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Year-Round Service

Independent Health Hosts Ribbon Cutting

LAKEWOOD — A ribbon cutting ceremony was held earlier this month to celebrate Independent Health Medicare Information Center that will now be open year-round.

Independent Health is a nonprofit organization that offers local seniors one-on-one assistance in selecting their Medicare plan and provides ongoing support. Located at 66 Chautauqua Ave. in Lakewood, the center will now be open year-round, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“For more than 20 years, Independent Health has been providing one-on-one attention and service to the people of Lakewood, Jamestown and the many surrounding communities,” said Dr. Michael W. Cropp, president and CEO of Independent Health. “By having a Medicare information center that’s now open year-round, we’ll be able to better serve the needs of Medicare beneficiaries throughout the region.”

Present at the ribbon cutting ceremony was County Executive George Borrello; Edward McCague, Lakewood deputy mayor; Shelly S. Wells, public health planner for Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services; and Jim Sherry, Chautauqua County Health Network executive director. U.S. Rep. Tom Reed, R-Corning, sent a letter and certificate congratulating the center for its service.

“I’m so appreciative of your investment in Chautauqua County,” Borrello said, referring to those who work at the center. “Medicare is complicated. Then the government comes in and makes it more complicated. So, it’s important that this is here to provide a pathway for people to have a better understanding, to make the right choices.”

McCague said ribbon cuttings are usually held for new businesses.

“What is even more significant about this ribbon cutting is that this is a business that has chosen to stay,” he said. “That’s really important to our Main Street, to our community and the county as a whole. My thanks to all of you for coming to Lakewood and being a part of the community.”

The center started out in Jamestown before moving its location to Lakewood. The business is known for employees wearing signature red shirts, who assist and support Chautauqua County residents, which includes non-Independent Health members, in reviewing and helping decide what Medicare plan is right for them.

“We are really excited to continue to roll forward in Chautauqua County,” Cropp said. “We know the Medicare population here is really special and our ability to serve them is important to us. Enhancing our physical capabilities is just another way to step forward.”

Open enrollment for this year’s Medicare runs through to Dec. 7. For more information, go to independenthealth.com or visit the center itself.

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