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April 16, 1993 - Image 15

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1993-04-16

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Sinai Opening
Oak Park Center



r. Sander Kushner
wasn't confident
about Sinai's finan-
cial status when he
> was asked two years ago to
) launch
. a family medicine
Yet he was intrigued.
Perhaps the one thing
holding back the hospital's
growth was its heavy con-
centration on specialists
) and its lack of adequate
primary care providers, he
"To be part of a system,
you must be a full-service
> institution," says Dr.
Kushner, who on Monday
will open the doors to
Sinai's 4,000-square-foot
suburban Family Medical
Center at the Parkwoods
Plaza in Oak Park. "Sinai
always had fabulous spe-
cialists, but it failed to
( have basic primary care.
One thing it did not offer
was family medicine.
"This is the lifeblood of
this hospital," Dr. Kushner
The opening of the com-
prehensive care center at
the southeast corner of the
1-696 service drive at
Coolidge is a major coup in
Sinai's 40-year history.
Sinai officials suggest the
addition of a family prac-
tice puts the hospital in a
better position to affiliate
with a large health-care
In addition, the hospi-
tal's financial status has
improved. In the fiscal
year that ended Feb. 28,
1992, Sinai's net income
was $3.2 million. This year
at the same time, the hos-
pital's net income was at
$6.7 million.
The census also is up to
an average of 436 patients
per day. A few years ago,
that figure fell as low as
325 patients per day.
"Now it is important for
Sinai to place points of ser-
vice all over the metropoli-
tan area so we can be
attractive to a large-scale
system," says President
and Chief Executive
'Officer Phillip Schaengold.
"We are in a better posi-


tion because of our finan-
cial status and because we
have gained with the addi-
tion of a primary care net-
Mr. Schaengold says
selecting the Oak Park
site was critical in further-
ing Sinai's goal to main-
tain its Jewish heritage.
The Oak Park, Huntington
Woods, Southfield corridor
boasts the largest Jewish
presence in metropolitan
The hospital launched
the family practice unit
two years ago at the
Blumberg Plaza behind
Sinai's Outer Drive facili-
ty. It has continually
grown, prompting depart-
ment chair Dr. Kushner to
develop satellites. Next on
the drawing board are
plans to locate another
suburban site, preferably
in West Bloomfield or
Livonia, officials say.
The Oak Park facility is
complete with on-site radi-
ology and laboratory ser-
vices. Care will range from
treating sniffles to manag-
ing long-term conditions
such as high blood pres-
sure, cancer and heart dis-
Dr. Kushner empha-
sizes that family planning
will play a crucial part of
the practice. Officials esti-
mate that within two
years, the facility will ser-
vice about 7,000 patients a
An open house the week
of May 3 at the facility will
provide free blood pressure
and cholesterol screenings.
The office will be open 9
a.m to 5 p.m. Monday
through Friday, with
Wednesday evening
appointments until 7 p.m.
Saturday hours are 9 a.m.
unt.,, 2 p.m. The new
phone number is 547-0700.
Mr. Schaengold offers no
timetable for an affiliation
with a major health care
provider. All plans, he
says, are pending the out-
come of the Clinton admin-
istration's health-care
reform plan. ❑

The Oak Park facility opens Monday.

Special Friends
Make A Commitment



avid Swimmer, 31,
remembers a time
when he, like many
of his 20-something
buddies, lived to work and
"And that's about it," he
But suddenly everything
He fell in love. He got
engaged, began his own
business and then became
a volunteer for Jewish
Family Service.
The consequence:
"I have become unbeliev-
ably responsible," he says.
"It's scary because I
always wanted to remain a
Proof of Mr. Swimmer's
change of lifestyle are the
four hours a week he has
dedicated to JFS's "Special
Friends" program during
the past two years. The
activity matches adult vol-
unteers with Jewish chil-
dren, ages 6 to 13, who
need role models and con-
In 1991, Mr. Swimmer
befriended Philippe
Abejean, then a 10-year-
old boy living with his

mother Jannette, grand-
mother, and sister
Charlotte in Bloomfield
Six years prior to that,
Mrs. Abejean decided her
son needed a positive and
consistent male influence.
Philippe's parents divorced
when he was very young.
His father lives out of
town and his older broth-
er, Roger, was studying at
the University of
California, Los Angeles.

David Swimmer
gives four hours
a week as a
volunteer for JFS.

So Mrs. Abejean contact-
ed JFS in 1988 to see if
they had something like a
Big Brother/Big Sister pro-
gram, which pairs children
and adult role models. She
learned about the Jewish
community's answer to Big
Brother/Big Sister: Special
Friends. Immediately, she
put Philippe on a waiting

He stayed on the wait-
ing list for two years.
Volunteers for the pro-
gram were scarce — and
still are, in part due to the
four-hour-a-week, year-
long time commitment
involved, JFS directors
say. Also, potential Special
Friends are exhaustively
screened, which takes
time. JFS puts them
through a full background
check and calls their refer-
After two
Philippe and his mother
were ready to give up
hope. But then JFS called
with good news. They had
found someone.
Like Philippe, this
Special Friend enjoyed
baseball, video games, tak-
ing walks and launching
model rockets. David
Swimmer might not have
achieved Peter Pan's eter-
nal youth, but at least he
could stay in touch with
childhood through
Both males were ner-
vous when they met.
Said Philippe, recalling




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