Director


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Dutchess County has an extensive network of chemical dependency services, which are provided by the public as well as private sectors. Programs for the chemically dependent range from services in outpatient clinics to in-patient care in long-term residential treatment facilities (therapeutic communities). These programs are licensed and regulated by the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS).



Various health clinic services are available at reduced or no charge via the Dutchess County Department of Behavioral & Community Health (DBCH), Vassar Brothers Medical Center, Northern Dutchess Hospital, and St. Francis Hospital through the Hudson River Community Health. Agencies such as the American Heart Association offer clinics where screening for specific conditions or diseases is carried out. For some of these services there are low income eligibility requirements.

Hospitals offer medical and dental clinics, and a number of specialized clinics, such as those for cardiology and pain. The latter are normally accessed through referral.

Health centers accept Medicaid, Medicare, private insurance, and will also see patients with no insurance, often offering services on a sliding scale basis.



Dental services in Dutchess County are provided primarily by private practitioners in their office settings. While most dentists in private practice offer a range of preventive and treatment programs for persons of all ages, some specialize in a particular population (children) or type of treatment (orthodontia, surgery).

Original Medicare does not cover dental procedures, but some Medicare Advantage plans offer some benefits. Some employers offer private dental insurance, which usually offers a schedule of reimbursements for particular procedures. Medicaid provides many dental services for those who are eligible. Under dental insurance plans and Medicaid, certain procedures require prior approval.

For information regarding Dutchess County dentists accepting Medicaid, call the Dutchess County Department of Behavioral & Community Health (DBCH) at 845-486-3400 or Dutchess County Office for the Aging at 845-486-2555.



The Federal Developmental Disabilities Legislation defines developmental disabilities in functional terms. The Legislation defines a developmental disability as a severe, chronic disability of a person which:

  • is attributable to a mental or physical impairment or combination of mental and physical impairments;
  • is manifest before age 22;
  • is likely to continue indefinitely;
  • results in substantial functional limitations in three or more of the following areas of major life activities;





The personal emergency response system (PERS) are available for frail persons who are alone for all or part of each day. This sends a signal to a monitoring center. The monitor center has information on file regarding the client and will notify the appropriate responder depending on the situation. Charges for PERS systems vary considerably.

The Are You O.K.? Program, is a safety program that targets vulnerable individuals who, in the event of illness, accidental injury, or crime, are in danger of being left unattended and unaided for a lengthy period of time. The program is a reassurance service that allows anyone in Dutchess County who is elderly or disabled and living alone the certainty that they will be checked on each day.

“Are You O.K.?” is a function of the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office and the Dutchess County Office For The Aging. The “Are You O.K.?” computer system, administered by the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office, stores the emergency information in memory. The computer calls the subscriber every day at the same time. If the person fails to answer the call after fifteen minutes, the Sheriff’s Office then dispatches the designated person, as requested by the client, to check on the person’s condition. Registration can be done through the Dutchess County Office For The Aging, 27 High St., Poughkeepsie, NY 12601 (845-486-2555).



Hearing impairment refers to complete or partial loss of the ability to hear from one or both ears. The level of impairment can be mild, moderate, severe or profound; Deafness refers to the complete loss of ability to hear from one or both ears.

New York State Association of Self Help for Hard of Hearing People (NYSA of SHHH, Inc.) is an educational and advocacy organization of people working together across the state to promote issues of importance to New Yorkers who are hard of hearing. It is made up of SHHH members who live in New York State. Its members are striving to help make their communities more accessible for people with hearing loss. Their website is The contact number for the Mid-Hudson Chapter of SHHH is 845-896-5322.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has adopted use of the 711 dialing code for access to Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS). TRS permits persons with a hearing or speech disability to use the telephone system via a text telephone (TTY) or other device to call persons with or without such disabilities.

Choosing a hearing aid can be a complex process. The best place to start for anyone with hearing loss is with his or her physician. The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) has put together a guide to hearing products, which can be downloaded at:



Hospitals in Dutchess County:




Medical Equipment is often called Durable Medical Equipment (DME) and refers to devices that enhance the user’s ability to function. Generally, these items are not considered disposable. They may range from a simple device to assist with activities or daily living (ADLs) to a highly customized wheelchair.

Professional Physical and/or Occupational Therapists can recommend appropriate purchases and, in some cases, provide guidance regarding vendors. They can also assist with planning for long-range as well as immediate requirements. Medical Necessity, indicated by a doctor’s signature on the order is a requirement for insurance coverage for equipment.

Insurance payment, including payment by Medicare and Medicaid must be authorized by the physician and the durable medical equipment will be less expensive if ordered through a participating supplier.

Loan Closets: Some churches, rescue squads, town health committees, area resource centers, and service organizations have used equipment available for temporary loan. In addition, many pharmacies have durable medical equipment for rent or sale.



Mental health services include a wide range of treatment services to children, adults, individuals, groups, and families. Mental health treatment can be obtained from public, private non-profit, and private providers. Choice of a provider is often dictated by individual needs and financial considerations (including insurance or other health plan coverage).

Non-medical (not an M.D.) therapists cannot prescribe medication, which is often indicated in the treatment of the more serious psychiatric disorders. In order to be evaluated for and receive medication, a patient must be seen by a psychiatrist or other M.D. Public and many non-profit mental health agencies have a psychiatrist on staff. The psychiatrist can provide medication only or as a treatment adjunct to counseling. The services of a psychiatrist can also be obtained privately or through referral from a private therapist.

When an individual’s psychiatric condition is of such serious nature that the person is considered dangerous to self or others, psychiatric hospitalization may be necessary. Hospitalization can be either voluntary or involuntary. An individual can be hospitalized in a private psychiatric hospital, a general hospital with a psychiatric unit, or a state psychiatric center.

If an individual experiencing a psychiatric emergency he or she should be taken to Emergency Psychiatric Counseling Center (EPCC) at Saint Francis Hospital in Poughkeepsie. Emergency telephone counseling and referrals can be obtained 24 hours/day, seven days/week by calling Helpline, (845) 485-9700. In some cases where the person cannot be brought to EPCC, an in-home evaluation can be made by the Hudson River Psychiatric Center Diversion Team. Referrals to the Mobile Crisis Team can be made Monday through Friday, 9:00am - 5:00pm, by calling toll free (877) 485-9700 and requesting to speak to the Case Management On-Call Worker.



In Dutchess County a physician referral service is available through Vassar Brothers Medical Center and through Dutchess County Medical Society.



Rehabilitation Services are often used after debilitating illnesses or injuries. They can be provided in an acute care setting or a sub-acute care setting or in a home care setting. The services can be paid for privately, by private insurance, Medicare or Medicaid and must be ordered by a physician.

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Todd N. Tancredi,Director Todd N. Tancredi
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