Rochester Regional Health cut the ribbon Wednesday on a new medical center set to open in Irondequoit.
The Riedman Health Center, in what used to be a Tops supermarket at Ridge Road and Goodman Street, will provide primary care and non-surgical services.
Bridgette Wiefling, Rochester Regional’s senior vice president of primary care, said the center will also offer both physical and mental health services under one roof. That’s important, she said, because the stigma around mental health concerns can sometimes keep people from getting the care they need if they have to go to a separate facility labeled as a behavioral health clinic.
“Even the word ‘depression’ has only recently become something that people are willing to talk about openly,” Wiefling said. “Whenever you’re pigeonholing patients into needing their behavioral health services from only one kind of a place, which is labeled a ‘behavioral health center,’ it can be intimidating.”
The center is close to highways and will offer free parking, Rochester Regional CEO Eric Bieber said, but he and Wiefling pointed to the bus stop at the front door of the clinic as the greatest transportation achievement of the center.
“You can’t imagine how important that will be to our elderly patients and to our patients that have COPD, which is a pulmonary disease that makes it very difficult to walk far because of their breathing,” Wiefling said.
Bieber said locating the new center in a former supermarket wasn’t always an easy sell. “You start talking to people about taking a vacant old grocery store, and envisioning a super high-end medical office building, more than a few people might raise their eyebrows and say, you know, ‘what are you thinking about?’” he said with a laugh.
The center is set to accept its first patients in early August, Wiefling said.